In the past year, ever since I resigned my teaching position and became a full-time stay-at-home-mom I’ve had an identity crisis. I used to tell people I was a teacher. Actually, I used to tell people I was a middle school reading teacher and then laugh and accept the humbling praise that inevitably came along with telling anyone that I was choosing, willingly, to spend all day long with a bunch of fresh teenagers whose hormones controlled their every mood.
Then I started staying home with my almost two year old. And, I’ll confess, it was a little hard to introduce myself to people as just a mom.
For some reason that phrase carries a tinge to it that feels indulgent. Shameful, almost. No, I couldn’t hack it as a full-time employee outside my home, so instead I chose to stay here. And instead of sarcastic teenagers, I get screaming toddler.
Sure, it’s an even trade. So why did I have a hard time admitting that it’s what I do, it’s what I’m proud of, it’s who I am, and what I’m called for?
Because sometimes people just don’t quite get it. There’s almost a martyrdom associated with being a mom who works and still does everything (and sometimes more) than I do in a 24-hour period. I know women who admit that working makes them a better mom, makes them appreciate their children more, makes them value the time they have.
But I wasn’t one of them.
I wanted to build a home at home. Each day. Every day. All the time. Well, occasionally, I like a break. But, generally, I wanted to be here, not there.
Yet, I held myself back from embracing that identity. For so long, I have been a teacher, a coach, a mentor. I’m good in the classroom. I’m confident and interesting and probably too arrogant. I know what I’m doing. I know which books to put in the hands of reluctant readers and how to analyze test data and when to introduce complex-compound sentences.
But I don’t want to do it anymore. And I may not ever want to do that again, at least not full-time. Knowing this used to scare me. I felt like I was losing a bit of who I had always been.
But something’s happened to me in the past few weeks. Somehow, I’ve started to see who I really am and who I want to really be and where my heart is right now.
And there should be no shame in that.
This is what He’s called me to. This tiny home that’s full to bursting with laughter and tantrums and garden tomatoes and birthday parties and nursery furniture and baby dolls.
So, hi. My name is Lindsey. I’m a wife. A mother. A homemaker. I work everyday, all day, all night too. Just like every other mother in this world. I know where to find lost shoes, how to get ketchup stains out of white shirts, when to give Tylenol for a fever, and what’s on the menu for dinner. I coordinate MOPS and help with AWANA and attend Community Bible Study. This fall I’m going to garden with first graders and volunteer with preschoolers. I write a little bit about being a mom and raising girls. I’m learning what it’s like to have a boy and how to appreciate quiet and revel in noise. I’ve been a mom for almost eight years, but I’m just now really starting to slow down and enjoy it.
Who are you?
linking up with Julia today because I am so grateful that THIS is what I do.