Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Choosing Motherhood

When I began building a family while simultaneously going to nursing school (first marriage, then child #1, and then (!) child #2 shortly after graduation) I always intended to work, at least part-time as a nurse.

When I got my first job as a nurse, I was so grateful for the opportunity.  I loved it and I loved that I loved it.  I can't pretend that it wasn't hard on my family, though. Working full-time meant being away from my family three nights a week.  Because I was working nights, there were also many a day when Dad took care of the kids so Mom could sleep.  And, on the days when Dad had to work, Mom was way too tired, but took care of the kids anyway. Very often, Husband and I would only see each other as we simultaneously picked up and dropped each other off at work.  It worked for us, but it was hard.

Then Husband got his dream job in Dallas and I quit mine so we could go.  I enjoyed having a few months where I could be a mom and a wife. We could have days off together.  I didn't have to play the zombie mom game.  I loved it, but I still felt like I needed to work because I had worked hard for that degree, by golly, and I was going to use it.  Besides!  Just think of how fast we could pay off the debt if I was working too.

It quickly became obvious, however, that finding part-time work with only seven months of experience was going to be tough, if not impossible.  More often than not I got the answer, "You'll have to do a new grad program and that'll be full-time."  If there was anything I was sure of, I was sure I wasn't willing to work full-time.  We had done that.  It was hard.  It wasn't worth it anymore.

So, I kept looking for a while.  I still felt like I needed to work, at least some of the time. Other times, I felt like "Other women would kill for the opportunity to not work and stay home with their kids."

Tony and I fasted and prayed about it.  I felt very firmly that I needed to stay home with my kids and let my career wait. I knew it was the answer because my heart was the one saying it while my head was still saying, "You worked so hard for that degree!" "You love nursing!" "If you quit now and go back in (insert any number of years) you'll be out of date. Things are constantly changing."

However, over the last few weeks since we made that decision, I have had peace inch it's way in and now I know that that was the right decision. I am happier than I have ever been and I look forward to each and every day.  I'm anxious for the future and what it holds, but I am loving the present.  I love my sweet kids and my husband.  Tony is my partner and my friend, the best teammate I could have ever found.

The next step in our adventure came upon us quite suddenly.  A somewhat unrelated conversation stemmed from reading a book together (The Turning, go check it out!).  Three weeks ago if you would have asked me if I wanted to homeschool my kids, I would have said "No, way!"  Now, not only have we decided that we want to do that, but we've decided "Why wait!" Yesterday was our "first day of school."

Already I can see how fulfilling this adventure is going to be.  I love watching Hyrum learn.  Today we played with salt dough.  He told me he was making a sculpture.  I didn't even know he knew the word "sculpture."  Then, afterwards, he was running around the house saying "It has to be squishable and playable."  Again, I hadn't even used those words.  Later, we started a curiosity driven science experiment.  His question "Does JUICE come out of your TOES?"  We're going to make observations over the next week and keep a log of whether juice comes out of anyone's toes.  It should be enlightening.

I'll blog later about our homeschooling philosophy, ideas, resources, and adventures.

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