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Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Hardest Decision I've Ever had to Make

I told my friend Nice Courtney that I felt like every draft I wrote was BEGGING people to just look at me.

"10 reasons my husband is better than yours."

"8 Ways I keep my house clean" (still a mystery to me).

"This is a picture of my dog that's smarter than you."

I'm kidding, obviously.  But I was annoyed with MYSELF.  How could I hit publish on all this narcissistic garbage I wanted people to actually read and care about?

I was stuck in this strange, self-conscious All About Me Bubble.

So, I turned to Fat Mum Slim for assistance.

One of her prompts was about The Hardest Decision You've Ever Made, and something clicked.

About 11 months ago, I was hired to teach second grade at a nearby Christian School for the '14-'15 School Year, and I loved it.

     The people there mourned with us when I worried I couldn't get pregnant and rejoiced when we shared our sweet news.  They are some of the best people I know.  My mailbox overflowed with blankets, gift cards, and baby shoes.

But the catch is, it has always been my dream calling to STAY HOME with our young kids.

I've never considered myself a fantastically decisive decision-maker (redundant? So true).

But throughout the course of my life, a few things have been clear...

 I should:

- Stay in Cincinnati (Hello. I was 24 and homegirl wanted to move to CALIFORNIA).

- Marry Tim

- Write Lots of Things

- Stay home and make warm pies and sweet babies.

I am still learning not to question people's callings.  Sometimes they don't make sense.

     The call to stay home with our baby was strong, but I felt the opportunity to continue teaching (should it appear) was too good to pass up.  Small class sizes, a Christian environment in a field using my major, in a building that was extremely close to our house.  The job ticked all the "boxes."

And you can see how I was stuck. 

And I understood that while I had the pieces to the puzzle, God held the picture on the box.

"What if something happened to Tim and I needed the income?"

"What if God wants me to teach there so our kids can get a private/Christian education?"

I had a lot of questions, but for the reasons listed above...

In the spring of 2015, I decided that I was going to continue working after we had our baby.

My anxiety level was through the roof.

     But I dug my heels in and stayed the course.  I was going to teach, assuming the enrollment numbers made sense, and I was offered a job (because it is a private institution, and the enrollment numbers vary, everyone always gets a one-year contract).

     Three days before school let out, I was offered a spot, but it was not a full-time/all school-year position.  It didn't make financial sense for me to commit to it AND try to find/pay childcare.

The decision had been made.

I would stay home with Ella.

The weary world rejoices.

     I can honestly say this is only the second time in 33 years that I have KNOWN what I wanted to do, but voluntarily agreed to do the opposite anyway if The Lord so willed. (Usually God just has a way of matching up what I want to what He wants, so the surrender is often easy, I think. Oh my word, does that sound terrible?).

     The first time was when I agreed to stay in Cincinnati.  Roughly 3 months after I said, "Yes" to my home state, I met That Tim.  What a handsome reward.

     So. There you have it.  This whole situation has seemed a bit dramatic (I moved out of my classroom in like, 2 days, which is kind of a feat considering it was a second floor classroom and I was roughly 5 months pregnant at the time).  God bless my sweet, heroic parents.

It's been a personal story and one I hold near to my heart.

Basically, I wasn't ready to write about it.

I pray our bills get paid.  I pray we keep the lights on and food on the table... and I pray that when it's noon and all my Fancy, Working Friends are on their lunch breaks while I'm covered in breast milk and baby vomit that I won't take a single second for granted.  

Right now, every fiber in my being is screaming Ella's name, and that's a really beautiful thing.

Love and have a grown-up, iced latte on me,

*This topic is oh-so-tricky.  I know so, so many women who are terrific moms and work outside the home. They are teachers and childcare workers and doctors and customer service representatives, and their work is so so important.  I am forever grateful for the women who continue working so we can have access to the services we need.  This is just a post about my personal calling and how it came to fruition for the time being.  And if you're hoping to stay home with your babies, pray about it and stay true to your heart.

"The important thing is not to hurry- nothing good gets away."  John Steinbeck.


Unknown said...

I Admire your courage to stay home. Out of the 15 years of this gig we call parenting I have stayed home with the kids full time for 12 of those. I wouldn't trade any of it. Blessings from one Mastered, credentialed teacher to another, you've got this!

Whitney said...

What a wonderful testament to God's faithfulness! And perfectly written. I felt all the feels with you. I also left a pretty sweet teaching job to stay home with my babies (after working through the first two years). It was extremely tough and sometimes, like you, when the hard moments arrive, I'm wondering if I'd rather be alongside my Fancy Working Friends :) It's truly a gift to be able to stay with Ella, for you and for her. Great post :)

Lauren said...

Yes! Such a personal decision, yet one that feels so judged, judged, JUDGED by everyone around you, you know? Like most parenting decisions, I guess. Definitely a moment of "Hi there, guilt. I see you, and I know what you're up to."

I'm thankful the Lord stepped in for you, and I'm praying for your sweet family as you make all these big life transitions. There is so much beauty in this time.