Monday, June 11, 2012

Stay at Home Mom? ME?!

Kyle and I had one conversation about how we'd love to have kids someday. We talked about how God is in control and everything is in His timing, so if He wants us to have kids... we'd have kids! One week later, no joke, I knew I was pregnant. We're so excited... and a tad nervous because our lives are changing.

I graduated from Doane College in 2007 certified to teach 7-12 English/Language Arts, and before graduation I accepted a job as a reading teacher at Kimball Public Schools, which I've been doing for the last 5 years. During that time I've completed my masters in education through Doane College in Curriculum and Instruction, created the curriculum for the KPS JH/HS reading course, and worked long hours. I loved my job because I loved seeing the lightbulb moments, I loved developing a relationship with my students, and I loved my colleagues.

BUT I made the decision to be a stay at home mom. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. The green envy monster still comes out when I hear my fellow teachers discussing next year. I find myself coming up with ideas for next year on how I could do this better, or how the kids really seemed to enjoy this so I should bring it back, or pinning an idea I find absolutely marvelous on Pinterest.

I'm a teacher down to my core.
I can't help it.
It's what I do.
It's what I was meant to do.
So why'd I quit?
Good question...

I set up this chart writing down reasons to quit and reasons not to quit:

Reasons Not to Quit
  1. I wasn't usually the first one there in the mornings, cause I'm definitely not a morning person, but I was usually the last one to leave. When I walked into my classroom for the first time 5 years ago they had nothing for me. They had books, sure, but no curriculum, no supplies. Nada. I built this program from the ground up. I was there until 10 p.m. most nights my first year there. This program was my baby. I watched it grow, developed it, learned a lot because of it, and grew, grew, grew as a teacher daily.
  2. I LOVE my kids. I can't help it. I call them my kids because that's how much I care about them.
  3. I LOVE my coaching positions. I was the head JH basketball coach and an assistant HS track and field coach. Both positions I absolutely loved coaching because I love the sport and I love watching my kids compete. (Even though I got more nervous than them before they competed!)
  4. We had adopted a discipline plan for next year, which I knew we desperately needed, and I had been hoping for, for the last 5 years. The year I leave is the year I miss learning it, incorporating it into the school environment, and watching to see if it actually works.
  5. Losing my pay check would make life a tad difficult month to month. We'd be living pay check to pay check.
Reasons to Quit
  1. I don't want to miss her firsts. First smile, first step, first tooth. I want to be there for it all.
  2. I can always go back to my career, I won't get the first years of my baby's life back.
  3. Being a mom is being a teacher. I will be teaching my children about the joys of reading, about trusting in God for every single aspect of their lives, about science, and counting, and, and, and, and the list could go on and on!
  4. Finding a daycare, that we trust, in our area was becoming difficult. The few people we did trust raising our child for 8 hours a day were either full or not doing it next year. Our options were limited.
  5. The thought of handing our newborn baby to someone else for 8 hours a day nearly broke my heart. How could I do my job effectively if my mind was constantly on my baby?
  6. I.E.P. meetings. I understand how important they are and do not suggest getting rid of them. It was just a part of my job that I DID NOT ENJOY, especially when it took me out of valuable class time to attend.
  7. Parents. I hate dealing with most parents. Most parents expect the school to deal with discipline issues and when issues arise and the school tries to deal with them, they throw a hissy fit! They sooner listen to their child than an adult teacher. Seriously, why would I lie that your child made the choice to not to do every last assignment I handed out? When I gave classtime to do it, he did nothing. Thus failing him. I killed tons of trees giving him more and more copies, held him in for lunch and after class to make sure he understood the material, gave him every opportunity to get it done and nada. How is this my fault? There is a lack of respect across America for our teachers and that was getting on my very, last, nerve.
  8. Junior Highers. They're hormonal. Needy. And can be down right nasty. I needed a break or I'd be adding another gray hair to my collection. They demand a lot of time and energy. There was no way I could do both jobs: mommy and JH teacher. If I was coming home too exhausted to clean, cook, pay attention to my husband, then there was no way I could tack on "mommy." I'm a perfectionist in some ways and I'd want everything to be perfect. I knew I couldn't expect that if I kept my job.
  9. How would I handle a sick baby, work, and exhaustion when those moments came up... ????
  10. Every mom that I talked to, who stayed home, told me over and over and over again, "It's worth it. You won't regret it." I talked to current stay at home moms with degree's, teachers who had been teaching for 30 plus years who stayed at home and came back, moms who are getting their careers started again after being a stay at home mom, I wanted to see what they had to say and 100% of them agreed that being a stay at home mom was the most rewarding job.
#3 and #10 did it for me. Kyle and I had many discussions about this and came to the conclusion that once our children are all in school I could go back. He felt more comfortable with me being home with our child and I couldn't agree more. The more it came down to it the more we knew that we had a responsibility to God first, each other second, and our children third. As the list continued my career, no matter how hard I worked on it, if God wasn't calling me to it, came farther down the list. The Bible has a lot to say about how to raise Godly children, and I felt like, the more I dived into it, that I was now being called to be a stay at home mommy.

It was a leap of faith.
We know we're going to struggle financially.
But God said he takes care of the birds in the air.
I knew I'd miss being a teacher.
But God said to teach our children His word, to write it above the doorways, to make Him known every where.
I knew I'd miss my kids.
But God is giving me a beautiful daughter that I will love and cherish more than I can possibly imagine.
It is a leap of faith...
But I know God will take care of us.

Come August I have a feeling that part of me will regret my decision.
Come September when I hold my newborn for the first time, I have a feeling that those feelings of regret will all but disappear.


  1. Becky,
    I think you have made the best choice you can for your sweet baby. There have been so many times over the years that I have regretted not staying home with Jared and Evan those first few years. Thank God they were in the hands of caregivers who loved them! I sometimes found that I had given the best of my time and energy at school, and had little left at home. I am glad you are able to do this for your family. I believe only good will come of this decision.

  2. I don't think you'll regret it one bit! Yes having 1 paycheck isn't the best but you find ways to be frugal and you can still get all that you need. The moment Michaela took her 1st steps re-solidified my decision to do the same-Michael wasn't able to see it & I can't imagine missing that moment....although some days it is trying as well so be prepared for that too! There were definitely a few days that I wished I could drop her off at daycare and go to work instead. :). You'll love it-and you're right as soon as you see her beautiful face you'll wonder how those working Mommy's can do it-has to be hard! So many special moments you'll have.