Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big Dreams

Big changes tend to make you look back and take stock of your life. I've been thinking about my dreams, goals, and ambitions lately and I am absolutely amazed at how much they have changed since I graduated high school eight years ago. When we took this picture, our dreams were actually relatively simple now that I think about it. We dreamed of being free of our oppressing parents, being able to pay our own bills and be self sufficient, and thought endlessly about the future and how great it would be.
Two years later we were still dreaming, now about wedding plans and me about a career in teaching that I was going to be ready to start in two more short years.
Then we were dreaming about a house and a little unexpected but much anticipated baby girl that would change our lives forever.
As each of our dreams came true another dream crept in to replace it, always pushing us forward in our life journey. I never imagined that I would ever dream of becoming a housewife. The idea of staying home all day to cook and do dishes and fold laundry and vacuum was repulsive to me. Well, repulsive is a strong word, it's really only the cooking that I detest, but that is enough! I could not think of any reason that I would trade a career that I loved to stay at home.

Then I met my little Bug, took her home, and realized that I could spend the whole day just staring at her and be completely fulfilled. I then understood why stay at home moms gave up their careers, a life outside of the home, and slaved away in the kitchen just to be with their kids. I had a taste of being a mom, and it turned out to be all that I wanted, and all that I couldn't have.
I had to keep teaching and bringing home my half of our income so that I could continue to do my part to keep the dream of owning our own home and paying our own bills alive. I had to try and learn how to balance the demands of being a teacher with the demands of motherhood. The days of early mornings and late afternoons, taking my extra work home with me, and being really great at my job were over. As were the golden days of summer when I could watch my girl learn and grow by the hour and didn't miss one special moment, newfound skill, or little smile. It took me a while to put a finger on why I wasn't happy, why I started to resent my career path, and what it would take to make things work.I had to embrace the words "Good Enough." A perfectionist to the core, I have never been happy with anything that was not my very best. I am not satisfied unless I know that I have put my best effort into the task I am working on. Balancing teaching and motherhood meant that I had to be satisfied with being good enough to get by. I started making a new dream, a dream that revolved around staying home with my babies when we had our second child.

Well, since our dream of a baby boy has come true, so has my dream of becoming a stay at home mom. I decided to take a leave of absence from teaching and see how it feels to spend a year at home. I cannot begin to describe how amazing it feels to be able to focus on being a mother, I feel like I have been able to find myself again after losing who I was in the balancing act I was trying to pull off.

Of course, our financial needs have remained the same, and I need to bring in some sort of an income, which means that I will soon become a work at home mom as I start my own home daycare. I still love working with children and teaching, and a home daycare will let me continue to teach while staying home with my babies.

For now, I get to spend my days being fulfilled by these sweet little faces :) Isn't freedom grand?