There are those who are burdened with the expectations put on them by all the different forces around them. At times I feel that way. Most of the time, though, I can look at what the world wants of me, and what I want, and make a good decision. I am thankful today for the decision my family has made for me to stay home with my boys. I am also thankful for the education I have that helps me provide for my family in the small ways I manage. You see, there are parts of the world which tell me that as an educated, talented woman, I am throwing away all the hard work I've put in by being a stay at home mom. I had a man in an airplane once ask me how I could stay home with my children when I could be such a good influence to all those children in the schools? At that time I was working, probably being a wonderful influence on all those children, but I knew that when I had children I would want to be home with them. I answered, "Because if I screw up my own kids, it won't matter how many others I save." Now that I know what it means to be a mother, and what it meant to be a junior high English teacher I know that the greatest influence I can be is right where I am, with my children.
On the other hand, there are those who think that if I had always planned on being a stay at home mother, I may as well have not wasted the money and time getting the education I did and building the career that I had. Perhaps they felt that my time would have been better spent preparing myself for motherhood. While I'm sure I could have spent a little more time learning to cook (I'm a dismal failure in the kitchen) I will never regret the education I received and the time I spent as a teacher. For one, I was able to support Jared and I for all the time that he was in University doing his undergrad. Also, I was able to acquire very valuable skills that today I use every day. On Tuesdays I have the opportunity to teach a group of homeschooled teenagers Language Arts; it is fun for me and brings in a little extra money that helps our family as Jared is getting started in his career. More importantly, however, I am able to use my skills to teach my children in my home, to help my sisters in their school work, and to further my learning on so many things. I may not write many essays any more (although I absolutely ADORE writing essays, it's true) but I know how to read and glean information, which I do daily to support and improve my family.
I am grateful that Jared and I have made the decision, as hard has it has been financially, for me to stay home with my kids. I am so lucky to watch my boys grow and learn every day, and I wouldn't miss it for the world!