Friday, July 30, 2010

My Reality

It's here. The weekend before pre-planning. I feel like I want to hyperventilate, scream, curl up into a little ball with the covers over my head. The newness of being a working outside the house mom has worn off. I am a woman, but I do not roar (unless you spill tea on my newly steam-cleaned carpet). Being a mother is hard work, being a mother who works outside the home? It can drive you to the insane asylum. The guilt. The lack of sleep. All the people who tug at your skirt all day long.

Yet. . . I choose to do it. And it is a choice, of sorts. Brad and I are broke, but we could be better with our money. I could clip coupons. We could, gasp, not have a cleaning man. I could cut all of our hair, shop at Goodwill, and do the many other things that stay-at-home mothers do to keep their households running. I could break the spine on the Dave Ramsey book and stick to a budget. However, working outside the home is not just about the money for me.

When I was going through my awkward period in JH (like I ever grew out of it:-), I used to fervently pray that God would show me what I was good at. I felt so untalented and worthless. The things that gave social value to a JH student alluded me. Beauty--I had horrific acne, a horrific perm, and braces. Money--well, my parents were both Christian school teachers. I dressed like I lived in a commune. Style--refer to commune comment. Athletic prowess--HA! I couldn't kick a ball without pressure let alone try to kick it while people where holding their breathes waiting for me to fail.

And then. . . one summer I taught the two-year-olds at church. There it was. My talent. Teaching kids just felt right. I felt like I fit.

Before I had children, I had 8 years of fitting, excelling as a teacher. I loved it; I lived it; I breathed it. I stayed willingly and with glee in my classroom until 9 or 10 at night. I set off the alarm in the building at 2 AM working into the wee hours. And none of it was drudgery. The work invigorated me and gave me purpose.

And then. . .my precious Emma was born. Wow. Wow. Wow. How to describe the change that took place inside me? Suddenly with one push and one radiant cry, I was a mother. Every sinew in my body changed. I looked at her and I understood the phrase, "took my breath away." And again, I fit. I loved motherhood. It just felt right.

And then. . .adorable Logan made his quiet entrance into our world, nuzzling, cuddling, cooing, and just melting all those around him into a puddle of goo (or at least me).

And so. . .why am I not staying home with my precious, adorable children? Isn't life complicated? Even though having children changed my purpose, it did not change the fact that I am a teacher. I am not domestic. I don't cook well. I don't clean well. I don't keep a house well. However, I teach and lesson plan (and occasionally grade essays) extraordinarily well. Something within me does not feel that God has called me (although those words make me a little nauseous) to stay at home. I feel he called me to teach. He created this talent within me.

But. . .he also made me a mother.

And so. . .how do I do it? Here's were the hyperventilating comes: I HAVE NO FLIPPING IDEA! But I feel I have no choice. So I do what mothers have done since the beginning of time. I take a deep breath (and a bubble bath), stack my blocks (as my mother says), put my big girl panties on (as so many are saying these days), and I just do it (as Nike says).

Luckily, I have a Brad who loves me no matter what and who fills in the blanks when I am a blubbering puddle on the floor because I feel like I am a complete and utter failure at all that God has called me to do.

Disclaimer--I don't feel like proofreading. Don't judge my comma usage or spelling. I am an English teacher, but I am not perfect.


heather byars said...

no judging here! i am having the nightly cry of "i don't really want to work", and then i spend three days in a row with my wonderful children in our messy house and want to pull my hair out!! i know we can't, but wouldn't it be great to build our own schedule that met the needs of us and our children? that is my dream. you are an amazing teacher and mother and i really look up to you, always have. good luck this year and God Bless!! we can do this!

awalton said...

well said Jamie! I've actually often thought about how you, in particular, do it... with Logan being sick last year and all the responsibilities you have at school. The only answer is God. He gives us strength when we only see our weakness and a breath of fresh air when we feel like we're suffocating. I feel like I'm learning how to do all those things you mentioned (cooking, cleaning, finding hobbies other than lesson planning... :) now that I'm at home with the girls. Different seasons of life to learn something about God and ourselves. I'll be praying for you as school starts that you'll feel energized and excited about a new year being a teacher and a wonderful mom!