Monday, May 28, 2012

It chose me

A friend of mine from church publicly thanked his wife the other day for being such a great stay-at-home wife/mother. She was sick and he had to take his little boys to the pool, washed dishes, folded lots of laundry, entertained the boys some more, etc. etc. while she lied in bed...sick. It's a draining profession I know, but we Mommies (or stay at home Daddies) get used it.

I had a full time job in the Accounting Dept. of a very large beverage distributor in the big city when I had my first child. I couldn't wait to get back to work and I didn't even wait for my full 6 weeks post surgery recovery time to end. My husband's schedule required him to pull weekend doubles at the restaurant he managed at the time so this gave him a couple of sporadic off days during the week. His schedule, was really the only reason I was able to make it there one more year after my son was born...and the fact my family gave us any off days they had to help us out too.

At his birth, we knew he had "issues" that needed to be investigated, scanned, removed, etc., and we spent most of that first year, in and out of the hospital for all sorts of procedures/surgeries and lots of times, we had three appointments per week. Luckily my husband lots of times was able to pick our son up from daycare, drive him to me in the big city (an hour away) while the baby screamed the entire way, so he could pick me up from work and attend the necessary appointments, then drop me back off to finish my day. You see, deaf children are required just like all other children here in the U.S. to be turned around backwards in the car(until around age one), hence the word-rear facing car seat-but when they can no longer hear, or see their parents driving...they scream. Brook wasn't so bad because big brother was facing forward and could play with her as she rode backwards but Gage was all alone. But my point is, we were a team, my husband and I, and we were in survival mode.

After I realized my son stayed VERY sick with a weak immune system as his only defence for daycare and the fact what little speech he had was troubled, I decided to give in to what had been picking at me for the entire year, and I left work. It was my burden to bear and I was ready to bear it.

I had no idea how hard switching jobs would be. I remember sitting at my desk during lunch as I finished up the three/four week notice and I made a list. I would vacuum on Mondays, wash one load of clothes a day, change linens on Sundays, etc. Luckily I can laugh at it now, but it was never that easy. I did the normal things most stay-at-home moms do but I also focused on speech therapy, which before he could hear, was more like language therapy. He was learning to read lips but I talked to him all day, everyday, as if he could hear to expose him to as much as possible. But my biggest mistake ever...was removing the burden from my husband. I tried to do EVERYTHING myself and was digging myself a hole so deep, it took The Lord to get me out of it. I had no strength left in me, to do everything alone, anymore. My husband was more than willing to help but by that time, I had needed more than a physical rescue.

I've taken on jobs over the years, I still work in Accounting during tax season most of the time, helping out a former employer and I substitute teach. I've become the stay-at-home working mom that works while her children are at school, which allows me to have summers off with them! I love my job now and have for years. It was tough, but it got better. I am so thankful that He chose this job for me, because I would have never picked it for myself. We have only a half day of school left (Tuesday) and we're free to begin our most challenging and my most fun time of the year. I didn't choose to stay at home as my job, it chose me...and I'm very thankful.

Deuteronomy 28:1-3
1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country."

I saw their smiles when they discovered something new, I watched them in amazement as they learned to hear and speak, I learned how to be a better parent, a better wife, and a better Christian...just by being a stay-at-home mom. I would have never chosen this for myself, I really really wanted to work outside of the home. But for my family, my place was here. It took The Lord to move me into that office and quit a job that I loved, but the benefits have more than out-weighed the costs.


Melanie said...

I feel the same way.

tammy said...

Beautifully said. I feel I could've written this post in many ways. I actually just commented on a friend of mine's FB post the other day about this. She posted- "I get a lot of people asking me, "what do you do all day since you stay home with your kids?" I laughed out loud. Sorta like people think teachers have this great 8 to 3 schedule with summers off - whatever. I commented back to my friend, how this has been the hardest job I've ever had, but definitely the most rewarding and how our paychecks and bonuses are comprised of hugs, kisses, watching them go to and from school, smiles and so much more. Best job I've ever had.

dlefler said...

I love this. And oh, I remember the rear-facing carseat days. Nolan was a nightmare in the car, screaming for the entire time. He didn't weigh 20 pounds at a year, but we flipped him around anyway, because we had so many long-distance trips and he would scream the entire time. SO happy that he's older now, though he still isn't a big fan of car rides (background noise makes it hard to hear, I think).

I miss working, too - it was so stimulating. On the other hand, I love being home with the boys. It is amazing to watch them grow in such leaps and bounds!