Have you ever felt like you’re supposed to be right where you are?
Like with work, or with family, or even in a relationship?
I’ve had this battle as a working mom for approximately five years. Without getting into feelings about not being able to stay home during my son’s early years, I’ll get right into the here and now. I have a list of wants, and I know exactly what it will take to accomplish them, but getting there is proving to be a little harder, and takes a little longer than I thought it would.
1) Live in Christ. All of the time.
2) Be a wife that gives her husband continuous love, support and spiritual uplift (and advice when he asks for it).
3) Be a mom that treats her child as her child, and not above her husband or Christ, but instead in a way that teaches him about his Father in Heaven and how important it is to have relationship with Jesus, all while loving him in such a way he will never be able to say he doesn’t know what love is.
4) Live simply and enjoy those moments that I won’t ever get back.
So yesterday I went on a field trip with my son’s school. It was a blast, and just like a recent Jon Gordon book I read (The Seed), I found myself thinking about my work life balance and what I should be pursuing right here and right now as I trekked through the corn maze (just like the book!!!!) with a gaggle of kindergarteners and a few students from the lower school. Unlike the character in The Seed, unfortunately, I cannot afford to take a “few weeks off” to get my thoughts together, all in order to discover what I am here to do. I’m in real life/real mom time. Which means my deepest thoughts and revelations are generally revealed in my bathroom. :)
If I wasn’t a working mom, I would definitely be a classroom mom for my Little’s kindergarten class. Since I do work, however, I’ve made it a priority to be a working classroom mom, if there is such a thing. So I make sure I am able to attend each and every field trip that parents are invited on, and participate fully in each activity/event our school takes part in. You know, a do it all mom. I have my days, but I adore every minute of it. But let’s backtrack here, so I can give you the full scope of this rambling of thoughts.
As of the end of last week, I have had a potential job opportunity come up that would be worth leaving my company of four + years because of a major salary increase, but also because it would allow me to grow a great bit in my field of work. And just so you know the scope of this “grow a great bit,” it would mean executive level at the age of 33.
What’s a mom to do? Friday, Saturday and Sunday I found myself looking at two sides of myself, wondering which side of me is the “real” me, or at least the me I needed to pursue. Classroom mom, who puts her child before everything, including major opportunities like this one that could change the family dynamic long-term? Or, working mom, who wasn’t happy about being a working mom, but since her child is older now, should just go ahead, suck it up and climb the corporate ladder (might as well be the best if you’ve got to do it anyway, right)?
Honeslty, I went into yesterday’s feel trip thinking about these things and my stress level increased. And increased. And increased some more.
There is this third, and final part of me that just wants SIMPLE. And when I say simple, if I could convince my husband that it could be financially safe to have a single income household, my simple would be all of us thoroughly enjoying a drastically different lifestyle than the one we live right now. I mean, why not cut down to having a single vehicle to cut personal finances? And having another child (preferably two) and truly getting to experience what it is like staying home with my babies during that early time in their lives? Or what about being able to enjoy growing in Christ in a way outside of just having bible study once a week and reading shorter excerpts than I’d like due to time restaints that aren’t anywhere near more important than my spiritual growth? Don’t even get me started on taking care of my family from home (I can easily see me overscheduling myself and having a different bible study group each day, goal-setting to achieve new recipes each week for family meals, and that exhaustive list could go on and on), but I know myself, and I’d love every second of it! But in all honesty, the “simple” that I think God truly intended for families is one I’d like to be able to try for at least one season in my life.
So back to yesterday. There I was, talking with my Little’s teachers, heart bursting every single time he grabbed my hand and held me close (those days of embarassement and not wanting to show his love for me long gone!) and I had a revelation. I’ve always known how important motherhood is, and anyone who knows me personally knows that I absolutely love being a mother. My revelation was one that really came in a way that it’s come to me in the past. The only difference now is that in the past I ignored it. The excitement from the position that I mentioned earlier started to fade yesterday as I began to think about what changing my schedule could mean for my family. Then I began to think about my plan. Not necessarily God’s plan, but my plan, in pursuit of living my life the way I think God intends for me to live.
So what am I saying?
Well, what is for you is for you, but what is meant for me right now is keeping things the status quo. Executive level is in the cards for some of us, but I don’t think it is for me. At least right not right now, and in this particular way. Yes, more money is always nice. But losing out on opportunities like yesterday with my son would make me a miserable monster who unleashes crazy on everyone. Ask my husband.
She isn’t nice.
And I’m trying to keep her hidden away :)
Operation classroom mom suits me well. Do you have a hard time making working decisions while working outside of your home?