I filled out the applications but before I submitted them I prayed and prayed about what it would mean for our family if I accepted a full time job. I felt very strongly in my heart that I was not supposed to do it.
I cried and felt frustrated and here is why.
-I love teaching music and I feel like I am wasting my degree and my talents by not doing it.
-I get so stir crazy here at home. There is very little adult interaction and very little time for me to do anything for myself. If I were working I could continue to develop my talents.
-Both jobs were in a location where we'd really like to settle down with our family.
-Me working would add much needed income to our growing family.
But in the days when I was praying about this I was also reading through a book filled with teachings from a leader in the LDS church, a former prophet, Ezra Taft Benson. There is so much good material about the roles of mother and father but these two things were probably my favorites:
A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy. Spending time with your children is the greatest gift of all.
Do you know one reason why righteous mothers love their children so much? Because they sacrifice so much for them. We love what we sacrifice for and we sacrifice for what we love.
I do make some sacrifices. I am bored. I have very few good friends. I sacrifice countless material possessions. I have put my professional aspirations aside.
There are times when I feel like I am NOT doing a good job being a mother. But I've realized the truth of it. We do NOT need extra income at the expense of childcare. It is much more valuable for me personally to be at home with my children. We can make the sacrifice to live with a single income while the children are little until it makes more sense for me to be working. And we can get by just fine that way. We just have to continue to sacrifice excess.
It is SO HARD sometimes to be at home by myself with 3 little boys and to live on not a lot of money but I know that this is where I am supposed to be and we DO get by with what Matt makes.
I cannot imagine how working mothers do everything and I admire them so much! I know I couldn't possibly make the time to do a good job at work and be able to grocery shop, prepare meals, clean the home, and make things run smoothly. The house is never clean as it is despite my many daily attempts. :)
My days are filled with monotony. Dishes, laundry, cleaning up messes, getting drinks, fixing meals. I never get a break or a day off (and neither do working mothers, good grief!). But my days are also filled with more joy than I ever could have imagined before I became a mother. They are filled with kisses and hugs, reading stories, car races, sword fights, blowing bubbles outside, drawings just for me, new insights to the world seen through the eyes of my children, and a lot of love! My little boys count on me and I know that they feel secure and safe because of the time I spend with them.
I know that not all mothers feel that they are able to stay at home or they choose to work outside the home. But for me, through a lot of prayer and sacrifice, I know that this is best for me and my family. At least for now!
I didn't write this to praise my sacrifices or myself, I just needed to justify my decision and this kind of thing helps me. :) I also hope that maybe someone else who reads it can find answers to their prayers about similar situations and decisions!
And just for fun, here are the boys with their Easter baskets. :)