Have I ever mentioned that I am the 5th of 8 kids? Well I am, and as a true middle child I get fairly insecure pretty fast and have a hard time not measuring myself against what others are doing. For this reason it's been especially difficult as a stay-at-home mother, with no other job, part- or full-time, to tell people that this is all I do. The fact is that nowadays, it seems really weird to tell someone that you stay at home with your children as your full time job and do nothing on the side. I feel like up until now I have always admitted it with a sort of air that indicated I would rather be doing something else, or will be pursuing something else once the kids are in school or independent to the point where I could also work on the side.
But I have a confession to make:
This is all I want to do, and as long as we can make ends meet with me not working any job other than caring for the kids, my husband, and home, this is all I want to do and all I am going to ever do.
Does this make me lazy or unmotivated? Are Mike and kids brainwashing me and suppressing all of my other, more important and vital desires? No and NO! During manageable seasons of life I really try to limit screen-time, and with homeschooling, having all 4 at home all the time is a far cry from the bonbon-eating, soap-opera-watching image of a lazy, unmotivated house wife. Yes, I have hobbies on the side, and that is super important, but those hobbies don't make me any money and I have no intention of turning them into money-makers. I've had a couple--literally, like 2--people tell me that I should sell in an etsy shop the stuff that I sew, and while I am totally flattered that they think my sewing would be buyer-worthy (I've really fooled them), I have to admit that I have absolutely no desire to do so. I have one full time job, which encompasses my husband, home, and children, and anything else would only be a distraction for me from this job.
Maybe I'm wrong-- and I really might be-- but it feels like it is way more socially acceptable, in all circles, to be a woman with other goals, desires, and hopes than just those centering around the home. In this day and age, having children seems like the thing you for this small window of time and then you move on to more important things, the things you had a desire for the entire time you were having kids, but couldn't do.
But what if this--this having kids and being a housewife thing--is the only thing I have a desire for and the only thing I want to do with my pre-menopause life? What if, for these years, I don't want more of anything except children?
Well, the conclusion that I've come to is that that is totally ok, even good, and that I shouldn't feel shame about it, and neither should you if this applies to you. Maybe we're not beyond the point where mothers who work outside the home feel at least a little insecure about it, but that situation seems much more the norm than moms who stay-at-home and do nothing else. And from my experience, it's something the working moms feel proud of. And they should! I can't imagine juggling all my home tasks and another job of any kind. A lot of moms that I know stay at home but have other work on the side that they do as well, and that is wonderful and amazing and impressive. They are helping to provide for their families because they need to--some of them would rather not be doing those other jobs, others of them need it for their sanity and are fulfilling good, God-given desires, and again that is good.
I know that I vent about the difficulties here on the blog, and they're real, but I am so grateful for so many undeserved blessings: the husband and children I've been given, the opportunity to spend so much time with them, the gift of my fertility, and the peace I feel with my life in the home (when I'm not feeling like I'm about to lose my mind).
I pray that I have many, many years left of being able to bear children, to continue to grow my family, and to raise kids who will hopefully give glory to God and one day be with Him in heaven. I do have a desire for more--more of the most difficult and grueling job I have ever had: I want more kids. I pray that it is God's will for our family to continue to grow. Otherwise, I may just find myself out of a job ;)