Well – I think it's clear I have two personalities. There is the me that keeps the house running, gets the kids to school, then comes home to exercise, read my Bible, and write down my thoughts to share with others (the one with the easy-going routine). Then there is the other me. The me that works outside the home and can't handle it.
The longest length of time I've ever taken off without working since graduating from college is about three months (summertime). But, there has always been the school year in plain view just a few weeks away. When C (my oldest) was a year and a half, I made a decision to stay home permanently to be homemaker and stay-at-home mom. I still did some work on the side though. Then, I had R. I continued to do some side work (not much, but some). When R. was just over one, I couldn't do it anymore (it being stay at home every day which I really hadn't done anyway). I went back to work part-time and still managed to do some work on the side. Thus, some weeks I was really a full-time inside-outside-the-home worker (confused yet?).
This year I decided to take some time off to see what I really want to be and where God might want to place me in the future. (Ha). So – I quit my part-time job. Um – then I agreed to substitute, and still do some side work (still couldn't do just the stay-at-home-only thing).
There were about three and a half months where there was no work outside the home and no school year in plain view. It took three months for me to come to terms with the idea of not reporting to a job and to embrace it. I thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks after I got into a routine and began writing. The "nice" me took over. My home was kept –not to perfection, but kept. My kids and husband were happy, because mommy was happy and pleasant. My PMS wasn't as bad; my mood swings weren't as noticeable. I felt right with God and things were going well.
Then I started substituting -three days in a row one week. Three days this week. Guess who reared her head over the weekend? The other me – the one who works outside the home and can't handle it.
Let me stop here and get something straight lest I upset someone unintentionally. I do not think that working moms have it harder or easier; I do not think that stay-at-home moms have it harder or easier. I am not making a statement on which one works harder or is Biblical. I'm not going there – believe me! I know we all have too much to do these days which ever we choose. I'm just sharing my experience. (And, no I'm not minimalizing the seriousness of mental health disorders either.)
I guess cannot accept myself as a stay-at-home mom. I feel compelled to work outside the home. I don't know why – I think it has something to do with earning a paycheck. Somehow I link a paycheck to my worth – and believe me I know that is far from the truth. (Yes, I have seen all the email forwards describing the worth of a stay-at-home mom). I also know I am ugly when I am too busy. I am ugly when I feel too much pressure in the schedule. I was more pleasant when I did not have an employer to report to – when there was no paycheck. This is my problem. God will work to clean me up, I am certain.
I'm not sure where to go with this, other than to confess that I haven't followed my own advice this weekend – much less God's commandments. I was constantly losing my temper, acting foolish, complaining, and displaying many other selfish behaviors. There is a clear discrepancy between who I want to be and what I know I can be, and what I am when I am working outside the home. I know Paul expounds on this in Romans chapter 7.
"I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." Romans 7:19
It goes to show me that real life interferes with the ideal. It's the reason we can't do it alone; we must give each day to the Lord and ask Him to walk us through. We must constantly return to him throughout the day and receive His guidance as we walk – whether that be throughout our house or throughout an office or school.
It's also the reason I long for heaven. I feel that we will have responsibilities in heaven, but I know that we will also be in the constant presence of Jesus. I know that somehow we will be restored and rid of this transitory body and mind with all of its flaws.
"Dear friends, now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him." 1 John 3:2
Until then – I must travel this journey called life to the best of my ability – always asking forgiveness of those I hurt in the meantime – always asking forgiveness from my Father whom I have taken up the calling to represent – always seeking to place His will before my own. It's easier said than done.
And one day – probably not until I'm on the other side of life, my two personalities will sync – and I'll be the nice (Godly) me all the time.
So – if you feel compelled – say a prayer for both of me (haha) and for the family who has to deal with both of me. J
The two-sided writer