Don’t get me wrong. I love, love my kids. They are the three most unique, gifted, beautifully intelligent children I have ever met. And I will extol their loveliness to you as long as you care to listen. But they are also tiny people, with lots of tiny needs that add up to lots of big T-I-M-E. And they are experts at draining as well as injecting the marrow that keeps my bones alive.
And I feel guilty for admitting this to you. Shouldn’t I be happy with this arrangement? There are many women without children, even those who have children but can not afford to stay home, who would surely envy this close knit life. And you’re right; I could trade my apron for an attaché, if that’s what I truly wanted.
But I do not wish to punch the clock and fill someone else’s orders. I love my freedom, love being in charge. I also value the fact that I'm the person who is there for my kids like nobody else. I believe in their need for full-time care, and would not trade my years with them for all the paychecks in the world. What I could not have known before signing on however, is the price I would pay in choosing this role. It's made me realize who I truly am: an introverted melancholy with an exuberant need for personal, physical space, as well as how much I need God to do this job well. Something this independent, self sufficient girl does not like to admit.
So, this must be my calling. No, I’m not a missionary, trading my American comforts for long, hot, work filled days. But for me, the life giving task of staying at home, caring for my three children, and constantly denying my own selfish wishes is indeed a long defeat. A burden that’s too heavy to carry, but as their Mother, impossible to leave.