Navigating the Changing Seasons of Family Life
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Dakotapastor and I celebrated 18 years of marriage last month. I’ve been a mom almost that whole time, as our oldest was born a week or so after our first anniversary.
In this time I’ve been a stay at home mom to one and then of many. I’ve been a homeschooling mom, I’ve scrimped and saved to be a private school mom, I’ve been a public school mom. I’ve been a part-time working mom. I’ve been a work at home mom.
Now I’m in full-on career mode. Juggling the home and work and work travel and daycare are totally new concepts to this 40 something.
I’m probably not doing everything right.
Others juggle way more.
But, I’m pretty proud of myself. Stepping put of my comfort zone and seeking out not just a job, but a career, was a big step for me.
And now, as I travel around visiting colleges with my nearly-grown firstborn, I know that I made the right decision for our family.
While I would not trade the time spent raising the kids for anything, I also know, all too well, how quickly the children grow.
In a blink of an eye, our children morph from completely dependent to nearly independent.
I knew that I needed an outlet to focus my talents on. I knew that I needed more than a hobby. And, let’s face it, I knew that we needed a second income stream to fund college for six.
I love working more than I ever thought I would. I’m finding that not only am I bringing home a paycheck, which is a nice feeling, but I am gaining much more. Working in the non-profit sector, I feel like I really am making a difference in people’s lives. I am growing in knowledge and experience, I am gaining confidence, and I am slowly (very slowly) beginning to look and feel like a professional.
I am so thankful for ALL of these seasons. I would not trade my stay at home mom or homeschool mom seasons for anything. I feel so blessed to have been the main caregiver for all of my infants. I’ve taught all four boys to read (and hope to do the same with the girls.)
In many ways, I do feel like I have it all. I may not have it all at the same time, but, I truly have experienced the best of all worlds.
My advice? Acknowledge that where you are happy today may not be where you are tomorrow. Realize that no season lasts forever. Be open to knowing when a change may be warranted. Don’t let your past “I’ll nevers” rule your present. Remember that change takes time.
Chime in! Are you experiencing a season change? How are you dealing with the changes?