When YumYum was born she was so sick. The poor girl cried 24/7. It broke my heart into more pieces than one could imagine. Her cries, coupled with my debilitating post-partum depression, a lack of sleep, breast feeding problems, and recovering from an emergency, painful cesarean delivery – I was in no shape to be a Mom. But I was. I was the best Mom I knew how. And I was a great New Mom. I got help for my post-partum, getting counseling and enrolling in an intensive 6-week class at Kaiser. I gave my concerns about not being able to breastfeed to God, and he heard me. Scooby Doo constantly comforted and supported me. Family stepped in and made us meals, and we graciously accepted. I wasn’t comfortable with being the one being comforted. But that’s what I was, that’s what we were.
No wonder I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home Mom anymore.
I wanted to be praised for my professionalism and eye for detail, not spit up on with sticky, foul, regurgitated milk. It’s so hard to write this now, because I truly loved no one else in this world like her, but loving her hurt so bad.
Now I want nothing more that diapers and spit-up, giggles and laughs, dirty diapers and diaper genies, over-tired baby girl and laundry… at this exact moment there’s nothing more that I want except to be a Mom. The beginning was incredibly challenging. Scratch that. It was hard. It was downright, dirty, messy, uncoordinated, unorganized, chaos. But now I have all these emotions running pumping through my body screaming that’s what you’re made for!!!
I love working and having a job. Earning income for the family and contributing to society. Utilizing my intelligence and my education in a productive, influential way. But I love being a Mom. I love playing peek-a-boo and chasing after her as she speed-crawls away. How can you say “no” to that? I love her big toothy grin, her good morning stretches, the way she perfectly cuddles me and I her….
So I come to prayer, because now, I have a job at a school, working less than 2 miles from home, and loving the people. YumYum and I both get insurance through my work ($1000+ if we get added to Scooby Doo’s), and my income pays for rent and childcare, and the rest goes to savings. I’m pregnant with our second, and there’s nothing more that I want except to be with my kids. I want to be a sleep-deprived, kid-connected, where’s my sunglasses- oh they’re on my head, loosing-my-mind kind of Mom. There’s nothing more important to me. But how much more would YumYum sacrifice? How much more would Scooby Doo & I sacrifice? Would he be work a night job, and never be home? No- I wouldn’t be okay with him not being a part of our children’s lives. Would I work from home? No, I don’t want to have my attention divided. Being a Mom is working at home. Could I work part-time? Yes, but normally you don’t get benefits, and the money barley covers gas and a quarter the bills. We could cut all electronics, and live in an apartment for the rest of our lives. We could raise our family in our 1000 sq. ft. home, 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with our 2 kids and dog. But that’s not the kind of lifestyle I want for my kids. I want them to be able to have sleepovers, and have room to run around! I want them to have a backyard to play at, and a home to be proud of. I want to be able to go on family trips, or go on a cruise someday with Scooby Doo. I want to go camping, to Disneyland, to visit family in the Bay, to fly to see my girlfriend in Colorado; if I didn’t work, that would be the sacrifice.
I know how great it would be to be there for our kids, as a stay-at-home Mom. But it’s not like YumYum and Baby #2 will be messed up. My Mom had to work, to provide for us, and she did an amazing job- in her career, and as a mother. And I so appreciate those tough decisions that she had to make, to ensure that we had a great, fun, life. There are so many benefits for your kids for being a stay-at-home Mom, but again… what’s the tradeoff for your kids, your marriage? I think I know the answer to these questions, but the finances don’t compute.
One thing Christ has showed me in this whole losing-your-mind rollercoaster of being a Mom, is that nothing, absolutely nothing, is black and white – except for your love for your kids. And God doesn’t do ultimatums. J It’s not choice A or choice B – it’s God here’s our lives and here’s our hearts. It’s communion and ketchup for dinner, Lord you know I can’t cook and we don’t have groceries. It’s Walter if you eat one more onesie! It’s Scooby Doo can you help me with this diaper? It’s oh. My. Gosh. It’s Look Look! You blink, and something changes. It may be black or white, but it never stays that way long enough to see it.
God you know my heart. You know our lives. Please “do your God thing”. We love you, Amen.