Don't misunderstand me. I am SO thankful to be able to focus my energy on my family and not have to divide my attention between a profession, or even "just" a job, and the boys I love best. I know being a "stay at home mom" is a coveted position and I do my best to not take it for granted. However, there are a few aspects of having a real (as in paid, with set hours and a specific location in which to do your work) job that I am coveting this morning:
1. COWORKERS: Mal, Christy, Marli... I miss you! When I worked, there was always someone to talk to, to bounce ideas off of, to laugh with... now to have those relational moments I have to be very intentional. The fact is, most of the United States is busy. To schedule time with people involves two or three phone calls/text messages/e-mails and the examination of several calendars. So much simpler to just walk down a cubical or two and say high or share some tea with a comrade.
2. HAVING A BOSS: A boss tells you what to do. If he's a good boss, expectations are clear and you know what you are responsible for. Motherhood is pretty much a guessing game for me. There is lots of advice out there, but nobody is laying out the plan... that's my job now. Man! It takes so much mental energy. There are days when I just wish that someone would tell me what to do and save me the effort!
3. PROJECTS WITH A DEFINED END: I miss the satisfaction of knowing that I have accomplished something. There is instant gratification in saying, "Yes! That task is done! For good! And done well!" There is no end, finish, time off or checked box for being a wife and mom.
4. FEEDBACK: Jack really isn't at the stage yet where he can say, "Wow. You're a great mom. You are really instilling strong values in me and teaching me how to one day be a happy, successful adult. Thanks mom!" At work, if you do a job well, you usually hear at least a "thank you." But at this point in my life I have to keep doing my best with little feedback or affirmation.
Friends, this whole motherhood gig is hard work. With the strength that God provides, I will face the challenge, but I have to accept the fact that life is full of choices. To follow one dream you often give up another. Luckily I am pursuing this dream with a dear husband and delightful family and friends. There may not be the instant praise that I crave or the simplicity of executing someone else's plan, but there is the sweet satisfaction of know that I am where I need to be for this moment and that there is grace for each day.