Of Jobs and Motherhood: Three (Guest Post) Gems

From Cula

All my life all I ever wanted was to be married, have babies and stay at home with them. I did go to school for two years and I received my associates degree in early childhood education just in case my future husband lost his job and I needed to work. 

The truth is that I love this stay-at-home mom gig more than I ever thought possible. Admittedly there are days when I want to throw in the towel but those thoughts are immediately dashed when my children wrap their arms around me and tell me they love me or when we're in the school room and what we're learning finally sinks in and the look on their faces makes it all worth it. 

I detest play dates at parks with other kids. Instead, we spend our afternoons at Balboa Park exploring the museums, doing service projects, seeing plays, or cuddling up on the couch watching an old black and white movie or musicals and learning everything we can. These are things I hold the most dear. Some may wonder how I stay sane being with my kids all day long. My answer to them is that I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who helps me and lets me have nights and the occasional weekend to be with my friends and just be Cula and not Mommy.

From Elise

I grew up always wanting to be a mom.

And then I had kids. And let me just say bluntly that motherhood does not produce immediate rewards like a job does. There's no paycheck. There's no boss praising your exemplary work. There are no coworkers with whom you can maintain sanity during a long work day. In fact, sometimes, in spite of all your creativity and patience and long-suffering and non-yellingness, your only reward from your offspring is a lengthy tantrum. I really hate those. They happen every day around here.

Anyway. I have worked on and off. I have worked from home and I have worked in an office while the kids stayed at home with my mom. I have always felt a strong pull to return to work.

It hasn't been until I had Rose that the desire to work has disappeared. Somehow, until now, I think I've been afraid of throwing all my chips into motherhood because I feel like I'm failing every day. It's easy to interpret every tantrum, tear, disappointment, lie, defiant act, etc. as a failure on my part to teach or entertain or discipline. And I don't want to fail. I want to succeed. At something. And work is so easy to succeed at.

But somehow, after four kids, my brain snapped and reminded me that I love these little people. And I want to be around them and enjoy their personalities. I don't know why it took me so long to come to that realization. Maybe I've only come to it now because, with four children, working is not really a viable option.

From Dani

I've actually spent a lot of time lately thinking about this-- how did I decide I wanted to be a SAHM? Here I am, four years in and very happy, but how did I get here? Part of it was instinctual, I think, because of our Mormon culture and how I was raised. My parents always pushed the importance of a woman having an education. My mom had her degree (a big deal in her family) and my dad taught me how I could always be successful in life and be a strong woman if I was educated and had options. Through all this, my mom loved staying home with us. She worked part-time on and off to help out a little financially, but made it known to us from a young age that she loved being home and being with us all day. I think that was the clencher for me.

When I started my teaching career, I was loving it. Then within a few months of starting my job, I felt this pull. A desire to start teaching my own kids, very unexpected for me. (I was so young!) Once I felt that pull from deep inside me, I knew I was going to put my teaching career and grad school plans on hold and become a mama. 

For me, the decision to stay home was probably intrinsic, in part. The other part is that I know life is long and putting a few things on hold now doesn't mean they're there forever. I want to treasure this step in life and when it's time to move on, my dreams of teaching and grad school will be there for me still (or new dreams!). Right now my choice to stay home is hard on some days (read: strong willed daughter in the terrible twos), but mostly joyful. I hope every mom finds her joyful place, whichever mix of the cocktail it may be.


belann said…
I thoroughly enjoyed all three posts. My best to all of you.
Amara said…
These were so nice and so honest! Thank you for sharing.

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