I have been asked before: "When will you return to the workforce and use your Master's degree in Elementary Education again?" It's like it is some sort of waste if I don't return back to work versus being a stay-at-home mama.
I would argue that I glean from my years in college on a weekly basis in my job as a stay-at-home mama. I am thankful for the education I received and it certainly has not "gone to waste." I learned a lot about myself during that time and what I liked and didn't like about public education.
Now, I've been a teacher's assistant, teacher, pre-school director, Ministry Assistant, substitute teacher and Family and Children's Director over the years before becoming a mama. I enjoyed my jobs at the time and learned a lot at each one. However, Papa Bear and I had dreamed that I would be able to stay home with our children, just as my mother did and Papa Bear's mother did. It was something that was important to us. We were so thankful that dream became a reality.
My last job was an interim position and it finished up shortly before Sweet Girl was born. Since then, I have been a stay-at-home mama and wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I've been asked over the years if I miss working. I always say, "No, I don't miss working, but (for the most part!) I miss the people I worked with." I was in charge at most of my jobs and dealt with so much drama, that I was looking forward to being away from it. I've also been asked if I look forward to going "back to work" and my answer to that is usually, "If I never have a paid job again, I will be happy." This response seems to surprise a lot of people. I also tell them that while I may not be getting a paycheck, I am storing up riches in heaven--which is far better than any salary. :)
It brings me to the conclusion that maybe people are confused. Being a stay-at-home mama is not an easy road. It is a job, a career and a very special one at that. I am on duty 24-7 and there are no sick days. I don't just sit at home and watch the girls play all day. (Which, believe it or not, is what some people seem to believe.) We are out and about, experiencing life and learning new things. I should not have to defend my career choice. Does a lawyer or an accountant or salesperson have to defend his/her career choice? Probably not.
So, yes, I do have a Master's degree and I stay home with my children. That was God's plan for me and I am loving it. I am humbled that He has chosen me to be the mother to two special blessings, a wife to Papa Bear and that He has provided the resources through Papa Bear's jobs for me to stay home and take care of our family.
Disclaimer: I am in no way putting down mothers who work outside of the home. Those women have two full time jobs. I give them a lot of credit!
I also realize that there are fathers who also stay home. I know that wouldn't work out for every man, but kudos to those of you who do it!
As long as parents are doing what they think is best for their family, that's what matters.
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