Lots of things on my heart recently. Lots of things floating through my head. I almost don’t know where to begin. My posts of late all seems to be all over the place, because when I do have time to write, it all just pours out like I’ve burst a pipe somewhere!
Recently I was involved in a conversation with a number of SAHMs that I went to college with. One of them said, very first thing, she misses her paycheck. Not that she’s happy to be home… not that she’s enjoying being with her children… not that she misses work. She misses her paycheck.
I immediately had judgmental thoughts, which led me to realize that mothers judge each other so quickly because it’s so easy. It’s not right and it’s not good, but it’s so easy to feel self-righteous and judgmental around other women.
Anyway… it also prompted me to make a list of things that I miss now that I’m staying at home (and these are in no particular order): eating out, time with friends whenever we wanted, spontaneous things with my husband, Saturday morning breakfast dates with Keith, extra money for little things, Clinique makeup, name brand things at the grocery store, being reliable and prompt, not having to cancel outings because of a sick or sleeping child, sleep.
I wouldn’t trade any of those things for what I have now. I love my son and I love being home with him. Is it rough? Yes. Are there days I would much rather have a full time job? Yes. Why? Because I miss interacting with adults. But I wouldn’t trade this for the world.
Besides, if I did go back to teaching where I taught, I would clear about $200 a month after expenses related to working and child care. $200. That is SO not worth it…
Lately God has been working on my heart in this area. See, I want to be important. Not necessarily “People Magazine” important, but I want to matter. I want more followers on my blog. I want to be invited to write for other sites. I want people to want to know my opinion. I want to be liked and popular.
Meaningless. It’s all meaningless, what I want. That’s what Ecclesiastes says, anyway.
So I’ve been trying to find my significance in Christ. And that is hard. I know, deep down somewhere, that I’m significant to my child. But he doesn’t every tell me that, because he can’t yet speak! And it’s not like he’ll heap tons of praise and gratitude on me for raising him when he can speak – no child does that. I’m sure I’ll get the handmade “You’re a Great Mom” cards and things, and I look forward to those, but I have to center myself on Christ. Nothing else should matter to me. I know that I am significant to Keith, but he doesn’t tell me that all that often.
My significance comes from my relationship with Christ. And that’s easy to write, but it is SO much more difficult to believe and act like in real life.
Speaking of being judgmental… that’s all I am. And I don’t like it about myself at all. And I rarely make statements that are judgmental out loud. But secretly? Where only Jesus can hear? I am evil. I am petty. I am jealous. I am condemning. I am not patient or kind. I criticize and feel self-righteous.
Again, because I’m human, that’s my sin nature, and it is so easy to default to that setting.
And I hate it. I’m working on changing it. But people are so mean to one another, I think because it’s our very nature. And it’s easy. Instead of admitting what you say or do makes me hurt in some way, I judge you as a lesser person because of it.
I recently read that anger is a secondary emotion. People get angry because they don’t want to live in the hurt or sadness. It’s easier to be angry than hurt or sad. So people say things that hurt me (even if those things shouldn’t) or make me sad, and instead of living in those places and talking those feelings out with those people, I switch to anger.
That leads to judgment, which surely stems from a lack of compassion. I don’t want to have compassion for you, because I think you’re making stupid choices or are a hypocrite or don’t deserve something or because you’ve hurt me or made me sad. It’s hard to live with somebody (not really live with, but live with, you know!) that you can’t tolerate… so it’s easier to judge than try to find common ground.
So that’s where I’m living today. I love my son. I love being with him. I want people to like me. I need more compassion.
Where are you living today?