When I was growing up, I don’t recall thinking much about being a grown up. I mean, sure I was like all kids who dream about being their own boss and not having to listen to anybody else (boy was that an overrated thought!). But I’m talking more about the general idea that girls dream in detail about their wedding day, how many kids they’ll have one day, etc. It was never all planned out in my mind. I hate it when people assume that all girls were like that because I cannot relate!
I never thought that was unusual until I became a mom myself and started to meet other women who had had an idea of what they wanted their adult lives to look like since they were 5. Then I started to think maybe I was a little weird. I’ve met so many women who say things like, “all I ever wanted to be was a Mom” and “I always knew that I wanted a family”. And I think, “really?”. It floors me that people had so much forethought.
Now, I remember messing around and telling my Mom I’d have 3 boys, I’d be a soccer Mom (obviously this was in the Clinton era when that term became super popular) and that I’d have some kind of forest ranger kind of husband. But that was as far as my thoughts went and I was usually saying it to be silly.
I can honestly say that even though I didn’t have a vividly clear, well-thought-out idea of what my life would look like as an adult, I know it didn’t go the direction I thought it would. I never imagined I would want to or be able to be a stay at home mom. When I got pregnant with Cooper, I had no intention of quitting my job….I loved it! And then he was born. WHEW! I never dreamed the bond between a Mom and her baby could be so strong and overpowering of a pull.
When we moved here to Washington, it was my first experience with being a stay-at-home-mom. I had no idea what to do with myself. My Mom hadn’t stayed home with us when we were little and I never knew anyone else who had a mom who stayed at home. I was clueless! I remember calling my girlfriends and shyly asking “what do you DO all day?”. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Laugh with me now won’t you? Hold on while I pick myself up off the floor.
I remember that even when I first started staying home with Coop, I would think that once the kid(s) (we knew there would be more of them!) were in school, I would go back to work. I used to wonder why women whose children were all in school didn’t work. I mean, the kids aren’t there. Do you really have that much to do when they are gone all day?
Um, YES! I can’t believe how much more busy my girlfriends with school-age children are! Now I say all this now to confess my ignorance. My ideas have changed in 4 years of staying home with my munchkins. Today, I really resent it when people act like being a stay at home mom is such a lame thing for a woman to do. Especially for a woman with a college degree. It drives me crazy when people infer that I’m lazy or have endless amounts of time on my hands.
I also have HUGE respect for my friends who work. I still have no idea how I worked full time and did all the other duties of being a mommy. And I’m a little jealous some days. There are days that I would love to shed the littles and go do something I’m more talented at.
The past 4 years have changed my perspective on being a mom. My life is not what I expected it to be. I’m still learning how to be a Mom. I don’t think there is a better way. Some mom’s are awesome and they work full-time. Some mom’s suck and they stay home with their kids. I don’t think the job is what matters, I think it’s the woman.
I’m not positive that I’ll get to continue to stay at home with my munchkins when we move back to St. Louis. I want to, but I don’t know if that’s how things will play out. I know that God is my ever present help and that I don’t have to worry. I know I’ll manage with whatever happens. But I’m excited to see what God has for me next regardless. In a way, I feel as if I’m just starting out and there is so much more ahead of me. I’m starting to dream more than I did as a kid. I’m starting to think about what the future will look like.
Maybe I’m more like other girls than I think.