“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Every child is asked this probably about a billion times. If someone else isn’t asking them, they are asking themselves. I spent a lot of thought on this topic as a child, mostly coming up with answers for the many adults we asked me. First it was a nurse like my mom, but I decided I hated needles too much for that. Then (of course) it was a ballerina, but I didn’t like the costumes. (There was also the “secret agent” stage where I desperately wanted to learn martial arts, travel the world and kick bad guy butts. 😛 ) Next a musician, but musical theory was like taking math and math and I were not on good terms. For a while I thought about being a singer, but voice lessons were not really an option financially. Then I discovered writing, but that’s not the dream I am talking about.
Even through all the indecision of childhood reasoning and dreaming, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was the only thing when I thought about my future that made sense to me, that I could see myself doing, the only dream that made me smile with excitement. But it wasn’t a suitable answer when adults other than my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was as if they didn’t see it as a real dream/job to have and I didn’t understand why. What did I want to be? A wife and a mom.
Yes, that was what I wanted to be when I grew up, a wife and a mom. From a very early age I just knew that’s what God wanted me to do. My baby dolls were precious to me, and I would swaddle them and hold them like they were real, to the extent I usually didn’t let other people hold them. They were my babies and I was their mommy. All my Barbies and stuffed animals had a family with a mommy, a daddy and children (or more accurately, a mommy, a daddy, a teenager, a little sibling and a baby.) I made families out of everything, from buttons to the different sized rods we used for math. (You home-schoolers know what I am talking about.) I loved it, but whenever I gave my honest answer to the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, nobody seemed to take me seriously.
When God also called me to be a writer, one of the things that made me excited about it was that I could do it and still be a stay at home wife and mom. I could still home-school and be a writer. I didn’t have to go to school or get a degree, I didn’t have to commute to a job, I could be at home. I didn’t realize how much I loved being at home until I got my first true away-from-home job (babysitting/nannying didn’t count). Like any young adult I wanted to get out of the house and away from my family (nothing against my family, they are awesome and I love them). We’ve all been there, when we think it’s time for us to spread our own wings and leave the nest. I worked four days a week and for a while it was nice not being home, but it didn’t take long for me to miss it. I missed having time to play in the kitchen, I had to actually catch up on what was going on instead of being a witness (that felt weird). It made me feel out of touch with home and my family even though I still lived there. I wanted to be home again.
When I graduated High School I was bombarded with questions about college, degrees and careers. It drove me crazy. I didn’t want to go to college, I didn’t feel God leading me toward college or a degree, but that just wasn’t the norm. I took a couple of classes just because it’s what I was “supposed to do”, but boy was I one happy girl when I walked off that campus for the last time. After that, when I was asked if I was going to school and I answered no, I’d get looks that to me said, “That’s strange”, “Is she just not smart?” “Poor lost soul”, even from church members. It was sad and a tad discouraging. I was just trying to follow where I thought God was leading me. I didn’t need a degree to be a writer, a wife and a mom, but I was the only young woman I knew who wasn’t going to school and pursuing a career.
Now however, all those odd looks, wondering and seeking, all those voices whispering and telling me to just go with the status quo are all things of the past. They are silent and gone, not because people have changed their view, but because I chose to stop hearing and seeing them. I may not have a degree, but I am studying to be a Godly wife and mom. Staying home may look boring on the outside, but I have time to pursue my interests, whether they be cooking, reading or writing. I love being here when my husband walks through the door. I may not be the most amazing house keeper, but I love keeping house and the satisfaction of looking around a room I just finished cleaning. And now we have a growing collection of tiny pink clothes, diaper packages and baby bath soap. My little at home world is growing, and I couldn’t be happier.
It may not be what this world views as the norm, but this is my dream and I am living it. To you young woman who is seeking God’s will for your life and may being going through that same stage in life, don’t for a minute think that being a wife and a mom isn’t a dream worth having, or a career worth pursuing. It is. The path that God has planned for you is more worth while, more fulfilling and better than anything this world has to offer. So tune out the controversy, set your sights on Him and keep dreaming.