Last week I was shocked to receive an incredible job offer. This arrived in my in-box completely out of the blue. I’m not looking for work—I love my roles as jeweler, trainer, teacher, and stay-at-home-mom.
The friend sending the offer my way prefaced it by saying, “Your sister and I think you’re probably not interested, but…” Simply brilliant, for those of you in sales. Because he offered me an immediate out, I began to mull the offer over.
To discuss it with My Guy.
With my best friend and sisters.
With my dad.
And to mull some more.
Yet every time I thought of taking the job, I wanted to cry. You see, this job would require me to be in DC at a government agency five days a week. After my commute, that would put me leaving home before my babies woke up and returning after they were in bed. Even if we opted for My Guy to quit his job so I could pursue mine, I would only get to see my kiddos on Saturdays and Sundays.
The offer tempted me.
A quick call to my dad helped clarify the decision most.
He asked me, “What do you want?”
Thankfully, I know exactly what I want, and My Guy wants the same things. We want to raise happy, healthy (emotionally, physically, spiritually, and relationally) children. And I can’t do that in two days a week.
Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of posts reacting to the president’s sideways slam against stay-at-home moms, and I’ve felt my own simmering anger. Now, this is not because I think the only right thing to do is be a stay-at-home mom. Everyone has a different life to live, and not every woman is lucky enough to have that option. My personal reaction is based in the fact that that decision is an American right, and we should not be belittled for that choice.
With a twinge of sadness and a great sense of flattery, I turned down the job offer. Why? Because I choose to put time with my kids over a bigger paycheck, a bigger house, better cars, and prestige. Because I choose to spend my days with an energetic two-year-old who wears me down to the point of a migraine, all because I believe God put me in his life as one of his most vital teachers. Because I choose to take my kid on field trips and do silly crafts with him rather than go on exotic vacations or do extreme decorating, knowing that he will remember these moments more than the color of our living room or a world tour. We can afford to live with less, and so we do.
This reminds me of something a therapist friend of mine told me back around my 30th birthday.
Every change in life—good or bad—signifies some sense of loss, as well. Mourning that loss is okay and healthy.
My children have changed my life, placing limitations on my freedoms, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m choosing to embrace the loss and limitations and to focus on the joy.