It was the summer after 8th grade, and my family was taking the Disney World trip down to Florida. We were waiting at the airport, and I watched her walk past. Clack, clack, clack. Her black heels slapped the floor with each confident step, her carry-on rolling behind her, her Starbucks in her hand. She was calm and ready to take on the world at seven in the morning. She exuded ease and self-assurance, and I wanted to be her.
Fast forward fourteen years, and here I am. I am not a successful businesswoman, flying across the country to whatever important meeting or conference is taking place this week. I am in the midst of baking muffins and changing diapers, reading stories and finding lost toys, planning math lessons and telling Bible stories. It’s not quite the same.
But I do have something in common with the woman at the airport. It’s taken me years, but I’m comfortable in my own skin.
A lot of the lifestyle choices we’ve made are not the usual. I’m passionate about feeding my family real food, about teaching my children at home, about the importance of having space in my home and my life. These ideas aren’t for everyone, and it can be hard to explain and defend these choices to people who don’t do the same.
For a long time, I’ve looked at being a stay-at-home mom as “what I’m doing for now“, with the idea that there would always be something else to follow. What that is, I’ve never been too clear on. All of the roles I fall into as the believer, wife, mom, chef, financial manager, teacher, helper, maid are the things that fill my life, that make me me. I’ve read that you’re not supposed to identify yourself by what you do, because if that were to go away, you would still be yourself. And that’s true, I suppose. But I also think that what we do does define us. It does shape us.
Will I always be the stay-at-home mom? Probably not. But right now, that’s who I am. I’m not just a stay-at-home mom. I’m not settling for this while waiting to move on to something else. This is what I’m doing. And I really enjoy all of the different hats I get to wear. It’s not a life full of Christmas-card-worthy updates (unless you are excited to hear how many times I’ve put the books back on the bookshelf today). But it’s my simple little life, and I like it.
One of the things that drew me to this woman in the airport was how sure of herself she seemed. And while I may not be a career woman jetting off somewhere anytime soon, I do have that. I’m confident in myself, and in my decisions. I know what I like, I know what I’m good at, and I’m starting to embrace that my life is not in a state of “for now”. This is my life. This is who I am. And I like it.