March 2, 2008


"Every time I thought I'd got it made / It seemed the taste was not so sweet..." - David Bowie

My whole life I've wanted to be a stay at home mom. But now that I'm on the brink of it I'm actually quite afraid. And it's not just the fact that we'll be living off one salary, I haven't changed a diaper in years and the house still isn't done (though it is close).

Suddenly I have thoughts about the career I could have had: I was offered jobs where I made a good starting salary and could have moved up. I would have been very good at them but I didn't have the desire to work in a more "corporate" setting. So I settled for a smaller pay and a much better work atmosphere.

There's also the grad school. I would have done very well in grad school, but I was done with being critiqued by the time I graduated. I knew I could present an interesting perspective on a piece of literature and I knew I could do it well. I didn't need another two years of it to get a job I really didn't want anyways.

And then there's the travel - getting outside Central Illinois. Why didn't I study abroad, or live in the UK for awhile, or a big city. But I've been to Italy, Poland, Germany, the UK, Belguim, Luxemborg, the Bahamas, not to mention Seattle, NYC and the four months I lived in San Francisco. I've experienced other cultures; I've seen great works of art; I've struggled with a foreign language; I've lived in a big city and met fascinating people, and I've learned what it's like to venture out on my own - completely without a support system. And at the end of all these things I've always been confident that I wanted to come back home, to my friends and family.

It seems a little silly that now that I'm pregnant and won't be working, traveling or going to grad school I want these things. I guess it's because, while I know I can do those three things well, I have no idea how to breastfeed and discipline and raise a normal, happy, healthy, faithful kid. Years of babysitting mean nothing in the face of raising your own kid.

I've been told this is a normal fear, and every mom I know has assured me that everything will be fine and that it's all worth it. I guess I just need to get back to being who I know I am and who I know God made me to be. And I think I need to stop comparing myself to the women I know who are living the lives I've described above. They're younger than me or have different values and goals. So what good is the comparison, because in the end I'd just want to be right back here: happily married to a great man, big and pregnant with his baby and living in the home he's making for me.

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