Friday, June 25, 2010

My Journey to Stay-at-Home Motherhood

Getting pregnant was a piece of cake for me (stop snickering!). Being pregnant was (mostly) fun; and I pretty much thought that I would resume life as usual once the baby was born. I worked full time at a job that I loved, for employers that I was devoted to. In fact, I was working in the same office as my husband, and we shared enthusiasm for our work. It was meaningful and fulfilling. Toward the end of my pregnancy, however, I had the notion that I should try to work out more flexible hours at my job. I managed to reach the agreement of working part time (which meant four days per week, five hours a day).

Then it happened. My darling baby was born, and I fell in mommy-love. My amazing employers allowed me to keep him in the office with me, as they believed that newborn babies slept most of the time (they didn't know my darling P had other plans!) and they supported my breastfeeding relationship, thus they thought it would be easier on me to have him right by my side (and it was to a certain extent). Well, that worked out for about two and a half months. It was extremely difficult for me to focus on my work and give P the kind of care he expected (I always lovingly thought of him as a "first-class baby"). Well, after much prayer and an agonizing decision process, we enrolled him in the on-site day care facility. It did not help matters that the first day he attended he came home with hives all over his body (a reaction from the detergent used on the baby swing).

Ultimately, that arrangement lasted until he was 19 months old. There was a longing in my mommy soul that was pulling my heart to my home and my family. And the fact that I kept coming across Titus 2:4 "...admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers..." Wowsers. Something had to change. I was being pulled in too many different directions, and not doing a great job at anything. My work was important...but my child is more important, and as God would have it, someone else ultimately came along who filled my job description in my place.

The Word of God says "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart." (Proverbs 37:4 Amp.) Well, my petitions weren't so secret. I had been discussing stay-at-home-mommyhood with my husband for months, this even in the midst of him saying things like "if you worked full time we could...". Well, eventually my prayers paid off, he finally said that I could resign from my position and we could go to one income. Mind you, we didn't go through any kind of financial preparation...we were deep in debt and really behind in our bills. But I knew that coming home to take care of our son was the right thing for me to do. When you follow the voice of the Lord, He causes things to line up for you. A couple of weeks before I ended up giving my notice, my employer began talking about needing to "make some changes" due to financial concerns. He mentioned needing to put people on shorter hours/shorter work weeks, etc, and I knew that it was the right time.

When I went to my boss, I explained my decision, and my conclusion that it was the right time for me to stay home. He was supportive, and actually said that my position was one they were planning to eliminate. I stayed in my position until the end of the year, which was about another six weeks.

Deciding to become a stay at home mom has been one of the best parenting decisions I've made. God has provided every step of the way, and admittedly some times have been seriously lean, and we've been close to having no place to live more times than I care to admit, but note that I said "close". By the grace and provision of God, we've stayed in our home, and my husband got a much better job than he had at the time we decided that I would quit my job.

For me, and many other women, staying at home means a lot less stress (even with financial challenges), happier children, and a happier marriage. What about you? What positive changes have you seen since becoming a stay at home mom?

1 comment:

  1. I am SO happy you get to stay home! What a blessing! And I LOVE that scripture! I have had a second go around with that scripture recently. My children are all older now and in school and I have TIME. Many different pressures were pulling at me to return to work after all these years....bills, kids learning to drive (insurance is crazy), pressure from well meaning people-"the kids are in school now, why not?"(even I wondered....) -anyway many things. So I got back into scripture to seek answers and saw anew that the call was to be a homemaker....not just a "mom" who is a wasn't just connected to the fact that I had made children. The connection was because I chose marrige- to be a Christian wife and have a husband! As a Christian wife that's what I've got to do! I've already got a very important "job". The work is at home....and there is plenty still! And it's not that I think Christian women can never work...I truly feel youngr unmarried single ladies, widowed ladies, divorced ladies, all can have a godly place in the workforce for His glory if that's God's will for them. But I feel those of us called to marriage are called to one of the best God honoring "Jobs" there is =]