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.