Doing What Only I Can Do

Even though I quit my job after Bea was born, I quickly found a new identity about a year later working at an incredible museum. Title-wise, it didn’t get much better. Mom and Museum Educator? Pretty cool.

IMG_3982A few weeks ago, I officially quit this pretty cool job. Life has gotten super busy and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. A friend once advised, Do only what you can do. When taking inventory, only I could be wife to Frank and mom to Bea and Elle. But for as much as I loved this job, I knew someone else could do it and do it better.

I confidently made my decision, had a great conversation with my boss, and embraced really being present in this fleeting preschool season.

This past week two small things happened to shake that confidence. One was an offhand comment from a working-mom friend about how much time I have. Another was the response from a stranger who told me that it was cute that I stayed home.

In reflection, I am amazed at how quickly that confidence can be shaken. I know my identity is so much deeper than the job that I hold. I know that the decision we made was the best one for our family. I know that my days are busy and that being a full-time mom is a full-time “job.” And yet, that confidence wavered when my decision was so quickly dismissed.

I think that, no matter which path we embrace; no matter which life choices are best for our families, there will always be moments of hesitation and question. Because none of these choices are The Best. They are the best for us, in this moment.

What are some in-the-moment choices you’ve made that you see being temporary? How do you embrace the season you’re in?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “embrace.”

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17 thoughts on “Doing What Only I Can Do

  1. Yes, I struggle with this sometimes concerning my family’s decision to homeschool. Certain members of my extended family really don’t get it, and their off-hand comments sometimes hurt my feelings. In my case, I remind myself that they love me and don’t mean to hurt me. I remind myself that they don’t have to fully understand my reasons for homeschooling, for me to embrace this season that I am in. Thank you for your encouragement today.

    1. We homeschool as well and it has been difficult at times; both doubting myself and watching my friends moving back into the workforce or at least having time to invest in themselves while their kids are at school during the day. It’s especially hard with family and friends that don’t seem to get it. So many times I’ve been asked “Wouldn’t it be easier for you if you just sent the kids to school?” There isn’t an easy response to that. It would be easier in some ways, harder in others, and bottom line even if it is harder that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Be encouraged, you are doing what you feel is best for your family.

    2. I remember people asking me if I was going to homeschool, simply because I was a teacher. There is so much more that goes into that decision! Glad you are doing what is best for you and your kids!

    1. Yes! It can be so easy to wish away certain stages of life – the grass always seems greener. Learning to slow down and be grateful for these moments. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I have often felt this way about staying home. There have been periods of time when I temporarily worked part time, and I was always glad when it was over. Yet, being with my kids 24/7 is a hard job. I miss the adult conversation and appreciation. I know that what I’m doing is best for us. But it is definitely hard not to take the comments of others to heart.

  3. I, too, am a stay-at-home mom, Annie. I feel ya!! I have to constantly remind myself that I have the most important job in raising my children. It is a privilege and, yes, it is fleeting. I hope you can embrace and enjoy this season. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. It is such a privilege! When I feel disconcerted, I remember that others don’t have this choice. I am so grateful we are able to make this work. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Annie (and all of you other stay-at-home moms), you are doing the right thing. I promise that you will not get to the end of your life and say, “I spent too much time with my children when they were small.” I stayed home with my two daughters for several years, then spent a decade as a teacher so that I would have the same schedule that they did. One of the greatest privileges that I have known has been to hear them say that I have been their role model. (They are impressive young women and already more accomplished than I.) After they left home, I still had time for two interesting careers, one of which included travel to over thirty countries. Now in my sixties and as a marriage and family therapist, I encourage young parents to pour every second they can into their children. As the author of Proverbs said, “Your children will rise up and call you blessed.”

    1. Oh, Nanci. Thank you for this. You (and your girls!) are what I hope for our family. I guess it all comes down to holding our lives openly, trusting that God will care for us (and our doubts) and knowing that God sustains this precious life. Thank you for this encouragement!

  5. I know what you mean – I too find it hard when I compare myself to others or the little comments about staying home… hard not to take to heart. But I do settle on the regret thing as well – I know that I will never regret taking these years to breathe in my kids, see them bloom and be there to catch them when they fall.

    1. Exactly- I hear over and over from moms whose kids are grown: They never looked back, wishing they had spent more time working. I need to remember this when opportunities seem to “pass by.”

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