It's not for everyone, staying home. It's not easy. It's often thankless, and you don't get vacations or sick days. There's no Employee of the Month. There's no chance for promotion and advancement, except many by having more kids. There's often hidden feelings of guilt for not "contributing" to the family. I don't hold it against anyone who chooses and/or has to work out of the home. Everyone has to do what is best for their family.
I have always - always known that I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. You can't really say that when you're younger though. It's frowned upon in our society and makes you appear to not be goal oriented or even lazy. SAHMs don't speak at Career Day in high school. You can't major in being a SAHM in college. I thank God that I fell in love with and married a man who had that growing up, wanted that for his children too, and is able to provide for us. This is my dream job. It is the most difficult job that I have ever had. It has forever changed who I am. If you think about it, every experience in life changes you somehow.
I am not the same Adrienne who walked across the stage at Harvey Stadium in 1998 to accept my high school diploma, thank goodness. Four and half years of college changed me. I'm not the Adrienne who met Sheldon twelve years ago. Falling in love and surviving almost ten years of a healthy, happy marriage have altered my life forever. My first pregnancy and its loss changed me. So, of course just being Ladybug's mom was going to redefine me. Life, if lived, is constantly changing and altering who we are.
Somewhere along the way, the doubts that what I was doing was wrong have slowly disappeared. I may still worry that I'm doing things wrong, but I am more confident in my skin as a SAHM. I am comfortable with who I am. I am happy and content. I don't want my old life from even two years ago. Maybe it's because Ladybug is growing up to be a very sweet, intelligent, interesting, and funny person. Maybe it's because I've grown accustomed to no longer being part of the workforce. It's most likely both. The payoff has come at times like when I was the person Ladybug walked her first steps to. I'm the first person she even smiled at. I heard her first giggles. I have missed nothing and influenced her in everything.
Most people will take a look at the Vine below and think how chaotic it must be to try vacuuming with two dogs barking at and chasing the vacuum while a toddler runs around in circles, squealing and wanting to be chased by the vacuum. I look at it and thank God for my healthy, crazy family. I love that video. I love what it represents. Ladybug hasn't felt well the past few days due to teething, and I have missed that silly run and those squeals. I have to remind myself that I'm not staying at home to please the world, but in order to be the best steward of that which God has blessed me. I think of Anne Shirley telling Gilbert Blythe, "I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU." I don't need worldly accolades. Just give me Sheldon, Ladybug, Lucy, and Dory - maybe some day a little Bee to go with the Ladybug. This is my paradise, chaos and all.