Let me explain a wee bit. I am NOT a disciplined person. I thrive off of order but crave spontaneity. This contrast creates quite a bit of conflict inside and certainly for those around me. I easily stress over my “HAVE TOS” and dread a schedule. When I am forced to follow one, I manage my time well and don’t slip into a slump. When I was a stay-at-home mom (the glory days) I tried to plan certain things on specific days at specific times. Things always came up that tempted me to blow my plans, esp. on those stay home days.
Flying by the seat of my pants was liberating. I was in control and I was available for life’s little unexpected pleasures.
Then came the husband’s job loss, call to full-time support raising for his ministry and THEN the BIG BANG…..
Mom to work full time.
I was not a happy camper.
NOT AT ALL!
Not my plans! I spent nine years at home plotting the day I would drop my last born off at Kindergarten and would be F.R.E.E.
Never happened. I remember wiping the tears from my eyes as I looked out of my classroom window and saw a bunch of stay at home moms just chatting, surely heading to Starbucks and Target sans children.
My heart hurt.
My mind questioned why the Lord had put me in this position of being a working mother. Once upon a time I was the mother who pitied those poor women who had to put their children in childcare. I would glance at the “Working Mother” magazine and think, “Good thing that is not me.”
Well, the time came that it WAS me. It is me. I am a working mother.
It is hard. It was unexpected. It tries to steal my joy on many, many occasions by way of guilt.
It is what it is! I have had to fight a long ugly battle of acceptance. Almost four years into this working full time and I have experienced anger, bitterness, guilt, sadness, etc, etc.
What I have failed to admit regularly is the GOOD in my job. It was extremely easy to find the good in the actual job b/c I have been blessed with an amazing one at an amazing school with amazing people. That, my friends, is not the issue. I lacked accepting the GOOD that came with working, not my job. I spent the past three years telling people, ” I LOVE my job but hate working.” What I have missed is the good it brings in my life, the good that improves me, molds me, even betters my family. How on earth can me working improve my family?!?!?
I am forced to be disciplined, organized, and to manage my time well. I have to persevere when every bone in my body aches and I want to yell the next time somebody wants to touch me. I have to keep smiling when my face muscles hurt. Dinner has to be made. Dishes washed and laundry complete. Homework has to be monitored, books read, floors mopped, groceries bought, dress for first middle school dance bought, playdates arranged, Spanish studied, support letters written, time alone with each child, prayers said, foreheads kissed, paperwork completed, lesson plans arranged, clothes set out for the next day, and maybe, just maybe time alone with the husband.
The gift in persevering in this time of my life? The husband. He is the one who perseveres, the one who pushes me and encourages me to keep going. He is also the one who gives me the gift of time. He gently nudges me to go away. Take a bath, read a book, grab a cup of coffee. Or just go to bed. He gives me the freedom to have me time.
The gifts of working have tried to hide from me. They have been subtle or I have been so blinded by the unexpected journey of being a working mom so I have failed to see them. I want to be a better person. I want to live this one life well. I want my family to live their one life well.
If being a working mom is the way to make that happen – so be it.