When I grow up
I am a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).
I never wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it!! I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is the hardest, yet most rewarding job in the world. My children are a precious gift from the Lord, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to stay home with them.
I just wasn’t one of those kids that knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a wife and mom. I knew some girls that that was their dream. My dreams were a little different. In kindergarten, I told my teacher that I wanted to be a “Barbie punk rocker, with a hot pink limousine with a jacuzzi in the back.” She told my parents I had a very active imagination.
In second grade I wanted to be a vet – for career day I wore a white lab coat, stethoscope, and carried a dog around.
In 4th grade, I wanted to be a secretary – I wore a plaid skirt, red turtle neck, tights, loafers and carried around folders.
In 6th grade, a fashion designer. I even created my own fashion magazine “Va-Va-Voom” followed by the sequel, “Va-Va-VA-VOOM” (I kid you not – you just can’t make this stuff up!).
Then I discovered HGTV and I knew my life purpose – I was going to be an interior designer! I dreamed of moving to New York and strolling through Central Park with my hands full of shopping bags while I gathered inspiration from nature. I would attend the Rhode Island School of Design. I would have a Park Ave. pent house apartment (I didn’t even know what that meant, but it sounded nice). I’m pretty sure there was a scene in which I just happened to bump into Prince William which led to coffee and a courtship… but its all a blur now – lol!
Then I decided maybe that was a little ambitious. I would go to the Art Institute of Dallas and see where that led. I even cheated on that test they give you in high school that tells you what career path you should take in college. I answered each question in a way that there was NO WAY it could not tell me to be an interior designer. And sure enough, that was one of the options it gave me. (Gasp! How did it know?? – Sarcasm, sorry.) From the time I was a sophomore in high school I had a career counselor at the Art Institute who kept in touch with me. My senior year, I applied and was accepted. Then we went up there to visit. I was way out of my comfort zone. When my parents and I returned, I told them with tears in my eyes that I didn’t think that was what God wanted me to do with my life. So I decided to go to community college, and spend time in prayer as I sought God’s will and direction for my life.
During this time I had met and fallen in love with My Precious. We met at church, and started dating my sophomore year in high school. In February of my senior year, we became engaged. We would not be getting married for a little over a year though, so he that he could finish his degree and get a job so that he could provide for us.
I had began taking college courses while still in high school (I’ve always been a nerd at heart), so I jumped in with both feet to being a full time college student. Still praying and trying to figure out what it was God wanted me to do with my life. I decided to take American Sign Language for my foreign language credit. I fell in love with the language and culture. So I decided to transfer to another college that offered a degree in sign language interpreting. However as it got closer for me to prepare for an internship, I panicked. So with that being said, I have an A.A. degree, with several elective hours and I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. So I decided to work for a while. I worked in a teachers supply store for a while, then I kept children, then I went to work at a scrapbook store. (No, I am not a scrap booker.)
During all of this we decided after being married two years, we were ready to start a family. We didn’t tell anyone, we wanted it to be a surprise. Shortly after we prayed about this and began trying for a family, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. We chose to kill my thyroid with RAI and our family plans were put on hold for about 6 months. Once we got the OK from my (super-awesome) endocrinologist we began trying for a family again. After a year, with no success I began to worry. My dr. assured us he would get us pregnant, it just may take us longer due to my health issues (thyroid, and PCOS). I would get depressed at times, we really wanted a baby so badly. It was something we prayed about together, and cried about together. At this time we still hadn’t told very many people that we were trying. We didn’t want to get our families hopes up, and we didn’t want people feeling sorry for us, or wondering what was wrong with us that we couldn’t get pregnant. (Looking back I know this was silly, we could have used the support and prayers of our family and friends, but this was a growing process for both my husband and for me.) All together it took us about 3 years to conceive our first child. During that time there were lots of prayers and tears. Several of our family and friends welcomed children into their families. That was hard. I didn’t want to be jealous, but I was. I had to pray not to be angry or bitter. I wanted to be joy-filled for them! Babies are a blessing! And I trusted God. I had to keep that thought at the forefront of my mind daily. God had a plan for me. (Jeremiah 29:11) God cares for me and my problems. (1 Peter 5:7)
I may not have ever given much thought to being a SAHM, but my plans had always been to have my first child when I was 22 and my last child by 27.
It’s funny how we make plans for our lives. Being married to a teacher, the goal was for a May/June/early July baby so that my Precious would be home with us. Age 22 came and went with no children. I was 25 when our daughter was born (in November), 27 when we had our son (early May). However looking back, it is clear that God’s plans are better than our own. During the three years of infertility, we were introduced to Dave Ramsey, and took Financial Peace University. That was life changing for us, and made welcoming a baby into our family a lot easier than it would have been had we conceived when we originally planned.
God molding me into the person that I needed to be, to be a SAHM was a process. He is still working on me, but I believe this was my first (of many) lesson in contentment. Of learning that I am not in control, He is. I need to just step back and let Him do His thing, because He does have great plans for me, if I will just trust Him.
Yeah, a lot easier said than done, I know. I am thankful that He loves me, and is patient with me, and that His mercies are new each morning.