I’ve been tagged by a virtuous woman (L.H. over at Virtuous Living)! I’m not incredibly familiar with the whole “meme” thing, but I’m going to do my best. And anyway, this is a subject that I would love to share about. If my story can be an encouragement to young girls on their way to womanhood, my mission will be accomplished.
While many women choose to “come home” when they have a baby because they’ve been working outside the home prior to the birth of their first child, I stayed home. From the time of my marriage in February, 2004 until the birth of my daughter in June, 2005, I was at home. The reasons were simple – I couldn’t legally work without a whole lot of paperwork, and we had plenty of paperwork to begin with.
Since I have readers who aren’t familiar with my story, I’ll start at the beginning.
I was raised in Washington state and after high school, went to Westbank, British Columbia to the Youth With a Mission base there. I met my husband there in our school of ten students. We knew each other for six months before we got engaged – the day after our school ended. We had a year long engagement and were married in the states on February 28, 2004. In order to live in Canada and apply for permanent residence, I had to first have a visitor visa that was valid for the time before being approved for residence. The visitor visa does not allow you to work, and although I could have applied for a work visa, it would have been a great deal of…work. Mike’s income and savings were more than enough for us to live on, so we saw no reason to push for employment for me.
Here I have to go back a bit further to how I saw my future when I was a teenager.
I felt called to work with kids – my plan was to be a youth pastor after high school. Had I stuck to my guns and gone to university immediately after high school, I more than likely would not be here and would not have three gorgeous children right now. I think I imagined myself working until having kids, and then putting the kids in school and going back to work. I wanted three, maybe four kids when I was still pretty young, and had no reason to think I wouldn’t work for a few years after getting married. And then I discovered the truth behind birth control and my mind started to change. I committed to not getting married until I also felt ready to have kids. By the time I became engaged to Mike, I was very decided on this and also that I wanted more than four kids and wanted to homeschool. I guess maturity had taught me that working isn’t everything. It’s not so much that my goal of being a stay at home mom evolved, because I had always wanted that – I never imagined putting my kids in daycare, anyway. I think what happened is that the time I imagined spending as a stay at home mom lengthened. It went from beginning two or three years into marriage to possibly nine months into marriage; from the ten years or so it would take all three or four of my kids to enter school to the twenty or so years it will take for all of my kids (six if I have as many as Mike will let me) to be homeschooled and on to bigger things.
The great thing is that Mike agreed with all of it! We had been engaged for a few months when I had the birth control talk with him. I explained that it was possible that I would agree to some barrier method of birth control, but that I would not under any circumstances take hormonal birth control. I also told him that I dreamed of a house full of kids and of homeschooling those kids to keep certain propaganda out of their heads when they were young and impressionable. He just nodded his head and said he felt exactly the same way. I had been a bit concerned that he may disagree with me and we’d have to call off our engagement, but this was a joyful moment instead.
On to the birth of Jenny – God blessed us with six months of marriage before we conceived Jenny. I felt ready to become a mother and apparently God knew that I was. Many people assume that Jenny was an “accident”, but like all of our kids will be, she was and is a blessing, regardless of how early in our marriage she came. Not only that, but we had expected to get pregnant in the first weeks of marriage. Obviously, God had other plans. Mike had found steady employment and gotten a raise just weeks before we found out about my pregnancy. Fifteen months after our wedding, we welcomed our daughter into our little apartment, and two months later, we bought our first house – another blessing and surprise.
For me, staying home is a blessing. I am so thankful that we can rely on God to provide for our financial needs so that I do not “have” to work. I believe firmly that many women (and their husbands) feel it is necessary for them to work because of all the extras they deem necessary in their lives. Two vehicles, big screen TVs, expensive yearly vacations, a four bedroom home before children are even born. We determined that these are things we don’t need. We would love a four bedroom home now, with three kids in a two bedroom home, but God has not said it’s time yet. A vacation would be nice, but it is enough for us to travel back down to Washington this summer to visit my family and friends. We have two vehicles most of the time now, but only because Mike’s new employer has provided him with a truck – we don’t pay for any of it.
Maybe this is a big run-on and not quite according to the rules of the meme, but when I get going on this subject, it’s hard to stop. The births of my children have been joyous occasions and I can’t imagine turning around in mere months to put them into daycare – it would break my heart. I’m thankful for Mike and his willingness to work extra hours when he has to and put in the time it takes to become better at his job so that he can securely provide for us in the future. I’m especially thankful that God tied my heart to this job. Someday, when my kids are grown or don’t need me with them all the time, I will go to school and eventually have a “career”. But for now, this is the best (and yes, the hardest) career I could ask for.
I would tag other people, but L.H.’s blog is more or less the only mom blog I read regularly. I was going to tag someone, but it looks as though their blog is pretty inactive. So if you read this entry and you’d like to tell your story, post a comment linking to the entry in your blog and I’ll read it, or if you don’t have a blog, post your story in the comment. Thanks (and thanks, L.H., for the idea)!!