Stay-at-home mom, SAHM, WAHM
It was a perfect Arizona night. Monsoon season brought a breeze with it as we watched the fire glow. As we sat there listening to the flames crackle and pop, it reminded me of a time that seems so far away now. When we lived in Augusta, Andy was in Dental school and I was a Journalist, we spent many nights around the fire pit, dreaming about where life would take us.
I told Andy that I remembered those fire nights, I remember the few trips where we scraped every last dollar together to take, but I don’t remember much else from those 4 pre-kid years. He said to me, “That’s because we were always working. Your weekends were spent doing errands and alone. My weekends were spent studying and alone. We worked really hard.”
This month marks 2 years as a stay-at-home mom for me. 2 years. I can hardly believe it. What I thought would be a quick break from news as we spent 12 months living in Las Vegas for Andy’s residency, has turned into a way of life. I love this way of life, but it still makes me uncomfortable.
I love watching my babies turn into toddlers and my toddler turn into a little girl. But I feel inadequate when I tell a stranger that I’m a stay-at-home-mom. This week alone, Anderson has 3 appointments with different doctors and therapists (not to mention the work I do with him in between appointments), but I still some how feel that I don’t contribute enough to my family and the world beyond our homes’ walls.
I took this picture a few months back. It was my second interview at a Television station that week. It felt weird putting that anchor lady jacket back on. It also felt great. Neither station had a position I was interested in. It would take the exact right job for me to give up this life-for my kids, my husband and myself. But I still find myself wanting, wanting something greater.
But as I sat there listening to the wind through the palm trees and feeling the heat from the fire, I realized that I never want my life to be how it was back then. I lived for the highs- the high of the exclusive story. But if you were to ask me what my favorite stories were, I’d have no idea what to tell you. Not because there were too many-because I can’t remember them.
I can’t remember my life when life was about work.
I’ll tell you what I will remember. I will remember how each time I put Violet in her crib, I give her a big kiss on the cheek and how she responds with a giggle and says, “Thank you, Mommy.” I will remember how Anderson smiles with his entire face each time I walk into a room. I will remember Violet waving her finger in the air saying, “um, excuse me, this isn’t chocolate milk” and giving me a full tooth grin hoping that I’ll change what’s in her sippy cup. Most of all, I will remember how they make me feel-meaningful.
Yet, there is this uncomfortable feeling that lingers in the midst of my comfortable life.
But if this last year has taught me anything it’s this: life isn’t meant to be lived comfortably. It’s too short for that. There is no growth in comfortable. You don’t become who you are meant to be when comfortable. As I was wrestling with what to do with the few free hours I have in my day, I read this:
“The desires of your heart are not to be ignored, they are to be consulted. As the wind turns the weather vane, so God uses your passions to turn your life.” –Max Lucado
My passions are these: to give my family everything and my passion is here in this space. I find myself thinking in blog posts and other writings. So, I will do something that doesn’t come naturally to me, that does not feel comfortable and I will try to make this space bigger. Even though my technical skills are lacking, I will try to reach more people, because I feel that God has given me a story to tell and a pen to write it with.
*I hate when I feel like I need to qualify something at the end of a post. Some of the closest people I have in my life are working moms. I feel that these moms give and give and give to their families. But I feel like for me, with Anderson’s needs and my personality type, working outside the home is not in my family’s best interest right now. Maybe one day it will be! But right now, I feel like it’s best to be Violet and Anderson’s mom (and a therapy mom) and an advocate and hopefully a writer, too. Also, I am exaggerating when I titled this post with “workaholic”, but I’d be lying to myself if I said work was not at the top of my priority list prior to getting pregnant!