I don’t know when it really hit me, but when it did I felt a sense of both relief and terror. The realization that I was a great teacher, a fun mom, a mediocre wife, and a horrible homemaker. To make matters worse, my priorities were exactly in the same order… except for wife and homemaker, sometimes those were interchangeable at the bottom of my priority totem pole. How did I let this happen? When did I let my home, my husband, my family come after my job?
Okay, if I am being completely honest my job always came before my family. When it was just the two of us- my husband (CP) and me- it was normal for me to overwhelm my schedule with work responsibilities at the cost of my husband’s time. It didn’t help that he was so darn understanding. Except for those few arguments about me working too much, I would simply brush off his feelings and chalk it up to the myth that good teachers always bring their work home. It was just part of the job.
Fast forward to present day and I have found some margin in my life for a better work-home balance. This is mostly due to my beautiful, five-year-old going on fifteen daughter (LR). But trust me when I say the struggle is real! I still bring home my laptop every single day. I still carry home stacks of papers to be graded and books to read and lessons to be planned. My work sits in my rolling teacher bag and beckons to me every evening and every weekend.
I will admit that this makes me a work-a-holic. Yes, admitting the problem is the first step.
But the thing is, I’ve admitted this many times before… sometimes seriously and sometimes as a joke, depending on the audience. The truth is, I have never really done anything about it. I’ve never really let go and given this area over to God. Yes, I have prayed over this very real and very vulnerable part of myself many, many times. But I have ignored God’s directive to re-order my priorities, to rethink my calling as a wife and mother, to refresh my soul.
So there you have it friends, my biggest struggle in a few paragraphs, laid out for the whole world wide web to see. But I guess this wouldn’t really work if I didn’t offer a truly honest look at myself. A raw confession of one woman who yearns for balance and desires God in my marriage, motherhood, and homemaking more and more every day.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t scared.
I am so afraid of vulnerability, of transparency, of judgement, of sharing something so real about myself. But more than that, I am afraid that if I don’t begin to choose love, to choose family over work and to be present here and now, then I am going to fail at something much bigger than being vulnerable in a little blog post. I am going to fail in marriage and motherhood.
Trust me when I say this didn’t happen randomly. I did not wake up one day and decide that I need to change my selfish ways. This has been a 32-year trip to truth and to knowing that that if I want the home of my desires and the marriage God created, then I would need to make some hard choices.
So it is with relief and terror that I type these words. And as I do, I am also not surprised to find God whispering big truths to my heart. He is reminding me to be faithful to His plan. He is prompting me to put myself out there because I am not the only woman who struggles with this work-home balance.
Here I am, Lord. I desire balance, I want it more than ever. Yet, I find myself running away constantly from the life You have called me to live, from the biblical role of wife, mother, and homemaker. I do not know what your end plan is but I pray that Your will be done. I pray that you set apart my prayer for balance and declare it for Your purpose. I pray for all the working women, who like me, find balance one of the most difficult parts of their life. Help us to admit our weakness of choosing work over home and to turn our struggle over to You. Help us to trust that the only way we can truly find the balance we seek is to trust confidently in Your strength and not in our own. In Your Mighty Name, Amen.