The Vocation of Mom

As someone who spent three years working in a college career development office I have spent a lot of time thinking about the concepts of vocation and calling.  I have contemplated how personality type, interests, skills, and education correspond with academic choice, career fit, and job change.  I am familiar with the interpretations for the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) based on the work of Carl Jung, John Holland’s theory of Career Choice and the RIASEC interest assessment, and the DISC inventories developed by John Geier.  If you need help with a resume or cover letter I’m your girl.  However, despite this array of career theory knowledge I have spent very little time contemplating the vocation of Mom.

For the first several months of Eli’s life I worked full time.  Mom was simply thought of as one of my roles in life.  A vocation was something you did outside the home, a paid position to be done alongside other employees.  However, I longed to be able to be home with my son.  I longed to be there to see every little change and development occur for the very first time, to be able to say I was there for every milestone.  I longed to be a stay-at-home-mom, but I still didn’t think of it as a vocation, simply a dream.

Then we moved to Mexico.  One of the many reasons we moved was to enable me to live out this dream.  Here we can afford to live on my husband’s teacher’s salary.  Here we can afford for me to stay home with our kids.  I am a stay-at-home-mom. 

Before we moved here I heard many people say that the transition to stay-at-home-mom was hard.  They said that they struggled with the change from being out in the work world to being at home all the time, the transition from spending the majority of one’s time with adults to with a child (or children).  I didn’t get it.  This was my dream.  This was going to make my life so much easier.  There would be more time with my little bundle of joy, more time to get things done around the house, and more time for me.  I would be a better mother and a better wife.  I could happily live out the life of Susie Homemaker – cooking, cleaning, and raising my child with a song in my heart and a smile on my lips.  It would be like that scene in Enchanted where Giselle simply begins to sing and suddenly the apartment is clean, she has made herself a new outfit, and the world is a better place filled with incredibly helpful little creatures.

Here’s the problem: 1) I can’t sing, 2) I hate sewing, and 3) I’m pretty sure I would freak out if my apartment was suddenly filled with rats,birds, and other little critters.  As much as I would like my life to be a musical that’s just not the real world. 

Instead we moved to Mexico, I became a stay-at-home mom, and suddenly I understood what all those women were talking about.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being able to stay home with Eli and feel incredibly blessed to be able to do so.  I love getting to see him grow and develop with each new day.  I even love the exhaustion of chasing a toddler around.  But it’s still exhaustion.  There’s still plenty of less than enjoyable work to be done.  I don’t think I’ll ever come to love washing dishes or cleaning toilets.

And then there’s the loneliness.  My sweet little boy with his 4 word vocabulary can only provide so much intellectual stimulation.  Plus, we moved to Mexico.  My whole world has turned upside down and I’m trying to learn a new language in the process.  It’s a challenging adventure to say the least.  But that dreaded loneliness has left me with plenty of time to contemplate the job of mom.  And I’ve come to the conclusion that being a stay-at-home mom, at this stage in my life, is truly my vocation. It’s a job that I am called to do to the best of my ability, a calling if you will.  I am not monetarily paid, I don’t really have a boss, and I’m not sure it can be put on a resume for future career opportunities, but God has given me this opportunity and I long to fulfill it to the best of my ability.

I’m still learning how to be a stay-at-home-mom, how to be a mom in general for that matter.  It’s a lesson I have a feeling I’ll be working on for a long time.  However, there’s something important about seeing it as my vocation and realizing the blessing and the calling that God has given me for this stage in my life.  Mothering doesn’t require a specific personality type, interest set, or education level.  It requires dedication, patience, unconditional love, and a lot of hard work.  Even if I go back to work someday I hope that I will never lose sight of being a mom as part of my vocation.  It’s a high calling and a blessing.  It’s beautiful and overwhelming.  It’s part of the adventure.  


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