Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stayin' at Home

"So, what do you do for a living?"

I find answering this question to be kind of amusing, because I usually get one of three responses when I tell people I stay at home with my kids.

1.  "Ahhh, I see," some people will say with their eyebrows raised.  The subject is quickly changed and they do their best to mask their loss of respect, but I always catch it.

My quick translation of this response: what a waste.

2. "Good for you, that's what I did when I had little ones."  This response usually comes from the 60+ crowd.  I love this crowd, they know what I go through in a day and they respect me for it.  I get the feeling they don't often run into my kind anymore....

Translation: your job is important.

3. "I could never do that." This usually coming from working moms. Maybe they say this because they get a good dose of staying-at-home on their days off and think they couldn't do it full time or they just love their job and couldn't imagine quitting.  (If I would have had a job I adored, I guarantee I would still be working some and this would be my response.)

My translation: we are different people, but we could be friends :).

Occasionally I get a "oh, you're lucky, wish I could do that."  This response always makes me feel bad for not feeling more grateful that I can stay home.

So, I've told you what an idiot my brother is, well, he wrote this on my last birthday card:

"Tami, have a great birthday and don't work too hard.
No wait, you don't have a job so I'm sure you will be taking it easy. 
Have a great day." 
Love, Dan

Yes, he was trying to get a rise out of me.  And succeeded.  But, I really think this is what many people think when I tell them what I do for a living.  It's what I thought before I had kids.  Hmmm, how easy it all sounds, doesn't it?

Well, no matter what the response, I've finally embraced this as my job.

I'm here to tell you, I've never had a harder job.  It's the most mentally, spiritually, and physically draining job I've ever had.  And though it's not everyone's calling, it's something I feel the Lord calling me to do.  It definitely draws me nearer to him in desperation more than any other work I've done in my past!

I know I'm not the best at my line of work, in fact, I would definitely have 3 pink slips by now in corporate America.  And perhaps some jail time if thoughts could put you in there. I absolutely hated it when I first started my new stay-at-home role.  Imagine taking a totally selfish person and putting them in a selfless job. 

I was prideful. I felt insignificant - like I wasn't contributing to the world like I had been. 

I was lonely. At the time, none of my friends stayed home and I felt sorry for myself.

I was irritated.  My life as I knew it was taken away by someone who weighed 5 lbs and was super crabby at all times.

I felt this way for close to 3 years! Evidently it takes me a little longer to accept change than the average person....but I stuck with it and the Lord helped me get through that transition. I now love my job and can't imagine doing anything different. Every day is not a picnic by any means, but I feel very fortunate that I can stay home and be with my girls.  (...even if it does still feel somehow insignificant to write "stay-at-home mom" on forms I have to fill out that ask for my occupation.)

And as I sent that 5 lb. baby to Kindergarten this year, I realized how fast it really does go and how blessed I am to witness it.

This week's verse:

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1


Amy J said...

So very true, Tami... I can definitely relate :) By the way, I think your blog is the only blog I actually read... usually I just look at pictures :) I really enjoy everything you write.

Rachel said...

Yep, its a tough job that brings out every negative trait I have...why do we behave ourselves at "normal" jobs, but as a stay-at-home mom we let out everything?? So not fair to my kids...I'd have the pink slips too. By the way, you keep cutting yourself off in pictures and I don't get to see baby girl #3...try to include her every once in awhile! She is only in there for a couple more weeks!!

darnly said...

Of course I am definitely in the over 60's crowd and yes I understand. Tami, I so appreciate your honesty but that is where change starts. Your little ones will only be little for a short time....I'm so glad you have chosen to be there. I will be praying for you.
Also, have you read "One Thousand Gifts" yet. If not, I would highly recommend it. That little book has definitely changed how I look at daily "interruptions" with Larry.

Cheryl Baxa said...

#1) you ARE very lucky to be able to be your girls at home; cherish every minutes! I sure it WAS hard to adjust at first.
#2) people will never understand how much 'work' it is to be at home and they will be the ones to say, since you don't have a job you have plenty of time!
#3) be proud to be a 'stay at home mom'! Enjoy them while you can because they will grow up fast; kindergarten is a first step too!
Take care!

Anonymous said...

I was a stay at home mom for 3 years before deciding to go back to work. Being a stay at home mom was definitely the toughest job I have ever had. I miss my days at home with my kids, and some day home to be a stay at home mom again. I never felt like people respected the job I did...well let me tell you, I know what you are going through and I totally respect you. Keep your eyes on the prize- your kids...and it truly doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Mel Evans said...

I'm still working toward the goal of getting to stay home. I just can't let myself do it until we have all of our debt paid off but our house...but we are getting there!!

It makes me sad when I know there are moms who do get to stay home, and don't really seem to appreciate it when I want it so badly. I'm glad to know you really do fully appreciate it, girl. :)

It's going to be tough leaving my job, when I do leave it. They rely on me SO much, and I've been here for 10+ years in my role. Just yesterday I had a conversation with them (it's raise/year-review time) and in this conversation they asked me about how things were going with the family, and let me know that if I ever needed to morph what my job is to accommodate more family time, that I could do that. Man, that was inspiring...both because it's their way of saying "um, we really really don't want you to ever fully leave this job" AND because they understand what's important to me and care about me enough to try and "help" that.

Would you pray for me? Just over all of the decisions and steps I'll be taking in the next month and maybe even next couple of years as I figure out what God would have me do? :)

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