“What? You’re just doing to waste your life?” Came the flabbergasted response of my long-time friend.
“Ummm…no. I’m going to marry a pastor and be a stay-at-home wife and mom.”
“Yeah, but what about your music? You’re just going to throw your talent away like that?”
“No. I will still use it — just in a different way. I believe this is what God wants me to do, so I am going to do it.”
“Well, I still think you’re wasting your life.”
A few months passed and I was starting college. I was engaged and my fiancé was away at Marine Boot Camp. It was hard being separated, but it gave me time to re-think my future plans. Four days a week I went to college with other women who held the opinion that being a teacher in a school was a high calling. I didn’t have the nerve to tell most of them that I had no intention to teach in a school, only to learn how to better home school my future children. I then would hear the married ladies laugh about how messy their homes were, how they never cooked meals for their husbands anymore and how they couldn’t even think of having a child at this point in their life.
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Four months passed and I was walking down the aisle to say my vows to the best man I had ever known. Three months after our marriage I told my husband that I really, really, really wanted a baby. We began to pray and ask God to give us one.
After only one month of earnest prayers, I was filled with a new little life. My husband and I spent many evenings laying in bed talking about the new baby. We read all the parenting books and even talked to my tummy. We had a few false alarms before he was born, and we both didn’t handle it well. “What was taking that baby so long to get here?!”
Nine months is a long time to wait for a cute bundle of joy.
After much pain and labor, my first child was born. I remember the nurse placing him in my arms. The first thought that came to my mind was, “It’s real. This whole mommy/baby thing is really real!”
Then my next thought was, “How do I take care of a baby?”
Months passed and I learned about the title of full-time stay-at-home mom. I learned that a baby’s breath is the sweetest smell on Earth. I also learned the amazing feeling of knowing you are needed and craved. I cam to know that I was the only one that could give my tiny bundle of joy the solace he needed in times of distress. I also learned that this tiny human being could hold mountains of love in his heart for me. I learned that even though I had given my heart to my husband, there was another part of my heart that was created for a motherly love — and it was full of happiness that came from being a full-time mom.
Do you know what else I learned from being a sahm? I learned that peek-a-boo is one of the best games in the world. No one can replace those tiny giggles that erupt from a precious bundle of joy. I also learned how good a baby smells after a nice warm bath. How cuddling a baby can make the world seem so much more peaceful and sweet. How losing sleep at night is not so bad if you get to hold and nurture a tiny, soft cutie that grins at you while milk dribbles down his chin.
You know who got to teach all six of my kids to read? I did. You know who got to be there when my kids lost their first tooth, took their first step and said their first word? I did. No full-time salary that could buy me a nicer car, home or clothes could replace that.
When my kids think of learning to read, they’ll think of their mom. When they think of baking and cooking in the kitchen, they’ll think of their mom. When they think of trying new crafts and or coloring a new page, they’ll have memories of mommy and them doing all those fun things together. Those things will never fade and bring much more reward than a new home or house that can seem too quiet, lonely and empty without the presence of a sahm.
So, after 12 years of being a sahm, I would love to answer that long time friend that is now nowhere in my life. I wish that person would now ask, “So, was I right? Did you waste your life?”
My answer would be, “If money and fame is what having a successful life means, then yes. But if happiness, amazing memories, full cups of joy and the knowledge of changing a person’s life for the better means being successful then my answer is no.”
Those are just a few of the benefits of my full-time job. Plus, my job has everlasting benefits. Money, retirement programs, medical insurance and holiday pay will all fade away, but the little lives I invest my time and energy into will never fade away. Their spirits will live forever, so my treasures will indeed go on. I hold my untouchable treasures close to my heart. So the answer after 12 years is still, “No I am not wasting my life, nor have I wasted the last 12 years.”
I invested it and gained unimaginable returns that keep on giving. That, friend, is a life not wasted.