I had a retirement dinner to attend the other day for someone I worked with in my pre-stay-at-home-mom life. It was an event at a very nice local restaurant so I took extra care in getting ready. I actually put the full make-up on and wore my hair down (not in the usual pony tail) and dressed in nice yet casual summer clothes. I felt like I was heading off for work.
I jumped in the green bug sans kids and felt a sense of excitement to see people from my former life. I had to go through my rolodex of names in my head from that era to refresh myself on who I may be running into. How soon we forget the familiar when we're focused on grocery lists, to-do's, and three children.
I pulled up to the restaurant and saw someone who worked in the same office as me. What was his name??? I wasn't going to get out of the car until I had it on the tip of my tongue. Oh yeah, now I remember...
So off I headed, he was surprised to see me so we spent a few minutes catching up. You know, "How are the kids? How's business?" talk.
I confidently walked into the restaurant and was greeted warmly. Former associates smiled and called me by my first and last name (At home I go by a shortened version of my first name). To hear my full name again sounded so professional and wonderful. I felt like, "I'm somebody and I was somebody important!" In a way I felt like a superstar (only in my head). Oh to be recognized, welcomed, embraced, and celebrated.
I had a great time in the short time I attended the celebration of a fabulous associate. I had to run off to attend a Family Fun BBQ for our oldest at his day camp.
I drove away with the odd feeling of sadness though.
It took me about a year to adjust to being a stay-at-home mom who didn't work outside the home. I used to be a SAHM who did work so I had a little break and received those positive reinforcements one gets by helping others and connecting with other adults .
I kept thinking, in no way do I want to go back to working. I love being at home with my kids focusing my time and energy on them and our home. But the celebration of the person I used to be sure felt good. To be a SOMEBODY and not just somebody's wife or somebody's mom. That kept my mind tossing for a couple of days.
I know God has called me to motherhood for greatness in the future or in future generations, but day-to-day, this is one TOUGH job. Lots of hard work with no recognition. Being a mom is a self-less job and I'm sure one that will cause me to build more character than I thought I needed. Funny sense of humor God has.
Well I ran across this poem tonight written by an Unknown Confederate Soldier. And of course it was perfect for how I am feeling.
I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed