Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Full Time Mom

Titles are interesting. Line up ten business cards and you'll see an array of descriptive titles like "Vice President of Sales," "Director of Communication," "Acquisition Facilitator," and more. I mean, how many different titles can you use to describe someone in sales without calling him a salesperson? Aren't we all trying to paint ourselves in a little bit better light or project a certain level of power or prestige?

A year and a half ago, when I left my full-time job to stay at home with my kids and launch my small business, I remember having a conversation about this with my husband. I knew it was going to be a while before I really started acquiring clients and creating income with my job and I would essentially function like a stay-at-home-mom for a while. I was very insecure about this. While I had experience as a stay-at-home-mom and knew it was far more than eating bon bons and watching soaps, I was afraid of people judging me for a variety of reasons. 

My husband said, "Well, don't tell people you're a stay-at-home-mom. You work from home now." For some reason, it felt and sounded better to me to be able  to tell people I was a work-at-home-mom rather than a stay-at-home-mom. I held a lot of pride in that, and as my little business has grown I have become a featured blogger for TulsaKids Magazine, appeared on a local FOX morning show, and even received a Gold Award for my blogging through Parenting Media Association. But, that's not the half of my job.

I've also spent a lot of time snuggling, making breakfasts, lunches, dinners, grocery shopped, cared for sick children, driven countless miles, helped with homework and projects for four grade levels, mediated countless arguments and squabbles, taught a kid to ride a bike, pulled a few loose teeth and revolutionized my family's medicine cabinet with whole foods, essential oils and vitamins. I am frequently called "The Best Mom in the World," and I have actually made "The World's Best Enchilada Casserole," just to mention a few of my other accolades!

Something has changed in my heart recently in regards to my life and job title. I think it happened over the month of January when we had all four of our kids full time for a little over a month. Since we're a blended family and Marc and I share our kids with former spouses, we often only have two at a time, with occasional weekends of all four. 

After growing accustomed to having most days to myself to write, sew, network, meet with clients and leisurely accomplish tasks necessary for maintaining our home, it took me a while to adjust to the new schedule. Two of the kids go to school in Glenpool and the other two go to school in Broken Arrow. In addition to that, Carter does his schoolwork online, but attends a study hall class in Glenpool midday. This means morning school drop off, midday trip to Carter's class, and afternoon pick-up rounds, with my computer being hijacked by a sixth grader in the in-between times. It also means that most days I get little more accomplished besides preparing meals, squeezing in exercising, cleaning up and doing laundry before passing out before 9:00 at night! 

I was instantly catapulted into work as a Full Time mom. One day, I was apologizing to Marc for not being able to get more "work" done and contribute to our family income. He so sweetly encouraged me and said, "I don't need you to make money. I just need you to hold everything together. You do whatever you have to do to oget through each day." What I began to realize that day was that while my husband bears the bulk of the financial responsibility for our home, I bear the emotional responsibility of our home along with holding together everything else like school, communication with teachers, doctors appointments, extracurricular activities when we have them, transportation everywhere, bank accounts, discipline, chores, groceries and the list goes on and on. "Just" being a mom is exactly what my family needs from me right now.

As I slowly let go of the expectations I had on myself to still accomplish "work" during this time, I remembered my days as a brand new mother. Aidan was a high need baby, and every night I spent an hour or more nursing, swaddling, rocking, walking, jiggling and shushing him just right until he finally fell asleep. As I did, I reminded myself over and over that this was my job. Somehow it brought me peace to reassure myself that there was nowhere else I needed to be, nothing else that was more important than what I was doing at that very moment. It brought immense freedom to know I was released from any other responsibility, real or imagined. Surrendering to motherhood is actually freedom, not slavery if you look at it with a clear perspective.

Over the last several weeks this realization has taken root in my heart in a whole new way. Yes, I am still a doula. Yes, I am still a blogger. Yes, I still make and sell baby products and do a variety of "jobs." But my first job, my Full Time job is motherhood. When I prioritize my life in this way, I am not frustrated to get to the end of the day or week not having written a single blog or sewn one sling. I know that if I have cared for my children and supported my husband, I have done my job. I know we are fortunate that my income is extra and supplements my husband's provision for us, and if things ever change requiring me to bring more to the table things will have to shift again.

But in the meantime, I am really enjoying motherhood and feel a new energy and desire to give our kids everything I possibly can. Believe it or not, I'm actually entertaining the thought of homeschooling, but we'll just have to see about that one. I am a Full Time Mom with some part-time jobs and a whole lot of passion, and I'm not embarrassed in the least to tell people that.

Maybe I should change my business cards...


Such Great Heights said...

I've come to the conclusion that the worst thing we can do is think about how things 'should' be or what we 'should' be able to do, accomplish,etc. We are people with a built in capacity and we are capable. That is enough.

Missy Rose said...

I love that! "built in capacity" is similar to the idea that "God never gives you more than you can handle." With every shift in responsibility, we are able to adapt and excel. What is now is what it is!

Janet Dubac said...

Wonderful article! Your husband is very sweet and it shows that he really loves you and the kids. You are right that being a mom is a wonderful feeling. The fact that you are always there providing your kids the things that they need and being appreciated for that is the best feeling that a mom can ever feel. Be proud of being a full time mom. It is the most difficult job in the world!

Missy Rose said...

Thanks, Janet! You're right, my husband is incredibly supportive and wonderful in just about every way!


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