by Dianne Guevara
My normal wake-up-time is whenever the first kid wakes up… usually around 6:45. When my husband left to work at 5am I was still utterly exhausted from getting up to nurse our baby throughout the night. Yet, I knew that getting up at that time would give me some time to enjoy the peace and quiet before our busy day gets started.
So here I am. Ready to write a blog post and I’m at a loss of words.
C’mon brain! You only have 30 minutes left before the footsteps of tiny feet come announcing the start of another day.
Ok here I go…
I never thought I’d be a stay-at-home-mom.
I always envisioned that I’d have children (and lots of them) but never thought much past that. I went to college, got a Bachelor’s degree, and figured I would start a career before I started having babies. God had a different plan in mind. Elizabeth was born 10 months after we got married. John-Paul came 1 year 1 month after Elizabeth. Anna Marie came 2 years 5 months after John-Paul.
Something I have struggled with (on and off) – since staying at home – is the question that every stay-at-home mom asks at some point which is
What could I have accomplished if I hadn’t chosen to be a stay-at-home mom?
My husband is incredibly ambitious. At 27 years old he has a Bachelor’s, and Master’s, degree. He served in the Air Force National Guard and is currently an active duty commissioned officer in the US Coast Guard. He founded the ministry we run (Thirsting for Truth) and is a talented writer and speaker. He knows just about everything there is to know about technology, he’s a self-taught theologian, and he plays the guitar. Oh, and he can dance! I know – is there anything he can’t do?! I’m super proud of him. His wild dreams and ambitions have led us on some pretty awesome adventures in the 5 years we’ve been married.
And then there’s me.
I’m 28 years old (yes I am the older one!) and my resume is about 1/3 the length of my husband’s. So for the past 5 years I have often questioned my choice to stay at home. I wondered how much I could be doing if I were working. I would think about the kind of achievements I could have by now if I had put our kids in daycare. I have even wondered if it was a mistake to go to college if I couldn’t put all that knowledge into practice (in a career setting).
Don’t misunderstand me. I know how valuable it is to be the primary caretaker of our children. I’ve never regretted being at home but there have been times when I wondered where I would be if I had pursued a career in the working world.
And then it finally dawned on me.
My Children Are My Resume.
I am their leader. I am their teacher. I am their body guard. I am their cook. I am their assistant. I manage their finances. I am also their athletic trainer (I manage their exercise and injuries). I am in charge of all cleaning operations. I train them in dinner etiquette. I teach religion class, history, math, writing, reading, social studies, human relationships and peer-interaction. I am an expert in multi-tasking, planning, resolving conflict, discipline and the art of joy and happiness. I have taught two people how to speak two different languages – from scratch (they had no prior experience). I have taught three people to crawl, two people to walk and run (one is still in the crawling program).
If I were to highlight the greatest of my accomplishments it would have to be teaching them how to get along and share, when to say “I love you” or “I’m sorry”, how to pray and ask God to make them little saints, how to use the bathroom and wash their hands, how to ask questions and explore the world around them, how to be grateful for what they have, how actions have consequences, and most importantly how to love life and be happy.
So, who says a Stay-At-Home-Mom isn’t accomplished?
An insurance business? A legal firm? Of course they won’t value my resume but unless I had dreams of being a lawyer – why should that bother me? Resumes are just a list of accomplishments that we believe are of value to someone else (usually a potential employer). If I run a business and need to hire an accountant I am going to value someone who has accounting experience. A rocket scientist may have an impressive resume but it would be of little value to me. That doesn’t make rocket science any less valuable. Why do stay-at-home mom’s believe they have to build a resume that would impress business owners and corporate managers? Someone willing to offer you more money doesn’t make your job more value. A business, or manager, can never make you feel more wanted or valuable then your children. And to be honest, my job has the best benefits in town! I have the privilege of teaching my children the most basic of skills. I get to be the one to see them grow and learn a little more each day. If I do my job well, my children will grow up to be witnesses of God’s love.
I’ve spent far too long criticizing, and questioning, myself.
I’m done with that. It’s time to own up to the awesome job I have and recognize my invaluable service!
I am making a HUGE contribution to society in raising children who are confident, generous, compassionate and hard working. One day they may provide amazing resumes to organizations that change the world and my loving sacrifice will be hidden in between the lines.
My job can be very demanding and I may never get credit for what I do. But I don’t do my job for the payment or the reward. I do it because it is a privilege. They are my babies and I am their only mother. I love them from the depths of my heart and with every fiber of my being. No one else can do my job as well as I can.
So I’d like to clear the record and let it be known that I am an accomplished woman. I am successfully raising 3 amazing kids. They are happy, they know they are loved and they love God. If that’s not an awesome achievement I don’t know what is.
I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I’m proud of it.
P.S. Shout out to my hubby for making this possible. He is the reason I get to stay at home.