It takes time. This speaks loudly of my life right now. It has been a {long} while since I have felt like I was headed in the right direction in life to fulfill my soul {aside from being a mama}. It has also been a while since I have worked on my cookbook, written recipes and posted here on my blog. The last year has been filled with big revelations and changes here in our house.

 

I have not felt like myself not writing recipes and sharing them with you for the last year, but a lot has been filling my mind and my days since then. Last year this time I was working a job that was by far the best job I have ever had. I was a Literary Tutor at a local elementary school. I loved being in a school setting, I adored my co-workers and most of all, I fed off the satisfaction that I was working with kiddos, helping them become stronger readers. Unfortunately, although it was a 25-hour workweek, it was considered a volunteer position. I was only paid a small {and I mean SMALL} living stipend. Around this time my husband and I had been talking {A LOT} about what my next step was going to be because we could not afford for me to do this job any longer. It was heart breaking for me, I shed lots of tears, but it forced me into a soul-searching mission that was unexpected.

 

Let me take you back to about seven years ago. I was a stay-at-home mom and loving every minute of it {well, let’s be real…ALMOST every minute of it}. It was all I had ever wanted to be, a mama. We made a lot of adjustments for us to be able to afford for me to stay home, we did it and it worked. One Saturday, I had taken my children to a friend’s birthday party where I did not know anyone else there. All of the other moms were working moms. I, for the first time in my life, suddenly felt the most insecure I have ever felt. I had this panic feeling of “Holy crap! I am not enough!” What I found once I was out of that situation and able to figure out what that was that I had been feeling, was that I needed something more. I needed a purpose in life in addition to being a mom.

 

In conversation with one of my best girlfriends after that incident we had an epiphany together. We had each other and other wonderful girlfriends that we got together with to play, we went to music class and ECFE together, plus we had plenty of ladies nights out. But {a big fat BUT}, staying at home was also lonely and isolating. Would I change it, NEVER! I was choosing to do it. I wanted to be there. The reality is though, that a lot of times being a stay-at-home parent is incredibly lonely. When they are fresh babes, you have to do everything around naps and feedings. As they grow a bit you have only the mornings to do something, then rush home so that they get a good afternoon nap in so that you do not have to pay for it all night. You may go days without talking to anyone’s face except your children and spouse. When they are sick, you are stuck inside your dungeon with no hopes of getting out. Your whole life becomes about boogers and poop and sippy cups and nap times and a messy ass house and Elmo and cheesy, gaggy kids music and making healthy food {that they never eat after 2 years old!} and potty training {I sucked at potty training!} and Goldfish stuck to every inch of the interior of your car and doubting your decisions and questioning if you are good enough. Gah! You loose part of who you were before you were blessed with children.

 

My ultimate dream has always been to write and publish a cookbook. It is so important to me but somehow it is the one thing in my life that I make the least amount of time for. I am also of the reality that if it does happen, it is not a full-time gig and not quite everything to fulfill me. There was something more. What was it? So, in my soul-searching last spring, I heard this voice say, “Go back to school to finish your teaching degree.” I shuttered and shook it off. I never had any desire to go back to school to finish what I started all too long ago. Then, a few days later, that voice would creep back in. Shutter! Shake! This happened many times over about a month before I said to my husband, “I know this is going to shock you, but I think I am supposed to go back to school. I am supposed to be a teacher.” He instantly said, “Okay, let’s do it! A classroom is where you belong. It is so who you are.” Just typing it now brings me to tears. It was such a freeing, life altering moment. I felt relief that I finally had my answer that I searched for all those years. I felt nervous about going back to college at my old age. I instantly panicked that my boys were not ready for me to be gone that much and that I would not fully be the mom that they had always had. {Again with the tears!} I knew that our house would go haywire with me consumed with this. I’ll keep it real, I am not the greatest housekeeper {as I sit here looking at dirty dishes and a broken kitchen drawer} but I did not want things to get worse.

 

So here I am in the midst of it! Taking classes. Working towards my dream of being a teacher. It has been hard. Like I said, my house is a mess. I do not have time to write recipes, post on my blog or work on my cookbook. My kids have had to become a bit more independent and are doing really well with it. My husband has been my biggest cheerleader – especially on test days. {And more tears!} There are times when I am in the depths of school and life that I think, “What am I doing? What the hell was I thinking?” But it is easily and quickly shook off with knowing what I am working towards and it fills my soul.

 

If you are one of those parents feeling the way I felt seven years ago, lost, overwhelmed, in need of something more, I promise you your time will come. It will come when you least expect it. Or in an answer you never thought it would be. Hang in there. Stay-at-home parenthood is hard. It is lonely. It is unglamorous. Most of all, it is worth it. And the day they start kindergarten, in your eyes will be tears, part of your heart will be gone, but you will also revel in the freedom! Hallelujah! Enjoy it! Take some time for yourself. Do some soul searching. Maybe you want to get right into something more. Maybe you want a few more years. Do what is right for you. Know that you are amazing. Know that you are good enough doing what you do. Not just anyone can raise a stubborn, squirrely child that poops their pants to be a sweet, yet still stubborn child that can finally use the bathroom on their own and go out to take on the world. It just takes time.

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