As of May 30th, my son's first birthday, I have officially been a stay at home mom for one year. It seems surreal to think that I haven't held a paid job since I was 8 months pregnant with Tommy, and I have to admit, I hated that job so much that I just left and I never looked back. I've only held two jobs, both of them temporary, since I graduated college in 2010. When I graduated I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, other than marry Patrick and eventually have babies. I had no career aspirations. It seems utterly depressing to say that I didn't have dreams, because everyone does. But for the entirety of my college career, even in the midst of studying my tush off to get a degree in both Theology and Psychology, any career goals or even career ideas that I had were no more than fleeting, passing thoughts, none of which I was ever even remotely attached to. I really don't know anyone else who had that experience in college. Don't get me wrong, I was no slacker. I worked hard in college. But I have always been a "school" person. The good grades, and the knowledge were my goal, and I never saw much past that. Of course, now I am so blessed to be living my vocation, to be wife to a wonderful, and might I say, incredibly handsome man. I am the mother to a hilarious and adorable one year old, and we're due to bring number 2 into the world this coming December. God is good, and life is great. But for some reason lately, I've been feeling a lot of pressure to be able to say "I'm a stay at home mom and....(insert something here)."
Before I go any further, let me say that I am 100% positive that all of this pressure I feel is coming exclusively from me. I've never been in a situation where I told someone I was a stay at home mom and they said "Yeah? What else do you do?" But I feel like I know so many moms who have something to add to the end of that sentence, and I find myself feeling jealous. And then embarrassed. What kind of mom am I that I feel the need to be doing something other than devoting 100% of my time and energy to my child? That probably makes me human. What kind of mom am I that I wish I had something else, something that interests me, to fill some of my time, to help me feel fulfilled? Probably completely normal. Life is about balance after all. No one ever said that when you had kids you had to throw all of your interests and aspirations out the window. Obviously I know that being Pat's wife, and raising these kids are among the most important things I will ever do, the purpose of my life. But I can't ignore, or be embarrassed about the fact that God created me a whole person.
There are probably people out there that would say "How could you want anything else?" I get that. I know I am blessed. But I'm not saying that being a wife and a mom isn't enough. I'm just saying I wish I had a way to incorporate other pieces of who I am into those roles. I want my kids to grow up seeing how much I love their dad, knowing how much I love them, but also seeing me pursue and enjoy doing things that enrich me as a person and that add a little something good to the world around me. I have no desire at all to re enter the work force anytime soon, and believe me-I know how blessed I am to get to stay at home with my kids. I guess what I want to say is that I'm struggling right now to find ways that I can use the gifts God has given me.
In high school and college I was a songwriter and a singer. I'm slowly coming to realize just what a big part of my life and my heart that was. I want my kids to know that about me. I want them to hear me sing, to know that I write, and to learn by example that it's a great thing to have a creative outlet. I know that music is a gift that God has given me, for what reasons I don't know, but I've barely touched a guitar or written a line since I got married (there's no correlation there, life just happened). I don't think I'll be pursuing any music ministry opportunities any time soon (it won't be too long before my belly is too big for me to strap on the old gee-tar), but maybe someday. I know I haven't been a mom for long, and maybe this kind of balance is just something that has to be learned, that comes with time. And don't think that I don't know that this is also a pride issue for me. But it's something I'm working on, and something I will continue to pray and think about. I know that ultimately opportunities to use our talents are gifts from God, and until one comes a long I will continue to do what I've always planned on doing- being the best wife and mom that I can be, even though I will inevitably fail over and over again, and asking the Lord what he wants to do with me, and then do it.