Yesterday when I was in class with the 8th graders, one of them made a comment about how being a stay at home mom is not a career. Mostly I think he was saying this to bother the girl next to him, but it got me thinking about my days as a stay at home mom.
I was a stay at home mom for about 10 years when the girls were growing up. When we moved to Meridian in the spring of 1991, I made the choice to stay at home with Molly. We made it work. We lived mostly on Paul's income. I did do a little daycare in my home that brought in a little extra money. But we figured it out.
These years were the most rewarding and the most frustrating years of my life.
During that time I experienced many changes in my life. Some of these changes were major. I moved. I was pregnant four times. I had two babies. I had two miscarriages. The first time I lost a baby I was about six weeks along. The second time I was about three months along. My dad died during this time of my life. I was dealing with depression, but didn't realize it. I was trying to figure out who I was, and where I fit in.
When I first started this new life as a stay at home mom, it was not easy as a young mother in a new place in a small apartment. I slept a lot during the day, when the baby slept. It was hard, because I didn’t know how to be a mom. I had decided to be a stay at home mom, and I didn’t know how to do that, either. And I put tremendous pressure upon myself to do it right, but I feel like I screwed up at every turn.
I was tired. I didn’t want to clean the apartment. I was lonely. I had to learn how to get along with a new group of people, many of them I had known for years, but hadn’t ever been close to over a long period of time. I was discouraged. What was my place in this new world?
When I look back on that time in my life, many things happened that made me the person I am today, and I grew a lot. But I also screwed up a lot...made a lot of mistakes.
But I survived. Sometimes I thought I was at the end of my rope. Sometimes when I had three young kids at home, and a husband who went from work, to teaching drivers ed after school, then to helping his brother coach a basketball team, I wasn't sure I would make it. But I did.
And I never regret being a stay at home mom. I look at my three girls, and it reminds me of the song Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music...."I Must Have Done Something Good", because they are pretty amazing young women.
Being a young mother with young children is tough. But you get through it. I was fortunate to have a loving husband, supportive family and friends to get me through, even though I felt many times that I was all alone. But I wasn't. And I had God to give me strength at the times I needed it most.
Love, Faith, Family, Friends. That is what go me through....and those are the most precious things in my world.