Friday, June 29, 2012

Stay at Home Mom

I decided in the beginning of April that I would leave my career and become a stay at home mom.  That was a long time ago.  And because we didn't think it was wise to give an extended notice, I have had to be quiet about it.  Most of my friends that I see all the time knew.  But I couldn't be public about it the way that I wanted to be.  I put the idea of changing careers on a shelf to process later.  I would get to it later.  At the time I was just too busy to even think about it.

And now it's out there.  And I'm processing big time.  It seems like every 5 minutes I have a different emotion about it.  I feel like I'm all over the map.

So the first thing I need to do is confess.  I haven't ever liked the idea of being a stay at home mom.  There are stigmas with it.  There are some women who do it really well and thankfully I have a quite a few of them in my life.  But there are others that don't.  They lose themselves and become so focused on their kids that they can't talk about anything else.  I have been very vocal about this over the years.  It was one of the things that I told myself was great about having a job. 

And when God rocked my world and called me to be a stay at home mom, I was shocked.  Even writing that "stay at home mom" seems to make my insides curl.  But in obedience, I followed the Lord's prompting and took steps to quit my job. 

I also took steps to make sure that I wouldn't lose myself.  I tried to join a group full of a bunch of women that were either single or didn't have kids (with the exception of 1).  I was reaching for some way to hold on to this life that I used to have.  In His mercy, it did not work out.  I shed way too many tears about it and I kept thinking that it was about my feelings being hurt.  Now I can see that it was partly that, but it was also a type of mourning.  It was a realization that I'm just not in that place anymore. 

I have been talking with my friend Katie a lot recently.  She just had a baby with Down Syndrome.  She is having her own transitional phase as she adjusts to what her new normal looks like.  She said something to me the other day that just really helped me process my own transition.  She told me that if she tried not to talk about Down Syndrome and tried to pretend like her daughter would not change her that would be a lie. 

And that's how I am starting to feel.  I was trying to be obedient to the Lord but I was only doing it part way.  I was doing it in all the practical ways, but I wasn't doing it in the emotional and spiritual ways.  I was fighting it in my mind.  And what I need to do is let it change me.  Let God work in me and help me become the person He wants me to be. 

Katie also told me is that being a stay at home mom is not a step backwards.


Thursday, June 28, 2012


So much of who I have been has been wrapped up in my job for the past 13 years.  When people ask me about myself, one of the first things I have always said is that I'm a computer programmer.  I write software.  My current company is functioning today because of the programs I have written for them.  It makes me feel smart and accomplished.

You see what is going on there.  PRIDE!  My identity is what I can do, how smart I am.

They just hired a new IT guy to work with me at my job.  It's one of the reasons I feel comfortable leaving now.  There is someone to take on the charge.  He was informed this morning about my resignation.  One of his comments to me was that I should keep doing some programming and not let my skills slip.  He said I knew too much to do that.

But there is a problem there.  While I think it is a good thing to have skills and to be accomplished, it's another thing to rest my identity there.  To say that is who I am.

So as I walk away from my job and my accomplishments and my skills, I am left having an identity crisis.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am doing what God has called me to do.  But I'm scared.  I'm moving into new territory. My identity is being ripped away.

But at the end of the day, God does not care that I know what an IF/ELSE statement should look like.  He doesn't care that I have been called an SQL guru.  He doesn't care about the millions of lines of code that I have written.  He cares about my heart.  He cares about my identity in Him.

My prayer is that my identity will become clearer.  That I can learn how to reset my view of myself.

Ask me who I am now.  My answer is changing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm Retiring

Obviously you know that I just had a baby.  And you also know that I have a 4 year old (a couple days shy of!).  And you also know that I have a job that I work part time.

I have always said that I live in the best of both worlds.  I get to be a mom and I get to work in corporate America as a computer programmer and continue a career that I have built for the past 13 years.

I went back to work with a fair bit of ease after Ainsley was born.  The adjustment period wasn't that bad.  Frankly, I was bored at home and welcomed the distraction of a job to go to.  If you had an easy baby and can tell me that the newborn stage is not boring once you hit the 12 week mark, you are just lying.  Ainsley was easy and all she did was eat, sleep, and poop.  By the end of my maternity leave with her I was replacing light fixtures in my house.

Life went on and dropping her off with her nanny (who I just adored!) became the new normal.  Ainsley thrived under MaryBeth's care.  And my career continued to thrive.  Best of both worlds.

And then came David.  And with the birth of another baby came another maternity leave.  I welcomed the time at home.  The break from my job felt great.  But I thought of it just as that, a break.

About 10 weeks into my 12 week maternity leave God change my heart in pretty dramatic fashion.  Ryan and I had saved a bunch of money for my 12 weeks of unpaid leave.  It hit me, we hadn't touched it.  I started to look back at the previous 10 weeks.  I wasn't bored.  Actually, I was happier than I had been in a really long time.  I told a few of my closest friends about what I was thinking and they both told me that they had been praying that God would put this on my heart.

I went to a women's retreat with church that weekend.  The first thing out of our speaker's mouth was the title of her talk - When God Changes Your Life Plan.  That weekend solidified what was questionable in my head.  I was going to quit.  I didn't need time to think, I just needed time to wrap things up well.  I would go back and finish up in mid July.

Looking back, I realize that there is so much that I missed with Ainsley.  She's so fun to be around.  She has a great sense of humor and her imagination is priceless.  Taking her back and forth to preschool was a blessing.  I got to know her teachers and her friends.  The involvement in her daily life was just so much better than I could ever have imagined.  And now there was another little person that was going to grow up into more than just a baby.  Some day they will be teenagers and will need me more then ever as they learn to navigate this crazy world.  The choice started to become really clear in my head.

A good friend of mine pointed out to me that I wasn't living in the best of both worlds.  I was living in the pretty good of both worlds.  The best of both worlds isn't really possible. 

And that means retiring from Corporate America. It means putting a career aside that will be very difficult to re-enter.  It means quitting the job I have had for 6 years and a career that I have built for 13 years.  It means that technology will move and I will be left behind.  It's not just quitting.  It's retiring. 

And I can't wait.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

That Moment

That moment when your baby is wide awake in your arms, fighting sleep.

You rock and you sush.  You transfer all the love in your heart.

And you feel it.  As he begins to let go.  He trusts you.  He accepts that love.  His body becomes limp.  He is secure in your arms. 

He is asleep.

I'm holding on to that moment with everything I have.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

He Understands

As people, we all want to belong.  We want people to like us.  We want to fit in.

Twice in the past week, Ryan has said to me "You know Tracey, not everyone will like you."  My response to him both times was, I don't think you understand.

But he does understands.  We all understand that feeling.  It's human nature to want to everyone to like you all the time. What he was trying to say, was that we cannot let other people's opinions of us define us. Oh how wise you are dear husband. 

Then I got started thinking about Jesus.  He was definitely rejected.  And not by just the masses.  His closest friends rejected him.  His family rejected him.  And the best part about it is that He knew that those friends were going to reject him even before He became their friends.  He knew the hurt they were going to cause him.  And yet, he still called them out of their boats and invited them into relationships with himself.  With great love for his friends and family, he entered Jerusalem on a donkey, knowing that it was going to lead Him to the cross.

Frankly, I have rejected Him too.  I have chosen to purposely sin and spit on the cross on which He died.  For me.  He died for me on that cross.  He died for my sin.  It seems selfish to even say those things.

Practically, how do I move on from hurt?  How do I get past the fact that my feelings have been hurt? 

Today, I do that through repentance.
Related Posts with Thumbnails