A beautiful, handmade mug from my co-workers
“Drink from this when you are at home with your kids, worn out and wondering if you are making a difference.  You are.” 

I have yet to call it quitting. I prefer transitioning. And, as with childbirth, it is the most painful part. The how-did-I-get-here and why-is-this-happening-to-me part, the part where you realize drugs would have been a good idea and now its too late…you have to do the the exact thing you do not feel like doing.  Because you know the reward. 

This is my last week as Outreach Director for New Life Family Services.  I have hesitated (completely avoided) telling most people.  I feel embarrassed and weird and happy and weepy and who wants to deal with that? (sorry hubs.)

When I am not actively pursuing peace and contentment with this decision (IT WAS MY DECISION AFTER ALL), it’s a fat rickety carousel of doubt and condemnation up in here.  A nasty convention of gremlins convening to taunt yours truly.  They like to say things like this: 

If you knew how to manage your time better, you would be able to efficiently raise your children, run your household and fulfill the responsibilities of this role. 

All the working moms will think you are condemning them with this decision.  Your rapport with them will be lost.  Good luck with the mommy wars.  

Who are you now?  What will people think you do? Your identity is gone.

What? You feel sad about this decision? Do you know how many women would kill for the opportunity to be at home with their children full time? You must not love your kids as much as they do. 

You won’t have a team cheering you on anymore.  You won’t have positive feedback.  You won’t be told “good job” for the projects you complete.  Be ready for no one to notice you. 

By the time you want to enter the workforce again, you will be unmarketable.  Oh, and OLD (nice, right?).

Maybe your childcare provider is better than you at providing the structure, learning and interaction your kids need.  Your kids will miss it.

People are going to judge you and think you are giving up. That things got hard and you quit. Quitter.

And the worst one:  You won’t be making a difference anymore and people will suffer because of it.  It will be your fault. 

I don’t think I need to explain to you all of the flaws, lies and self-centeredness that exists in these thoughts.  I see it, I hear it, I know it.  I am actively working to shut it down, to tell myself the truth and to cling to the still, small voice that says, “it’s going to be okay.” 

And, also: get over yourself. 

It isn’t all gremlins either, my mind is also saturated with thoughts of how thrilled I am to be at home full-time with my littles, living a simple life, helping shape their little hearts and little minds and go about our little life with no strict agenda or pressures.  Thrilled that I will be able to be more fully present in this season.  Thrilled that every day will be a “mommy day” as Audrey calls them.

What a hot mess, huh? Aren’t you glad I let you in on my secret?  I am not sharing this for reassurance or approval. I am sharing this because I want to be honest and maybe just maybe I am not the only one who has these guys invade their soul space? Please know: the gremlins are not welcome here, but I’m not going to pretend they don’t exist either.  

All I have figured out is this: being a mother is simply the best, hardest, most heart-draining, heart-filling, wonderful responsibility in the whole wide world.  Being a mother means never being quite sure if you are doing the right thing, making the right decision, choosing the right path.  Being a mother is a constant fear of ruining the very souls you were given to shelter, teach, guide.  And being a mother to three of these tiny humans age 3 and under is going to be a season of bone-weary, soul-stretching, heart-bursting that I am honored to be a part of  — I cannot believe they are mine.  I cannot believe I would be blessed with the beauty, wholeness and purity these kiddos contain.  It is incredible.

Like the still, small voice reminds: it is not about me, anyway. Motherhood has a way of stripping us down to our most vulnerable and most natural selves.  I believe I was created to serve my family. And while that isn’t always glamorous, it fills me in the weirdest way. It doesn’t satisfy my skin, my desire to be noticed or appreciated or gorgeous. But it satisfies my soul in a deep, deep way and makes me feel like a whole new brand of beautiful.  This season is not going to be about me and maybe that’s the point exactly.  

I do want you to know one thing, though: I will not stop advocating. For this season,  I will no longer hold a position of influence at an organization that provides help and hope to those in our community who need it. That does not mean I will put away my passion or discard my calling to advocate for women and children who deserve better. I don’t think I can explain how much I adore this cause, this organization, this role and the wonderful women it represents. I have been forced to do so many amazing things outside of my natural ability or comfort and I am so grateful for the ways I have seen God move to show his affection for all human life. It has been incredible.  Standing and serving on behalf of those without a voice is a bubbling and fierce thing that has gripped me and will not let go.  I am grateful to be compelled to continue advocating. I wish I knew exactly what that looks like for me right now. But, trust me, the calling remains. 

Care to join me on this adventure?

PS: oh and to all the mommas, everywhere, in every season: SO much love. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s