Ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? I’ve never really contemplated this saying until last weekend.
I’ve been back at work since I was 12 weeks postpartum. Little Man is now 6 months old – he is growing so fast!!! How I wish my pregnancy went this quickly… But, even though I’m working part-time (40ish hours per 2-week pay period), I feel like I’m not providing the best for my son.
Ever since I had considered my future, I envisioned myself as a stay at home mom with lots of little children (lots of boys with a girl or two). Homeschooling my children, living in the country with enough land to have “experiments” (farm animals, a big garden, dogs, etc) – living the “good life” with hubby and kids. This is probably because this is how I remember my own childhood and what my own mom did. Almost all my friends that have babies and/or young children are stay at home moms. And then there’s me, struggling with the balance of providing my family with nutritious menus every week, keeping up with the laundry/diaper laundry, making sure the house is at least decently clean, spending time with Hubby and Little Man, doing school, and occasionally running (that has taken a bit of a hit recently). When I have a day off of my working stretch (sometimes 5 days in a row before having my week off), I don’t get a whole lot done because I just want to chillax and snuggle with my family.
I’m not asking for pity or sympathy. My husband and I have decided that it is best for our family for me to work and gain experience as a nurse so that I can become comfortable with my job (will that day ever come???), so if/when he goes off to PA school, I will have enough experience to be marketable (if we all move to the mountains). Also, my extra income is going towards paying off debt in the form of student loans as quickly as possible. Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? Look him up. 🙂
All that being said, I’ve come to realize that my “ideal” life is not realistic, at least for now. When I work, I know Little Man spends a few hours in the good hands of a friend of mine as well as either of my families – Colemans and Winyards. He is too small to remember these times, but his little life is being shaped even now by me, Hubby, and everyone he interacts with. I am recognizing – and accepting – that my ideal lifestyle puts me and my family on an island, and that isn’t healthy for anyone involved. Even when I think back on my own childhood, there were so many people that were so influential in my life – people I have come to adopt into my already-large-and-still-growing family.
It’s a good thing I’ve come to accept the fact that I am not the only role model in Cole’s life, because this week has been a little different…
Hubby is going away this week for 5 days – Monday thru Friday. This will be the longest we have ever been apart since getting married 4 years ago. This has given me some anxiety because I am still working that week, which means Cole has had to spend a night away from me. Not to worry – we both survived!! He had a blast with his friends, and I managed to get my normal amount of sleep.
I still have this dream of being a stay-at-home mom. I occasionally envy all you stay at home moms, getting to spend every day with your little ones. While I know my time will come, that time is not right now. In the meantime, I am grateful for a husband who has a job that amply supports our family, and for a job that allows me to work part time. I give a huge shout-out to my friends and family who go out of their way to help me take care of my son. And most importantly, I am grateful for every moment I get to spend with my precious Little Man and his father!
It does not necessarily take only one or two individuals to raise a child; I am discovering that it truly does take a village. May our “village” in the body of Christ continue to work together – family with family – to raise up godly children of the Lord!