When I was a teenager, I looked to the “older” ladies in my life, the women in the church who had kids but were still cool and fun, and I thought they were at the best stage in life.
They were in their early 30s so I decided that 31 would be the best age. I figured by the time I was 31, I would have been married for a while and have a few kids. I would be into the PTA-mom/soccer-mom stage and our lives would be a good kind of busy.
I turned 31 last month so I’ve reached my “perfect age.” How does it compare to my expectations?
It’s pretty great. I’m one month shy of my ten-year anniversary, I have three kids who are all in school (at least part-time), and I’m in the thick of the PTA. And yet… there’s still a longing to do something for myself. Not in the “treat yo’ self!” sense, but in the “I’m doing something beyond myself” sense.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is an important job. I’ve been doing it for nearly nine years so I know the value. It’s not easy. It’s not glamorous. But it is so valuable.
So why am I longing for more? For one, I’ve haven’t done much else. I got married in college and, because my husband is nine years older than me, having babies right away was our hope and plan. I graduated college with a big ol’ pregnant belly. Three months later, my first daughter was born.
I have an expensive paper in a frame that says I have a degree in “Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management” with a concentration in “Event Management,” but, aside from coordinating a few weddings, I haven’t utilized it for its intended purposes in the last 10 years.
My girls are growing up; they’re expanding their wings. And it’s time for me to expand mine, too. Some new desires are growing in my heart. My husband is an awesome provider, but I want to contribute financially to our family too.
I want my daughters to see me working.
Most of all, I want to prove to myself that I can go out and do something outside of my role of wife and mother, because I haven’t yet had a chance to do that yet.
I’m taking some steps to move on from being a stay-at-home-mom, like taking tests and interviewing… and I’m terrified. It’s not like your kid can look at you and say, “You’re not quite what I was looking for in a mother. I’m going to keep seeking other candidates.”
I have had many shortcomings as a wife and mom, but there is grace in those roles that don’t necessarily come in the avenue of certification exams and interviews.
“It will be good for you,” My husband tells me.
I think to myself, “Has what I’ve been doing these last nine years not been good?”
But I understand what he’s saying – my initial reaction is just my anxiety about putting myself out there.
He’s right. It will be good for me to challenge myself.
It will be good for me to focus on things outside of my family and my home. It’ll be different, for sure, but doing something different can be good too.
I’m thankful I’ve been able to be home with my girls while they were little. It’s gone by quickly and I wouldn’t trade this time at home for anything. I will surely miss this time of my life because I love the freedom that being a stay-at-home-mom gives to my days.
But this next step is exciting (even if terrifying) and it’ll help me find the “something more” that I’ve not yet conquered.