Sunday, May 12, 2013

I Am NOT A Failure, But I Feel Like One Sometimes

I am a stay-at-home mom.  I like to joke with my sister that while she makes piddly purse at her post-college job she still makes more money than I do.  If I did get paid, I think I might earn a decent salary for the "mom" part of my job.  My girls are happy and healthy.  We play lots of imaginative games.  I delight in showing them new things.  They are well behaved and generally a joy.

But, I am not so hot at the "stay-at-home" part.  I get antsy easily, avoid chores daily, and long for adult conversation hourly.  I am grateful to be a full-time parent and my husband is a full-time support.  At times, I contemplate looking for a job, but honestly, returning to work fills me with more angst than being snowed in with the kids for a week.

The first major I declared in college was Sociology/Christian Ministry.  I was most likely going to save the world.  However, the practical part of me kicked in quickly and I switched to Elementary Education my sophomore year.  My train of thought concluded I could still potentially save the world, but I would have a much clearer job search ahead of me.

Despite my 4.0 in student teaching, I experienced an after graduation crisis of epic proportions, balked at the idea of teaching anyone anything and got a job at Starbucks.  I justified this decision in the pre-Obamacare world because the coffee company offered health insurance.  And, perhaps, I could still save the world one latte at a time.

After about a year, during which I got married, I realized I owed it to myself to actually give classroom teaching a try.  I lasted four months.  Granted, my husband was transferred, but I was not complaining.  I wanted out.  Thanks to my uncle, I landed a job as a marketing assistant for the economic development arm of my hometown.  It was a good job, but I did not appreciate it.  I was often bored and, because of politics, often without a manager to provide the guidance I needed as a young employee.

Regardless, I managed to move up and, while only there three years, I coordinated most of the marketing for the city of Baltimore for business.  Yet, I was never content.  I wanted to get back to saving the world.  So I took an eight thousand dollar pay cut to pursue a position for a nonprofit with a mission I thought I could get behind.  After six months, when I was 12 weeks pregnant, they let me go.  And I cried a lot.

When I do the math, that's four full time jobs in five years.  I have been home full-time, now, for almost that long.

I feel like a failure sometimes.  My daughters are still very young, but I want them to see me devote myself to a career one day.  I desire to use my brain for more than building fun out of diaper boxes.  I want to stand in the truth that I am right where God wants me to be.  But, what I really want is to be more than just a mom.


  1. Oh Kristin, how I feel your pain. On one hand, I'm on the opposite side of this spectrum. I've been working in healthcare public relations for nearly a decade, a career that many of my friends and colleagues relish, yet I find myself wondering, "really, is this it?" On the other, I'm restless and longing to find a career that allows me to save the world, one story at a time.

    I know we'll get there, it's just hard to see it when you're in the thick of it. Or at least, that's what keeps me moving forward. Good luck in your journey!

  2. This is a wonderful honest post! I am a full time 'stay at home mom' or as I have seen now on job list 'homemaker'. I too long to be more than a mom at times. I have had wonderful jobs and I plan in my mind to go back to school, then fear of being too old and waiting too long after high school, stops me in my tracks. My daughters are 10 and 7, a joy to be around and I shouldn't complain that I get the option to stay at home. I understand your feelings, though our goals and lives are different. I find this post easy to relate to and I honestly believe everything in your life will work out as it should and God will have you where He wants and needs you to be. Good luck!

  3. Kristin dearest, you are already "more than just a mom"! You are a daughter of the king who is using even what you see as "failure" [He doesn't!] to mold and shape you so that you can be [and are being] used to save the world, one precious relationship at a time. Check out 2Cor 5:17-20 if you want to see how the King [and I!] see you :-)

  4. Kristin, that is a perfectly reasonable wish. If being "just a mom" leaves you unfulfilled, it's time to take steps. If neither teaching nor the other work you've done appeal any longer, start networking. Talk to everyone you know about what they do and have done. When you hear of work that you realize is your dream, find out what you'll need, if anything--training, whatever--to get into it. Then go for it.

    Doubts are understandable. No one can blame you for fear. But you are an immensely capable woman. I know you can do it. I know you can overcome those doubts and fears. You can do it. You can. You will.