(If you’re just joining me, read Part 1.)
I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. In fact, just before Milo was born, I repeatedly told my friend, Nancy, that I would be itching to get back to work from my maternity. I would be bored at home and longing for work. I would never want to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m publicly admitting: Nancy, you were right. You told me I might change my mind once Milo was here, and I did.
But it was about more than just Milo that changed my mind. It was the health and wellness of my household that concerned me. I feel called to care for a space that allows my husband to relax after a long day at work. I feel called to prepare meals that will keep us healthy and ward off sickness. I feel called to maintain a space that our church family feels comfortable in. And that they feel secure that we will not do anything destructive to the house they’ve so generously given us.
I also want a job that allows for me to have a healthy work/life balance. That might sound crazy considering that my work and life co-exist. But I was trying to accomplish these things while also working full-time. It wore me ragged. I was exhausted all the time but couldn’t rest because “there was too much to do.” I knew this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable and given the choice between working outside the home full-time and letting my home be my job; I chose my home.
While it catches me off guard that this would be my choice, I feel like it really shouldn’t. Hands down the best job I’ve ever had was working as a waitress at Ike’s Fish House in Monticello. I wanted to be at work as much as possible because I loved it so much. When I was serving a table, my attitude was that for whatever the reason these people needed a break. They needed to take a time-out from life and just be cared for. I felt like I was giving them a form of therapy. The same goes for my other jobs in the food service industry. I have a passion for taking care of people, especially in terms of meals. How does that not relate to caring for a home?!
I never realized how those jobs, those passions, would be preparing me for a life as a wife and mom. It wasn’t until the opportunity presented itself that I realized God had been preparing me for this job all along.
That doesn’t mean I’m not nervous. I worry that I won’t measure up. That I was never really equipped to be at home full-time. But the reality is I’ve been more than equipped; I’ve been called. Just as Nick has been called to the church as a pastor, I have been called to the home to be the caretaker. And I take my calling just as seriously as I take Nick’s. I’ve come to realize that it’s no less of a calling that one to work outside the home, it’s just different.
So here I go. Forsaking the paycheck and the identity that I’ve held so tightly to money and embracing the job that has no monetary value.