I wrote this piece about a year ago. I’ll be writing an update soon, as my circumstances have changed a bit, but my feelings toward motherhood haven’t changed. . .
Flashback to spring 2018:
I believe Motherhood is a legitimate career. To me, being a mother isn’t meant to be a part-time job, a hobby, a leisure activity, or a trophy on a shelf. It’s an all-encompassing, divinely ordained, twenty-four/seven eternal calling, and as such, it qualifies as a career, a vocation, an occupation, and a life mission.
I’ve reached that time of life that seems to require people to ask me, “What are you going to do now?”, seemingly implying that my job as a mother and homemaker is somehow finished. My children are adults, though one is currently living at home, and the other will be back, for a while at least, in about a year. To people who haven’t yet reached this phase of life, it must seem like I’ve got it made, with all the time in the world to do whatever I want.
While it’s true that my daily duties don’t require the same “taking care of the children” as they did in years past, I’m still needed as a counselor, mentor, spiritual guide, and teacher as my sons navigate the transition to self-sufficient adulthood. They have big life decisions to make, in a world that is much more complicated and challenging than ever before. For someone like me, those roles take all my mental and spiritual energy, and a great deal of my physical energy too. I’m one of those “I’m all in” kind of people. I give my heart and soul to those things that I’m called to do. Even at this stage of my career as a mother, I’m consumed by the responsibility of home and family.
I haven’t always held this belief that motherhood is a career as strongly as I do now. Though being a mother was the only ambition I had as a young girl, like most others, I believed that after my children were adults I would then go out and find my “career” path. Only recently did I realize that I don’t want a career other than that of mother and homemaker. Even when my sons are completely out of the house and married, I want to be a homemaker, and a (grand) mother to my grandchildren. The role of grandparents in the lives of children is uniquely important. I wasn’t blessed to have grandparents close by when I was young, but I most definitely want to be part of my grandchildren’s lives.
Even when my children are gone from the nest, I will never be an empty-nester. My husband and I will still be in that nest, and we will still need a home, a haven. About a year ago, I took a full-time job at a great company. I worked with great people. I loved the paychecks. But within a very short time I had strong impressions that I was not supposed to be there. After helping to hire and train my replacement, I once again returned to the career I love.
Even my husband felt the loss of not having me at home during that short time. We both came home at night and collapsed on the couch, physically and mentally exhausted. Neither of us felt like cooking dinner so we started eating out quite a bit. Laundry, cleaning house, bill paying, grocery shopping, and errand running became a monstrous burden. Our whole weekend was filled to capacity with just the basic essentials, and then we were right back at work on Monday morning. Life felt wrong. Our life was not balanced and we both knew it. So we fixed it.
I’m grateful to be able to be a full-time mother and homemaker. I realize that not everyone can or wants to choose this career, but for me and my family, this has been a great blessing.