Monday, April 15, 2013

What kind of mommy am I?

So this week's post is more self-reflective than it is a pregnancy update, but I have a lot on my mind this week.  In pregnancy world, we are starting to furnish and decorate the nursery (more pictures to come later) and Henry and I are continuing to grow (more pictures to come later.)

So I'm writing this in the hopes that my honesty will not be too controversial, but with the knowledge that I may make some frenemies here.  With my due date coming closer and closer, I have had to devote more time to thinking about things like: maternity leave, work, nannies, daycare, and how much time I want to spend at home with little Henry.  Prior to pregnancy, JP and I had a divide-and-conquer approach.  He did the standard "man-jobs" like taking out the trash, cleaning the toilets, general handy-man tasks, and I did pretty much the rest of the house.  I cooked, he did the dishes.  We have a very high-functioning PARTNERSHIP.  But since I've been pregnant, the prospect of being completely responsible for another tiny, innocent human being has made me question this approach.  The more I think about these things, the more my heart gets weighed down with overwhelming feelings of GUILT.

Let me be clear: I love my job, and find my job to be incredibly fulfilling.  From talking with others (both male and female) I know how rare it is to get paid to do something you love; but I do, I absolutely love my job.  I think working as a professional has given me self confidence and fulfillment in a way that no other person can.

Which brings me to the decision every new mom has to make: be a stay-at-home-mom, or (gasp!) a working mom.  So many people have so many opinions on this, and I am just trying to tease out where I sit in the spectrum of mommies.  I know the conclusion I'm "supposed" to come to: that staying at home with my child all the time will be the most fulfilling job I could ever have, and this is the best case scenario for our family.  But here's the thing: I'm not sure it is BEST for our family.  I am constantly reading and being told that God's desire for a woman is to be a wife and mother.  But let's journey to a parallel universe where I am the same person, but sans husband and child.  If I were single, with my same gifts and talents, would it still be "selfish" to pursue a career and work full time?  Let's jump to yet another universe and propose that perhaps God had called me to be a full time missionary and live overseas?  What would my life as a wife and mother look like then?

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is this: God created us as individuals, and I have a hard time believing that God calls ALL women to stay at home.  After all, God created my gifts and talents, and planted these passions in my heart.  I am absolutely certain that he called me to work in medicine.  I am NOT absolutely certain that he wants me to abandon that to stay at home and raise my child and care for my husband.

Now before you start imaging my husband going to work in dirty un-ironed clothes, and my child completely neglected and troubled, let me also make the point that I do love the two boys in my life and find a different kind of fulfillment in serving them.  But I'm going to say the one thing that you're not supposed to say: I don't think it would be enough.  I think I can best serve my family with some kind of happy medium between staying at home with Henry, and also working as a PA.

I have recently been reading a book called "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master"" by Rachel Held Evans.  I heart this book.

I seriously recommend it to anyone who ponders what it means to be a "biblical woman," but questions the cookie-cutter, Sunday-school answers we who were raised in the church have been taught.  In a completely non-heretical, genuine manner, the author attempts to practice what the Bible LITERALLY says about being a woman, wife and mother.  I'm not finished with the book yet, but it has opened my mind and made me search deeper in the Word to find out what is God saying to me, individually?  What does the Bible truly say about women, collectively?  Which commandments are statements that apply today, and which were suggestions that applied to a specific group of people, at a specific time?  All of this searching has helped me embrace my gender for its strengths, instead of resenting it for its "curses."

So here are my life conclusions I've come to thus far:
1.  I love my husband.
2.  I love Henry.
3.  I love my job.
4.  I don't think I have to choose.
5.  No decision is set in stone.

That's it for now.  I promise at some point I will return to light-hearted, non-controversial, non-depressing, baby-fever mode :)

No comments :

Post a Comment