Coming home, being Mom.
When I made the move to Arkansas, it was to marry my best friend. Soon after moving here, I picked up a job at a local canoe and cabin rental, working the front counter and answering phones. That job progressed into a manager position within 2 years, and I was a full-time working wife and eventually mother before I even knew it. It was a perfect job for me, fun and outdoorsy and 15 minutes from home. So I threw myself into that work and let the world swirl on around me.
That means that in addition to my cynical personality, I also had work keeping me from reaching out to other Moms (even during a very dark prenatal depression episode that terrified me to my core), going to group bible studies, and even going to church some Sundays. I do not consider myself weak, or introverted, or damaged in any way, but I do struggle with a measure of social anxiety. Not only was leaving my original church family very tough for me, but getting comfortable in a new church has been even harder. That has been a real heart battle for me, and still is.
Throwing myself into my work is no light statement. Rain, snow, ice, heat. Weekends, holidays, birthdays. Engaged, married, pregnant, nursing. Until the day I was called in to be induced, I was at work, putting in 40+ hours a week. Two weeks after having James I was back, baby in hand. Most days, I was the first there in the morning, unlocking the door, and the last to lock the door behind us. I worked full time and overtime and squeezed in laundry, dishes, cooking and wife stuff wherever I could.
And last week, I quit.
I didn't just drop everything and walk out. I wanted to, but thankfully a wise husband and a dose of calm from the Lord Himself talked me into writing a letter and setting up a schedule for my resignation. I won't go into all that made up the stress I was under at work, I will just say that it was a blessing of a job while I was there, and it helped Benjamin and I settle into our marriage and build our home. It is time to move on and focus on the important things.
Now, don't get me wrong. I still work as a social media manager and I have some freelance writing stuff going on. But otherwise I am a stay at home mom, at least for now, and I am even more daunted than I was on my first day at work! This first week at home, resisting the urge to rush in and check on things, not answering emails, not directing from afar has been a struggle. Trying to refocus on wifey things, mommy things, and me things has been a little hit-and-miss. We will get there. I have been blessed by co-workers who are supportive and kind and understanding. I have been blessed by spending my mornings with coffee, baby and devotions. I have been blessed by a husband who has almost doubled his time at work to compensate and encouraged me enthusiastically every single day to pull back and decompress.
What does he tell me every time I panic about what I am going to do next? He looks me in the eye, and says what he always says, even before I left my job. He says it matter-of-factly, with no subtext, with no hint at insincerity. He says: