We can do it

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What do I want out of life?

I had a discussion with my husband lately about my future plans. To be perfectly honest, we've never really talked about MY future plans. There are many conversations about his career (do we stay in the Navy? where do we want to go next?), our financial future (when to buy/sell our house, saving for retirement), or kids' futures. Where will they go to preschool, what do you think they are interested in, should they be involved in sports, what do you think their talents are and how should we hone them? This is in no way a complaint. Just an observation.
My husband would like for me to have a "career" one day again. I used to do PR and I really enjoyed it. I have a degree in business and another in Theology. Sometimes I feel they are useless as I am wiping yet another dirty bottom, or scrubbing jelly off of the sliding glass door. I started thinking, wow, in 5 years what do I want my life to be like, what do I want to be doing? All my kids will be in school. What will I do with that time? I can think of a few things that might interest me, some would require me going back to school...ick. As I was talking it over with my husband, I realized...I don't really want a career. Not because I don't want to work, but my life investment is this family. It may sound so archaic, but this family is my life and supporting, serving, caring for and loving them is the fulfillment I have searched my whole life for. For all you older moms, sure I can see that I may eventually feel differently. I'm not saying I wouldn't like to find a hobby, or project or a job to help support the family. I am just saying what I am doing now is the most important thing in my life and I don't really need more. Many women would scoff at that I am sure.
Sometimes I am a terrible wife and mom. I am lazy, self indulgent, impatient and cranky. But I love this brood. Sometimes I think my life as Mom is a full time job of worry and guilt. I worry I am raising my kids up right...I feel guilty that I yell too much. Am I sending them straight to therapy? I am a work in progress and I am sure hoping that when they look back at their childhood they see happy memories full of love and laughter, the kind I remember as a kid.
I love being a mom. And just when it starts to feel thankless, and I want to sell my kids to gypsies...I peek in on them at night and watch as their little chests rise and fall as they breath and their sweet faces and my heart is so filled with love for them.
How much better does it get than last night when I sat Savannah down with milk and cookies and taught her how to dunk. Afterwards she looks up at me, smothered in chocolate and grins, "Thank you so much mommy. I love you."


Miss Kelly said...

Aww, that's so sweet. I almost got teary-eyed!
I envy women that have the patience to stay home and care for their kids on their own. I just can't do it - honestly. The year I had off after having Olivia, I was home just long enough to clean the house and the rest of the week was spent taking the kids places. I am not a homebody and can never be. I feel guilty about it but I know I'm not alone and thank GOD I have a wonderful daycare. Honestly, the children are better off there than with me!

zingtrial said...

Hi This is realy nice posting,I will have to come for more,Thanks for sharing
Wish you well

Mommy off the Record said...

Aw, the dunking tidbit really tugged at my heartstrings. Who wouldn't want to dedicate their life's work to those beautiful children?

Christina_the_wench said...

OMG that is too cute. You're a SAHM that makes me wish I could be.

Catch said...

I was a SAHM till my youngest started kindergarten....I loved it. Be proud of yourself!!! You wear many hats....wife, mother, nursemaid, housekeeper, laundry woman, to mention a few....you will never regret staying home with your kids. Your lucky to be able to do it, most couples cant afford it...everything is so expensive anymore...

Dr.John said...

Just a note to let you know that you won the JCPOINTS prize for the day. I need your regular mail address to send it to you. Send the address to

Ms.L said...

This is a beautiful post!

I'm wouldn't scoff!
I feel the same way and it's kind of funny to realize we're a dying breed. I just saw a news blurb up here that stated that 70% of familes had both parents working.
Wow,times change huh? lol
Every time I think about what I want to do with my life,I am simply stumped because..I'm already doing it!
Thank you for putting into words,exactly how I feel:)

A theology degree? That's cool!
How would you use that for a career? Did you learn about all religions or Christianity?
I ask because Ciari has declared herself a Christian (poor child living in this family,she's known since she was a toddler and I *love* that she still feels so strongly about it) and I'm sure she'd love to know all about it!

Dianne said...

I know how you feel being at home. Travis is always talking about what I should do once all the kids are in school, but this is my job. I've been doing it for 6 years now, I think I do an ok job. The kids are happy for the most part. I think you are doing a great job, I'm sure it helps to be able to write things in your blog as well. You know though, the thing that ticks me off the most is when someone finds out you are a stay at home mom and they say "oh must be nice to be able to stay home." Like we don't make sacrafices, we just sit on the couch eating bon bons all day! ARRRGGG!!! Don't they know that we do that only for half the day? Really?! I hope the kids are feeling all better and everything is getting back to normal. I love reading about your days!

