A couple of months ago, I got a job.
You might remember the post where I mentioned that I would be working short term as a long term sub at one of the schools in the area. I was excited about it and looked forward to being able to finally contribute something to our family. I was a little anxious about how it might be a challenge to our routine and schedules here at home, but I reasoned that it would be worth the adjustment. And if it worked out like I just knew it would? I would be able to work full-time from here on out, outside of the home.
It finally dawned on me a few weeks ago that because of this new job I would miss Emma’s first day of kindergarten. I had to be at my own school fifteen minutes before she could arrive at hers, which meant that Wes would be the one taking her. Then it dawned on me that not only MY running schedule but Wes’s running schedule would be thrown out the window because it would completely change our mornings. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, throw in all the kinks this would create in Wes’s schedule, the way that I would always be late to pick up the girls from school in the afternoons, how we would lose one whole day of our weekend (our weekend starts on Friday, remember), and my restricted availability to now adjust to a pastor’s schedule and the schedule of two children who will invariably get sick at school, have extracurricular activities, and actually still DO need a mother, even though they’re not babies anymore.
Hmm. Maybe this wasn’t such a well thought-out plan.
After more than a few tears over the thought of not seeing my wee ones off to their first day of school, Wes and I talked about this whole thing honestly. He told me I didn’t need to work, that I have never needed to work, and that, at the risk of being a chauvinist (his words, not mine), he never wants me to work. I told him that I honestly don’t want to work… but that it’s different here, where almost every woman I know works. And those who are homemakers/stay-at-home moms? Do part-time work on the side to earn some income. I think I am literally the only woman I know who generates no income at all of any kind! Surely that means I’m lazy and that I’m wasting my life, right? Surely that means I NEED to do something else, right?
Wes couldn’t wrap his mind around how I could conclude this. How, knowing what I know about the high view Scripture holds on motherhood and homemaking, I could believe this. But I sure can. I can believe it because everything I hear/read/see tells me that I’m not anyone until I’m someone independent of this house and this family. And I know I’ve “learned” this lesson before, learned that it’s okay to be JUST a wife and a mother… but I didn’t learn it all that well, because here I was, already back at work before I could even get my five year old off and adjusted to school. Seriously, y’all, by elevating women to the status of being just as capable and able as men in the workplace, our culture has completely devalued being a homemaker. I have absolutely no problem with women working outside the home, and I think it’s wonderful when women are able to succeed professionally. However, in believing that, I’ve also believed the lie that by choosing to stay at home, I’m doing something wrong. This lesson, that being at home is okay? Is one that I clearly haven’t learned yet.
So, I’m learning it. And I’m thankful for a godly husband who tells me, even though it sure isn’t politically correct, that it’s okay to be JUST a wife and a mother. I’m thankful that he wants to provide and that he sees what I do here at home as worth far more than extra money. And I’m thankful that he let me rush into this job thing without telling me what he already knew — that I would regret it. (“Why didn’t you tell me not to do this?!,” I told him. “You would have been angry with me if I had,” he said. “Well, being angry with you for being the leader would have been MY sin, not yours! Let God deal with me for resenting you!” Though I suspect I would have only resented him for a short while, if at all. Perhaps I give myself too much credit — ha!)
We resolved that, being people of our word, we would embrace this job and the challenges that came with it. I would go to work like I had said I would, and we would see what it looked like for our family, just like we had said we would. Still, though… sweet Emmy was going to have her hair fixed by Papi on her first day of kindergarten! (Which meant that it WASN’T going to be fixed. Probably not even brushed, y’all!) Oh, well. There was nothing I could do about it.
I was told to call the school last week to let them know my paperwork was done and that I was ready to get started when they needed me. I picked up the phone as soon as the offices were open on Monday, ready to do what I said I would.
And I was told, to the great surprise of the secretary looking over the papers, that someone else had already been given the job.
I have no idea how it happened, and neither did the school. I think it might have been something of an embarrassment to them, that they had prepped me to take a job that someone else had already taken, but it was all good to me. I told Wes later that despite me, despite my rashness, and despite my skewed view of what I should be doing, God intervened and granted me, all over again, the gift of doing what I want to do.
So, I’m staying at home.
And that, friends, really is okay.