My whole life, I’ve known I wanted to be a teacher. Except for a brief delusional period in the 10th grade where I thought I wanted to be on SWAT, there was no other option for me. It was in my blood. It was something I knew my soul was called to do. It was my vocation. I was BORN to mold the minds of America’s future.
My first few years teaching, I poured everything I had into my kids and classroom. I came in early, stayed until dark, and spent my entire weekend in my classroom. I put every kid on an individualized plan, changed my door decorations every month, and created the cutest lessons you ever did see. My heart was so insanely full. My students were the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing I thought about before I feel asleep. I was constantly thinking of ways to teach a lesson or break through to a tough student. School was my whole life and I loved every second of it. The exhaustion of a long day and the sheer joy of a student who finally got the lesson was everything I needed.
Even when I got pregnant, my feelings toward school didn’t change. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into my maternity sub plans to make sure my kiddos didn’t miss a beat. I made plans to come back and hit the ground running to get those kids where they needed to be. All I could think about was getting back to the world I’d given my whole heart to.
Then, my baby was born. I felt every inch of my heart shift when that little girl was placed on my chest. Being home on maternity leave gave me so much fulfillment. Although it was terrifying, I thrived learning about my baby, giving her everything she needed, and being her mom. It filled my world like I never thought anything could. All of a sudden, I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything but being her mom.
Going back to school wrecked me. Leaving her everyday was unbearable. Even though we adore her daycare, I would cry on my way to school knowing someone else got to love on her that day.
School was no longer my entire life. I got to school with the kids, left with the kids, and never came on the weekends. While I still worked my keister off for each of my students, my daughter was my number one priority. The guilt began to set in when I felt like I wasn’t giving my all to school or motherhood. My heart was torn by the two things that gave me my purpose in life. On the weekends, I couldn’t imagine going back to work and leaving my baby. At work, I couldn’t imagine leaving the classroom to be a mom full time. I was getting the feeling that something was going to have to give. Was I really being called to leave the classroom and stay home?
The clarity came when I learned Daphne Grace was coming into the world. I realized that the pull to be a mom was something I couldn’t ignore anymore. I will still be a teacher, just not in the way I’d always been. I will still mold minds, just the ones I created. My vocation has shifted and I am so at peace with what that means for my life. I fall asleep thinking of all the activities I will do with my girls. I now dream of teaching my own kids to read, create, and explore the world around them. The thought of teaching my girls brings me a kind of joy I’d never experienced. I’ve begun to see all the possibilities the vocation of “Stay at Home Mom” has to offer. To be honest, I was afraid of that title and a loss of identity. Something I’d feared became something I couldn’t wait to dive in to.
I’m learning to accept and love all the changes that motherhood brings. Life changes so quickly and sometimes, and often times something you thought you were supposed to do forever gets overshadowed by something bigger than yourself. Teaching had been everything I’d ever wanted. I know, one day, I’ll be going back to the classroom. I love it too much to say a forever goodbye, but my little ones need everything I can give them. Being a mom means making sacrifices, I knew that. However, I wasn’t ready for how much beauty those sacrifices can cultivate. Will and I both had incredible stay at home moms, and I can’t wait to follow in their footsteps.
**Now accepting all prayers and stay at home mom advice.