Monday, December 1, 2014


Today should have been my first day back to work, but instead I sit here a sweet smiley boy and a cup of coffee next to me while my other little love is still snuggled under her covers. And I am so thankful. I wrote this post several weeks ago after I made the decision but have held off on actually posting it for fear that it will sound like this decision should be the one for everyone. It isn't, and I hope it doesn't read that way. 

On Monday I headed in to school to let my principal and my grade level in on something that I hadn't been able to shake for several weeks. My heart right now couldn't be more at home, and I let them know that I would not be returning this year. This was not an easy decision to make. I battled the decision in my mind over and over, prayed about it, and talked it over with Patrick, my mom, and two trusted friends. Patrick told me that he fully supported whatever decision I made. 

And let me also preface this by saying that I do not think there is a right or wrong choice for being a SAHM {stay at home mom} or a working mom. Once upon a time I thought I would definitely be a SAHM and then I found out that I loved my job. It gave me energy, and I loved the routine of working days. And the wide open days at home scared me a little. I wondered if I would drive myself crazy to stay at home. And I'm sure there will be days that I do. But in the end, this was the decision that I felt was best for us right now. 

The decision started off with little things here and there. I have been doing so much cooking since Reynolds has been born. And I clean too. And I like it! {whaaat?!?} It fills my heart with joy to serve my family in that way. When Patrick commented on this one day, I replied, "I think I've just started embracing this new role as wife and mom." {insert wide eyed look from Patrick} to which I quickly finished, "okay, I realize this is not actually a NEW role for me. But before now the cooking and cleaning just seemed like extra chores and it took a back burner to my exhaustion. But I love it now." 

It seemed that every time I would place the thought on the back burner, something would hit me again hard with the thought of staying at home. I finally got to a point where I decided that this year would be my last year teaching, but then that still didn't seem like enough. May 22nd seemed forever away and the precious moments I would miss seemed endless. And then I read the poem below during a 2am feeding and cried myself to sleep after knowing exactly what I needed to do.... {warning: don't read unless you feel like a good cry}
I know, it might seem unwise to make a decision off of an emotional poem in the middle of the night. And maybe the poem and 2am are not the best for putting emotions aside, but do I really want my emotions to be set aside when I'm thinking about my kids? I don't think so. This was definitely an emotional decision {backed by the support of my husband that it also was not an unwise decision for us}. And maybe the poem is really sappy...but it is also true. And it is basically what I've heard from each mom I've talked to since making that decision. Something along the lines of, "I think this is the best decision you can make. You'll never get this time back. I never regretted for one day staying at home with my kids." Mom after mom telling me that. Even someone in HR that I talked to congratulated me on my decision and said, "they're only this little for so long." Tomorrow they're going to be a little older...

From Jen Hatmaker's Out of the Spin Cycle, "You will never have today with your children again. Tomorrow, they'll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Breathe and notice. Smell and touch them; study their faces. Relish in the charms of the present." 

I realized the only thing left that was holding me back from staying at home was the fear of disappointing people. I cried myself to sleep that night because I couldn't stop thinking about the family that I had made over the years at Mountain Park. And Teagan?!? Oh, it broke my heart that she wouldn't be spending days with her friends and with Mrs. Stacey. I hated to think that I was disappointing my principal, my grade level, my students and their parents. I had no intentions of doing this when I started the year. In a conversation with a good friend as I shared my struggle between choosing what I wanted for my family and whether or not the people at school would understand, she told me, "Dre, these are two little human beings. Being a mom is a high calling... and so is teaching. These are your kids though, and they will understand." That conversation gave me the courage to have those hard conversations.

There were a long list of reasons that kept me from making this decision before now, most of which were actually just fears.  But as time passed and the moments got sweeter, the fears got smaller. And two really good reasons to stay at home remained...
I took both of these pictures when I got back from the school on Monday afternoon. It was as if their smiles were telling me, "Thanks mommy!"

The conversations at school went great. My principal was so understanding. He told me, "this is just what you have to do." He said he even tried to convince his wife to do the same several years ago. He was also great and advised that I take a year's leave rather than resigning right away should I choose to change my mind. He is so great. And I think my grade level may have seen this coming-they were so sweet and encouraging too.  So, so thankful for such wonderful people. 

Don't worry, I don't think it will always be rainbows and butterflies. In fact, I know it won't. That Monday was so sweet, as I'm sure God knew I needed it that way on a day already full of emotions. The next day though was filled with time outs and me losing my patience more than I would have liked. But on the sweet days and the exhausting ones, Teagan Leigh and Reynolds...I choose this. I love you, and I'm so thankful for this chance to be a SAHM. 

No comments:

Post a Comment