I am a mom. I was a stay-at-home mom for over 13 years. My husband David and I have been blessed with five children and another one on the way. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom my world revolved around my home, my children, my husband. I was a good, no I was a great homemaker who cooked and cleaned, educated my children and if I knew my hubby had a hard day at work, I’d even put a beer in the freezer before he came home from work. Who doesn’t love an ice cold beer?
I was a full-time mom and homemaker who took my job very seriously and who loved it.
Last year my husband got sick and for six months his symptoms only got worse. While there is no official diagnosis yet, the doctors believe he may have MS — multiple sclerosis.
At the beginning of the year his health really declined and when he was laid off we knew it was a blessing in disguise.
But with no work and no money coming in I scrambled to find clients — just odd jobs online — virtual assistant work, writing, graphic design, editing, social media management, you name it — I did it. I was determined to provide for my family and I did it!
Within two weeks I was bringing in as much as my husband had been. But I was sad. I missed my kids. Everyone was home all day but I was locked away in my office hustling all day. I took pride in my role as mom and homemaker. All of me was wrapped up in being a homeschooling mom. Hours pouring over curricula and books and creating the perfect schedule. If I was no longer just a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, who was I?
Listening to the laughter during the day, it stung. It was no longer a peaceful sound. It was a reminder that I wasn’t a part of the family 24/7. It was the realization that without me all day my kids were okay. Even the baby, just over a year old at the time, didn’t need me as much as I thought she did and it hurt.
To go from complete certainty in life to not understanding my place — I was a mess. A midlife crisis at 33, was it possible? I felt like my life no longer had meaning other than bringing home the bacon.
My hustling days are over. I have one steady client that’s allowed me to free up some time to spend with my family and to pursue my dreams and make a living doing so. I’m a writer, it’s how I process the world and closely related are speakers. Having found myself in many situations leading others, organizing events and having to speak, combined with a heart for ministry to women it was a natural direction for me to pursue a career in speaking.
But how do moms do it? How can you work 40 hours and still cook and clean and spend quality time with your husband and children? I still don’t know how but somehow we make it through every day. Somehow we have still managed to homeschool and somehow I know it’s all going to be okay.
No there is still no official diagnosis for David, we just take each day as it comes. It’s great having David home and the kids love that Dad is around all the time to help with school, to talk, to veg out and watch a movie in the middle of the day. And while I work 40 hours a week I get to split that up anyway I want.
Life is good. Full of laughter and bickering and violin lessons and young teenage drama and snotty noses and hugs and long chats over hot cocoa in the morning and music playing too loud but its life and while I may not know what tomorrow has in store I know that it’s all going to be okay.
I tell you all this today not for pity but because right now this is me. Maybe an intense icebreaker, but life is intense and full of surprises. A year ago I’d be telling a very different story and I’m sure next year is going to surprise me too.