Thursday, April 16, 2009

cookies and milk and yellow balloons

My mother says her memories of me as a young girl are that I would follow her around the house and want to participate in whatever she was doing. My favorite song, and I sang it all the time, was When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Mother.

When I grow up I want to be a mother and have a family.
One little, two little, three little babies of my own.
Of all the jobs, for me I'll choose no other. I'll have a family.
Four little, five little, six little babies in my home.
And I will love them all day long.
And give them cookies and milk and yellow balloons.
And cuddle them when things go wrong.
And read them stories and sing them pretty tunes.
When I grow up if I can be a mother, how happy I will be.
One little, two little, three little babies I can love.
And you will say each sister and each brother all look a lot like me.
Four little, five little, six little blessing from above.

It was all I wanted. Being a stay-at-home mom was something I always wanted for myself. When Somebody and I got married, he was not as enthusiastic about that plan as I was, but I am grateful that he has really left that decision up to me to make. I'm also grateful that we found out I was pregnant just a week after he was offered his full-time job last year. Without his job I would have needed to stay working so that we could pay our bills and have insurance. With his job, and with a lot of careful planning and budgeting, we have been able to readjust our lives to make my staying at home work for us. I realize that this is not the same choice that many other mothers can and do make, but this has never been about what other people are choosing. This is about what I'm choosing and about what Somebody and our years of careful planning together have allowed me to choose.

I'm ready. I'm terrified. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm thrilled. I'm not sure I know how to do anything other than what I've been doing—working full-time and in general enjoying it quite a bit. I'm not sure I'm ready to bend my schedule to the needs of someone else. I'm not sure there won't be a lot of days when I question my choice and wonder if I would be happier if I had chosen to return to work. I'm not sure that I'm able to put into practice the restrictive budget that I have designed that makes this choice possible. I'm not sure I completely understand what I'm getting in to. What I am sure of, though, is that no matter how hard this might be for me to adjust to, this is a choice that I am happy to make. Even with the very clear picture in my mind of a screaming baby who will not be consoled and me sitting nearby in tears of frustration at not knowing how to make things better, I am happy to make this choice. I want to be a mother and have a family. And I want to stay at home with my family.

And so today, in about 20 minutes, I'm going to walk out of a door that I have walked into every weekday for the past 21 months, get in my car, drive my 45 minutes of country roads, and try to not look back. My baby will spend the drive kicking me, as he always does, and I'll sing him Indigo Girls all the way (because lately I've been missing Heidi and missing singing and missing song lyrics that speak to me). Tonight Somebody will make me pancakes for dinner (because what begins with pancakes should end with pancakes) and then, after a quiet evening at home, I will go to bed knowing that tomorrow I will begin a completely different kind of job. But of all the jobs, for me I'll choose no other.

14 comments:

BYU Fish said...

Oh Jennifer...you are AMAZING!! I'm sooo glad you are having this opportunity to bend and grow and stretch and hang on....you've been doing this the LAST 8+ months!! Ha...but seriously, you are gonna be a VERY FUN mom. I can just see the kidlets running around telling all their friends that THEIR mom is the BOMB...or whatever the word will be when they can run around and talk!! Love ya-Miss ya-Sing your HEART OUT!

Allison said...

When Baby Shoe is screaming inconsolably (and so are you!) call me and I'll come over and walk around with that little Nike (or Adidas or whatever you'll call him) and you'll eat something sugary (and probably very chocolatey) which I will bring while we muse about our decisions to be stay-at-home-moms. Then, you'll take a bath or a nap or a shower or go read a book or take a walk or go shopping or whatever it is you want to do sans baby, while I do my best to hold down the fort. And I'll do this as many times as you'll let me!

Melinda (farleysmiles) said...

so I was doing a little blog stalking...actually I linked back on your pancake comment and that got me looking back at your old posts and I came across the fashion one in 2006 at Women's conference and I just have to tell you...that's my MIL! I sent the link to my husband to be sure and he agreed and we got a good laugh. He is going to show her too and she'll laugh too because she knows she stands out! It was just too funny to see it on your blog!

Jessica said...

I just loved that song, I even sang it to my Cassidy the other day. But, I was missing a few of the words... thank you for posting them. As far as your new life... Welcome!!! It isn't the easiest journey, but it is so worth every minute with your child. You'll get to hear his first words, see his first steps and everything inbetween. It's Wonderful. We are very excited for you guys.. Congrates on your new life! Can't wait to see all your posts to come.

Ginet said...

Great, great post.
Get in, sit down, and enjoy the ride that is being a stay at home mom. I guarantee it will be better (notice I didn't say easier) than any other job you've ever had...on most days.

Wendy said...

What a great entry and decision. You'll never ever look back with regrets. I left the workforce to be home with my baby, and then babies, and these past 11 years I've been living my dream--being a mother is exactly what I've planned on.

A friend of mine who tried being a SAHM said she just got too bored and went back to work for something to do. I could never understand how she didn't stay busy at home?!?

I'll get off my soapbox in just a moment, but first have to say that when I'm at my kids' school, it's like day and night between the kids who have been reared by their mom when they were young, vs. being raised by various day care workers. A stark contrast in many ways.

I'd rather be poor with my kids than pay someone else to raise them.

Okay, I will end now.

Janssen said...

I loved that song - I dont' know many people who were familiar with that record (oh yes, we had it in vinyl form).

You will be a lovely mother.

Lisa Lou said...

I haven't heard that song in so long! It was one of my favorites too growing up.

Emily said...

Jen - Hey! I randomly came across your blog - it was listed on a friend's blog. I'm glad to be able to see what's going on in your life. Best of luck with the baby!

Daisie said...

I am SO excited for you! How fun to know you are done at the job!! And how TOTALLY exciting that your little guy will be here soon!! CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HIM!!

Adrienne said...

Awww, I have no words. Wait. I always have words. You know I never have an opinion, especially about being an actual MOMMY to your kids, so let me just say. You are absolutely in the right. Absolutely. And it will make you absolutely happy. And this IS the job you were made for, kid. Can't wait!!

Heidi Hallam said...

You just keep singing that song! You'll need the reminder some days. I sing it too, sometimes, and now my daughters sing it as well.
Do you know I try to let me kids understand how hard being a mother is; how much work I have to do. (Because it was a huge shocker to me just how much work was involved.) But I do this mostly in an attempt to solicit their pity and help, and also to stop their seemingly never-ending demands. But then I heard from them, "Mom, maybe I don't want to be a mother. It's too much work." So then I had to stop complaining and start sharing how much I loved being a mother and why.

KC Knicks said...

You give me goose bumps. That's all I can say. Love ya!

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