Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You Want to Be a Full-Time Stay-at-Home Mommy? My Story...

I've been talking to my youngest sister lately about her desire to stay at home with her children full-time. It's a desire of both hers and her husband's.

They've been assessing their financial status, trying to decide whether or not they can make it work. They do not currently live extravagantly, but they have decided that they are willing to go with even less if that means more time for my sister to be home.

They are in the beginning stages of contemplating full-time mommy-at-home life.

I remember my journey. When Brad and I got married, he told me that the only way I would stay home full-time was if he was making "X" amount of dollars. At that time, him fresh out of school and making a very measly income and me still with one year of nursing school left, it seemed impossible.

And though I wasn't as close to God then as I am now, God did somehow plant in my heart the direction I needed to take.

I began praying for God to direct my future. At this point in time, I really wasn't even thinking about staying at home because we hadn't started having children yet. I graduated from nursing school, got a job as a R.N. at the local hospital and also started substituting as a school nurse for our school district. I worked hard and saved my money.

Eventually, we had a decent amount to put as a down payment on our house. We built our house. I continued to work. One year later, our son, Ian, was born. By this time, I was working full-time as a school nurse. I loved my job.

However, I missed a good portion of Ian's first year because I would leave him every morning with my mom (I'm so thankful I had the opportunity and option of leaving him with my mom and not some random stranger) and I would head to work. I remember feeling crushed when she would call me at work to tell me about his different "firsts." It cut to the quick. I was missing his life.

After school let out in June, I began looking into visiting nursing. In July of that year, I started working part-time as a visiting nurse. I had some people tell me that I was crazy for leaving the school nurse job. But this new job gave me the opportunity to work only 2-3 days a week and was much more flexible. This is the job that enabled me to come home during the day to nurse Lily after she was born and refused to take a bottle of breastmilk. This was a God-send.

However, even during all this time of great-paying jobs, I still had this aching inside of me.

I'm sort of an all-or-nothing kind of gal, and I just felt that I couldn't give my all to either my job or my family. And that really bothered me. At work, I kept thinking about how I wanted to be with my kids. At home, paperwork and late-night patient visits nagged my thoughts. I felt pulled and stressed.

Then one night, after I had just started a second job at a hospital that was about 45 minutes away (I took this job because the visiting nursing job had become very erratic and my workload had been cut back drastically), I was standing at the stove making supper, stressed out over the new job, the longer commute, the new rotating-shift schedule. I was feeling very overwhelmed.

And then he said the words. These were the words I had been praying to hear from his mouth for years.

"I want you to quit working all together. We can make it work. This is too much on our family."

Hallelujah! I still remember how I instantly felt this huge weight lift off of me. I felt free.

Down deep in my heart, all of those years as a young, working mom, I had felt down deep that my place was at home, caring for my family, for my children, for our home. However, I also felt deep in my heart that my husband had to be supportive of that decision. And I also knew that nagging him and pestering him about it was not going to get me anywhere.

So I committed this desire to God in prayer.

And He answered. And I believe that God desires for mommies to be at home, caring for their husbands, their children, and their homes. I believe that He wants mommies to be at home molding their children's hearts through the teaching of His Word, modeling to them the believer's walk, caring for their tender hearts.

And so I believe that if we as wives and mothers would offer the desire of being a full-time stay-at-home mommy to God in prayer, He will work in the hearts of our husbands. Prayer is so much more powerful than we can even imagine.

So my husband went from pretty much telling me that the possibility of me staying home full-time was slim-to-none to being the one to tell me that he wanted me to quit working. And I fully believe that this was due to the power of prayer, my obedience to God in not nagging my husband, and just letting time play out while God worked in my husband's heart.

So, if your heart's desire is to be at home with your kids full-time, I encourage you to commit that desire to your Father in prayer. Commit it to Him and then trust Him to work and to show you and your husband how to make this a possibility.

And if your husband isn't exactly on-board pray for that specifically. Pray that God would soften his heart towards your desire. Pray that God would speak to him about the importance of the presence of the mother at home. And then pray that God would help you to wait and see how He works. Waiting can be hard, but if we try to intervene in our fleshly ways, this almost always leads to frustration and arguments.

Ladies, God is faithful. And I can't guarantee that you'll become a full-time stay-at-home mommy, but I can say with certainty that when we give things up to God in prayer, He does honor our perseverance and obedience.


Unknown said...

I loved this post. It really puts things in perspective. Sean and I have talked a great deal about this subject.

Wendi said...

Great post! It is amazing to watch God work.

Unknown said...

Thanks Amber, this was really encouraging to me!