Friday, June 6, 2014

I Just Want to be a Mom

     Belle will be sixth months old tomorrow and normally, I would do an update all about her but this subject is something I've felt strongly to write about--so here it goes.

     I write this post with great sensitivity because I know that my feelings may be only of the minority. Also, I have friends who have problems with fertility and I hope to never offend any of those who are struggling because I talk about my "problems" of motherhood when there are those who have the difficult time becoming a mother. 

     In one of my last semesters, I was discussing my future with a professor I had become sort of close to. He asked where I was planning on going to grad school. He asked what I wanted to do for my vocation. I explained my lackadaisical feelings on grad school and my slight indifference to a specific career but eventually gave him the answer he wanted. He sensed my hesitation on the topic and expressed his frustration with past students who had "wasted their time and tithing-payer money" by graduating, becoming a mom, and not using their degree. Excuse me? My feelings were deeply against his but I dared not say anything contrary to his strong beliefs. I did not believe I was wasting my time. I did not believe I was wasting tithing-payer money. I knew there were invaluable things I had learned in my four years that would help me in the future. I knew the things I learned would help me in life and in a career if I ever needed it. I knew that in no way, had my four years been a waste. I knew he was wrong. I'm not one for confrontation and I'm poor with words so I said nothing. I went home and regretted my silence.

     After graduation, during pregnancy, I was constantly asked when I would go back to work, if I was going back to school, and what I wanted to do with my degree. I would always give the same, slightly varied answer of, "Oh, I'll stay home for a while and do grad school online/grad school when we move permanently/when the baby is older". I lied to them every time. Sure the option of going back to school and getting a job in epidemiology sounded great, but that's not what I really wanted to do.

     I knew then, and have known for a long time that if the circumstances permitted it, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Now for some of you, I can understand that choice may sound lazy by not wanting to work, or selfish by not helping to provide but I knew that I wanted to spend my time at home with my children. That choice to me has never felt selfish or lazy.

     I understand that there are so many who want to spend their time with their children and also work. Now, I completely understand and respect you women--every situation and every person is different. In a women's health class I took, my teacher talked about how she was a much better mother and wife when she was working than when she just stayed at home. She then compared it to her friend who wasn't as happy when she worked part-time for some extra spending cash. No two situations are the same and I'm completely aware of that. I just know that I am more like the second woman. I also understand that there are moms who have no choice but to work, and who would rather stay at home. You are strong women who will be blessed for sacrifice, I know it. 

     I have recently come to the realization that I need to be proud of wanting to "just be a mom". I've been ashamed and even embarrassed of not wanting to further a career and stay at home instead. If this is the decision I'm making, I want to be proud of it because I know it'll make me happy. I know that I've been promised by my Heavenly Father that my greatest role in this life is in being a wife and a mother. Why should I be ashamed because I want to do just that? 

I shouldn't and I won't. 

     Even though she is only sixth month old, Belle brings so much love and joy into my life everyday. I get teary eyed at night sometimes because I want to hold her and I just miss her. She's changed my life so much and no matter what, it is for the better. I love her. We play together, nap together, go on walks together, laugh together, and do things I couldn't do if I wanted to please others and become an Epidemiologist. I'm no longer going to give an answer I believe others want to hear and I will be proud of the choice that I have made.

I just want to be a mom and I'm so happy to say it. 

2 comments:

  1. Tess, I'm so happy that you shared your feelings on being a mom. I have struggled with the same thing. I haven't had my baby girl yet, but she is due in two weeks. Often times people ask me the same questions and want to know what I will do with my degree. I have wondered personally if it was a waste, but every time I think of all the wonderful things that I have learned, and if I was ever put into the situation where I needed to work to support the family I could get a decent job.
    I like you want to be a stay-at-home mom. In today's world it can be so hard to own up to it because people give you looks and say things that can hurt or make you question being a mom. It is a full time job, and I believe that we will be blessed for following our Heavenly Father's plan for us. :-)

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  2. I don't know you but reading what you have to say makes me wish I did. And this is why: I like that you choose what works for you and your family and your daughter without regard to the accolades of the world, but primarily because you don't care about the accolades of other people over what makes you and your little family happy.

    I have a real reverence for how you addressed this, too. With credit and sensitivity for other people's choices and circumstances. It takes a Christ-like outlook on the world to think of the way that your words could help and hurt other people, and adjust accordingly.

    I'm a member that doesn't always fit the mold of what is a typical 20-something mormon girl, and I get tired of being discredited and invalidated for taking an atypical path, but I have a deep reverence for the 'real point' - and the one I want to reach - which is living in and creating a family that knows Christ, receives revelation and acts on it in order to be his hands in the world. I honor your choice, and it makes me sad that anyone would discredit you for doing the critical thing that Heavenly Father honors you doing and has reverence for your sacrifice in.

    Good job, you're a good mom. And you're a good person. It's women like you that make me believe that I can reach the day when I get to be a mom, despite a huge amount of obstacles that have made that goal personally difficult to reach. I really value your perspective, and I appreciate that you recognize when people are being needlessly invalidating to you and that you don't turn around and do that to women in other circumstances.

    Keep on keepin' on. Thanks for sharing.

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