A Sacrifice Worth Making

When I found out I was pregnant with Emerson we knew that we would be moving shortly after her birth. We knew that we would be at an overseas post but we didn't know where. At that time I was working in the Consular section of the embassy. It definitely wasn't in my career field but it was a job and I enjoyed it. When it came time for me to come back to the States to get ready for Emerson's birth, I had no choice but to resign. While many women choose to work up until the birth of their children, that just wasn't an option for me. So without really planning for it I became a stay at home mom. After we moved and got settled I knew for certain that I did not want to leave Emerson in childcare or with a nanny. My initial thought was that I would stay home with E for at least the first year and then possibly look into setting up childcare.

But as each day went on I began to realize how much I loved being a stay at home Momma. I loved being there when Emerson woke up and I loved being the one to feed her and take care of her. I just couldn't even imagine being away from her. It literally made me sick to think about. As we approached her first birthday I started to entertain the idea of going back to work. I knew for sure that I wouldn't do it while we were still overseas but I did start looking for possibilities in the States. Even as I searched job openings I had this feeling that it wasn't right. I tried to reassure myself that Emerson would be almost two and that she would handle the transition just fine.

Over the next few months I continued to search halfheartedly but I told myself that if the right position came open at the time of our move that I would apply for it. I mean, if it opens at the exact time it must be meant to be, right?

And, of course, what do you think I came across last week? That's right. An opening for the job that I did before we moved overseas. The ideal job for me and the one that would allow me to see Emerson during the day if she were in childcare. Since seeing the posting I've clicked on the site just about every day and a million conflicting thoughts have gone through my head.

Most days I've felt pretty sure that I shouldn't apply for it and that the right place for me is to be home with Emerson. I do, however, have moments of doubt. I wonder if it would be better for our family for me to return to work. Not only would it allow me to get back into my career field, but the increase in income would obviously be a blessing. I also know that I would really enjoy the adult interaction and the chance to get dressed up every day. At the same time, I still want to cry at the thought of leaving Emerson. I have no doubt that she would be just fine in childcare but I'm not sure that I would be. My biggest fear is that I will regret it later on down the road. After all, we all know how short this precious time is. My baby will only be a baby for so long and I just hate the thought of missing a second of it.

Last night when I went to bed I just couldn't stop thinking about the job so I decided today that I would update my resume. Just in case. I have been doing my best to hand it over to God because I know that He knows what's right for us. I figured that I could just get my resume updated and then go from there. I have prayed for clarity on the subject and for God to open/close doors as He sees fit.

When Emerson laid down for her nap, I pulled up all of my old resumes and started working on brushing them up a little bit. Just as I was getting close to finishing, I heard Emerson cry out from the room next to me. I went in to find her sitting up in bed, crying and rubbing her cheeks, and telling me "boo boo." She's teething right now and her poor little mouth has been bothering her quite a bit.

I scooped her out of bed and she laid her sweet little cheek on my shoulder and patted my back. In a matter of seconds she was out again but I just couldn't put her back in bed yet. I decided instead to lay down with her for a bit so that I could make sure that she was comfortably sleeping. We laid side by side and even in her sleep, her tiny hand reached across, found my arm, and held tight. 

And it was at that moment that it become more clear than ever that I was already doing the job that I was meant to do. I am the one that is supposed to be there when Emerson gets up in the morning. I'm the one that is supposed to fix her breakfast and lunch and kiss her boo boos. I am her mommy and it is my job to be there so that is what I'm going to do.

Yes, we may have to sacrifice a little bit more than we would if I worked. I may not be able to buy designer handbags and we probably won't be going on any exotic vacations. We will have to live on a budget and our savings will build up at a much slower pace. Our house will be smaller and I won't be able to shop anytime I want to.

But in exchange, I will get to continue to spend my days with my daughter. My precious girl. The sweet baby that I love more than anything.

And to me, that is definitely a sacrifice worth making.

This post has been in the works for months and months. It's something that's been on my heart and on my mind since before Emerson turned a year old. I have gone back and forth so many times and I have truly struggled over making a decision that is right for our family. PLEASE know that by sharing my feelings on the subject I am only talking about our situation. I am not in anyway criticizing anyone else's decisions. I feel like every family knows what is right for them and I would never judge another momma for a decision she made regarding her children. I also know that many people don't have a choice and that we are all in different situations. This post is about me and my struggle only!

Leah said...

Love this post.

Beth Ann said...

Love this. I feel the same way. This really pulled at my heart strings! E is so blessed to have you for a momma!

Kit said...

This post made my heart hurt for you. I know what a struggle it must be for you, but just know that whatever you choose at whatever time you WILL be the best mama to Emerson. She is lucky to have you as her role model and mama!

Callie Nicole said...

This post made me want to cry! I think you are making a great decision Tami. My mom chose to stay home with us, and now that I have my own kids it means even more to me that she chose to be the one to take care of us. I know it will mean alot to Emerson too!

Allison Boutwell said...

You are such a GREAT mom! I have this struggle every day and constantly feel guilty of leaving Dominick. Right now it's what works for my family regardless of my guilt. Emerson is so lucky to have you at home and I know she will cherish all the fun and memories that you're making.

Joeylee said...

I love this post. Your such a great mom and you made the right choice for your family.

Paula Lynch said...

Such a sweet post and I think it is awesome that you are able to stay home with sweet E.

Katie said...

I'm about to cry! I feel the exact same way all the time. I'm so glad you did get some clarity and I bet E is happy that her momma is home with her:)

Lyndsey said...

Love this post Tami! I feel like moms on both sides wonder about what the other "life" is like sometimes. But I'm pretty sure E will never complain that you were around TOO much or played with her TOO much, ya know?

Mallorie said...

I LOVE this post. Made me tear up. Wonderfully written and I feel the same! :-)

Leeann said...

Aww Tami... I'm so glad you're at peace with your decision. I wondered what you would do when you guys got back to the U. S. and I'm glad that God finally led you where you needed to go.
My mom, who made more than three times what my dad made as a teacher, stayed home with me because that's where her heart was. They saved for years before, and lived on a super strict budget just to allow her to be home with me during my first 3 years. She tells me all the time that it was the best decision she ever made. :)

ajs {of MN} said...

signs that point us in the right direction are always amazing, even more so when we HEAR them!!

i love the honesty in this post.

Ashley said...

I absolutely love this! And I feel the same way -- sometimes I wish I had that extra adult interaction, but at the end of the day, I know Im supposed to be right here with the kids [at least until they are in school!]

Amanda said...

Great post! I've been both a stay at home mom and a working mom and I appreciate this post very much! What a great decision and I know you will cherish every moment with E!

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