I am blessed to be surrounded by amazing women.
Not your ordinary, nice-to-be-around, glad-she-is-my-neighbor type of women, but truly extraordinary women who teach me things all of the time. And at this point in my life, many of these lessons are learned by reading through their blogs. Oh, how grateful I am for the blog.
I love reading about my former roommates from Eden. They are doing such fun things with their lives, whether it be studying interesting topics, going to far-away romantic places, contributing to the world by serving humanity, and raising their families. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with their accomplishments.
I also love their honesty. Sam wrote a wonderful entry in her blog about the trials of motherhood, and sometimes how you just need to eat peaches and milk. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who finds motherhood challenging sometimes.
We got back from camp two weeks ago. It has been an adjustment for me. Prior to going, I had been at home, not "working," for almost three years (pretty much the sum of Jacob's life). We decided to go to camp because: a) it is fun to be surrounded by children in that environment, b) it was extremely financially advantageous for us to go and c) I despise Texas heat. I was excited to go to camp, and worried about the toll it would take on my family. I was also worried that I wouldn't be considered a "good mother" for possibly wanting to work this summer. It requires long hours away from Jacob, with him being taken care of by nannies and Nick for most of the summer, and me popping in for the fun moments.
I had a great time at camp. Every week, I was faced with my weaknesses as a mother, wife and head counselor. I also faced my strengths, and I had the wonderful opportunity to help some really great 10 & 11 year girls have a terrific summer.
And, I cried. A lot. Probably 3-4 times a week. Now, I am a crier, so this is not indicative of anything tragic, just more my way of releasing stress after a hard day, or a hard moment.
Now I am back to being a full-time stay-at-home mom. And I am enjoying it more than I did last April. Now, that could be because Jacob is older, or it could be because I have grown. I don't know. I am just so very lucky to have had the opportunity, to work at a place I love and share it with my family.
And yet, even now, there is a part of me that is embarrassed that I wanted to work, that I really enjoyed working. I think just as I would never want a mother to feel inadequate for choosing to stay at home, I also don't want a mother to feel bad for choosing to work outside of the home. And sometimes I feel like I should feel bad for working outside the home, even though that is not how I really feel.
Sarah Olson forwarded me a link to an essay that really helped:
I, like Sarah when she was relating to me the contents of this essay, really like the therapist's questions. I think that God is merciful, and that I am thankful for that mercy and grace that helps me find ways to be a better mom, even if those ways include me working a few months while my husband is the "stay-at-home/camp" dad. Nick and I are lucky that we have our lives set up so that for nine months out of the year he can work and go to school while I stay at home with Jacob. And for the other three months, I get to work while Nick has the privilege of staying at camp with Jacob. This doesn't make me less of a mother. If anything, it shows God's tender mercies in helping me continue on in my quest for motherhood.
If you google me, you come up with a link to my camp's newsletter. And I am ok with that.