For those of you who know me or follow my blog, you know that being a mother is my absolute #1 priority. You also know that I’ve struggled in the past with being a working mom. You know that I’ve prayed for the Lord to change my husband’s heart so that he would see what a value I could be as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). It wasn’t until recently, that I realized I was praying the wrong prayer. So I began praying a little bit different prayer.
Instead, I began to pray that He use me for His purpose (whether that be as a SAHM or a teaching mom). I prayed that He would guide my family in all things. And I told God that I know He has great plans for my family, and that I trust His plans. And what happened? Instead of my husband’s heart changing, mine did…
Yes, I still love my daughter as much as I did. In fact, I still love her more every single day. But I know while I’m back at work, she is so loved. She is taken care of. She is fed. And she is adored. I’m so grateful for my family for taking such good care of her as I go back to work…
As I go back to my students who aren’t always fed, who aren’t always taken care of, who aren’t always loved. Man. What a thought. I tear up just typing that. But it’s the truth.
It is here that I wonder what have I done to deserve all of the blessings I’ve been given in my life… when some of my students have never even heard Your name—unless used in the form of a cuss word… It’s here that I praise You for all that You are, and all that You do, and I thank You that my daughter was trusted to me… It’s here that my heart aches for those who don’t have the loving family she has, for those who don’t have money for school supplies, for those who are just trying to survive each day.
I realize that as a teacher it is my duty to try to direct my students to be the best that they can be. To do the best that they can do. To find the best in themselves. To make them believe that there is good in them. I know some educators believe that “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” Honestly, I had started to think that too.
But as I start this year, knowing it is my choice to come to school and teach, I have a new attitude. Thanks to Manny Scott, I’ve been encouraged to be the light. To be the salt. True, you can’t make a horse drink… But you can make him thirsty! (Find the salt. Be the salt.)
So it is here that I ask God to help me to make my students thirsty. Thirsty for education. Thirsty for more out of life. Thirsty for You. God, help me to be the light in these children’s very dark lives and help them to be open to ideas and open to believing in themselves and even open to believing in You. I pray that I can continue to be a light in my own growing family’s lives as well, and I thank You for giving my children many lights. And I pray that You work in their lives and in their hearts as well as my students. Please continue to mold me into what You have planned for me to be.
So now that my opportunity to be a SAHM mother has become more feasible and more of a possibility, maybe my heart has changed. Again, I do not love my own kids any less; I just realize I have so much love to give, and I don’t want to waste my talent or my purpose. I pray the Lord keeps my fire burning, and allows me to be a light in my students’ lives.
Moral of the story? Working moms can do it all. I’ve seen it done, and I hope that I can do it too! On the plus side, as a teacher, I am so very grateful to get summers and holidays off with my children; I feel like teaching is the ultimate mom career, because I feel like I truly am getting the best of both worlds. I just hope that as my children grow they will appreciate this choice and be proud of their working (sometimes not working) mom who does love them more than anything else in this world.
“If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.”