Mimi said...

I really know how you feel. I always felt like I had to have a career path chosen. I dropped out of beauty school twice. Went to college for a couple weeks to do graphic design. I worked as a optician. I worked for a bank and health insurance company. I am the jack of all trades and master of none.I could never find what I wanted to do with my life. I was always a hrad worker though. I always felt like kind of a looser since I did not have my own thing. I always planned on being a stay at home mom long before I had kids. And then it occured to me that being a mom is my thing. I feel like it is what I am here to do. So I did not feel bad about not having a title. Then later on I had my Binker. I no longer feel like I need to have a career path. Not even when he is in school or grown. I told Durk the other night I want to be the mom that can go on school field trips and stuff. And he said that he wants me to be that mom too. He won't let me work if even I wanted too. He wants me to devote all my energy into our son. And I am not gonna argue that.Maybe one day in the distant future I will work again. But it would just be a part time thing like in a bookstore or something. Mainly to give me something to do. Some people may look down on me for that but I really don't care. I am shaping a human being who is gonna go out into the world and have a impact on it in some way. And my job is about making sure that impact will be a good one. Nothing else matters.

Sorry so long!:)

Tiffany S said...

I love what Mimi said. She is right. She is shaping a HUMAN BEING. That is not to be taken lightly. As some of you know, I am pregnant, and any time now, I will be a stay at home mom too. I have been looking forward to this since I got married. It is not as though I have not had the courage to do other things. (as some people who are misguided would put it) I have been to college, 5 years, taught 5th grade and plan to go back because I LOVED it sooo much. I miss my students! But, I always knew from the time I was very young that being a good wife and mother is the most important job in the world. Men certainly weren't created for it. We women were. Our minds, bodies, and spirits were created to be mothers.
And as far as "working", I noticed several people said, "one day I will go back to work." Honey, you are AT work everyday! It's just not the 9-5 kind, it's the 24hour/7 day-a-week kind. Often thankless, yet the most noble, important, and even heroic kind of job. (kind of like teaching:)

Gingers Mom said...

Kell - sometimes I wonder if they would be better off at daycare...they do way more fun stuff and don't yell.. :)

Zingtrial - THanks for stopping by!

Mommy of the Record - that one really got me too. Simple pleasures.

Mimi- I feel the exact same way. I can do lots of different things, but not really great at anything but being a mom. (not that I am so great at that all the time either!)

Tiff - preach it!

Christina - I feel lucky that I can. I miss the paycheck, but truly the benefits are much better at this job.

Catch - I am so glad we have been able to afford me staying at home. One of the sacrifices is that Dan will probably have to stay in the Navy for us to be able to continue. But worth it.

Dr John - Yeah! I don't know what the prize is, but I feel cool.

Ms L - I went to a Christian Bible college and got the Theology degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Studies. I always planned on being involved in ministry as a career, but that is not where life took me. Right now my ministry is to my kids. I know someday I'll get involved more. I'd like to maybe do counseling or women's ministry eventually. I have a real heart for military families as well. Any questions I would be happy to answer.

Dianne - I hate it too when people tell me I am "so lucky" as if I'm spoiled. I do feel lucky, but it is also the hardest job I have ever had.

Ms.L said...

Aww that's really neat. I've always wanted to help other women too:) Thanks for the info,Ciari will be very interested. She's a very caring person and I could see something like this being right up her alley.

Carolyn said...

That's a great post.

I wouldn't mind a part-time job, but I don't think a career will happen at this point.

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...

Wow, I can't believe that I missed this one. We are very much on the subject of 'what are we going to do?' Mainly what I'm going to do. If, we wait until Josh is 4 1/2 yrs. to have another babe, then it will probably be 10 years for me out of the work force! Don't want to have a baby here. The Navel hospital doesn't have the means to care for premies and my family history says that I probably have about a 99.9% chance of having a premature baby. If that happened, the baby would be transferred up to a Japanese hospital in Tokyo. The military will not cover lodging expenses there.(It's about a 2 hour crowded train ride away) Customs here for Mother/baby bonding are VERY different. Japanese doctors are not questioned. Most parents are never contacted when a proceedure is done on their baby/child. I'd be lucky to see the baby an hour a day because of the way visiting hours are set up. A friend of mine went through that. I have another friend who is going through it right now. It's their second child and the baby was 3 months early. It's been difficult. Trying to figure out a schedule with their 14 month old and trying to commute to Tokyo every day. At any rate, we too are at a cross roads.