Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sometimes I Wish

Sometimes I wish that I had not been a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years.

I taught school for 7 years before Sarah was born, and then I quit my job to stay home with my baby girl. Seth was born when Sarah was not quite three, and he fit right into our home. I loved being home with my kids.

I had a dear friend - a kindred spirit - who had her own twosome, each one year younger than mine, and our kids were best friends. We spent lots of time together and also took care of each other's kids for 'mental health breaks'. And, I loved being home with my kids.

I had hobbies, too, that I enjoyed during the kids' nap time and even more once they were in school. I had friends I walked with each morning after the school bus carted the kids away and who came weekly to my home to pray for our kids. I attended Bible study each Tuesday, had lunch with friends, and kept my home pretty clean and tidy. And, I loved being home with my kids.

I helped take care of my grandparents who lived close by. Did the grocery shopping and took them to the beauty shop and barber shop for the weekly 'do's. I even cleaned their home a couple of times each month and relished time just sitting and chatting, learning more about the treasures that filled their home and the stories that made up their lives. I so loved being home with my kids.

There were times I did everything I could think of to earn money so I could stay at home. I sewed clothing for others, tutored school children, and administered standaridized tests to home schooled kids. There were a few years in there that I cleaned several homes a week, often thinking, "I have a Masters degree, and I'm cleaning someone else's toilet." But, I loved being home with my kids.

After fifteen years, life and circumstances dictated that it was time - time to go back to teaching. I was blessed to get a job at Seth's school when he was in 8th grade. Sarah was a Junior in high school, and we all had to make some changes to make this new life work.

The years have rolled on, and I'm eight years back in education - four as a teacher and now four as a Counselor. Life is different. Seth is a Junior in college, and Sarah is a college graduate, living and working in Chicago. My husband and I are so glad we not only still love each other, but we also really like each other.

Education is different, too. A lot has changed in the thirty years since I taught my first class. Kids have changed. Parents have changed. Expectations have changed. Sometimes I wish I hadn't been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years because I'd be done. I could retire. I'd have put in my thirty years and could walk away.

But, I was a stay-at-home mom, and sometimes, when I wish I hadn't been, I remind myself that I loved being home with my kids. I love who they are and how they turned out, and I really love the memories we made. I loved being home with my kids.

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Paula's Heart

Sharing life on the road less traveled