If I had a nickel for every time I had to explain this, I probably would've been able to pay off my student loan debt by now.
*As a disclaimer, I have an extreme amount of respect for working moms. Mommy wars are silly and motherhood comes in all shapes, sizes and careers. This post is meant as a reflection of my own path toward the search for my identity in my career and in motherhood.*
I was reading a blog about a mom who found her true calling in motherhood. She said that if she had known this prior to being pressured by her parents and society to get her degree, then she would have opted out of school completely and she and her husband would have started a family a lot sooner than they actually did. She deemed that time and money spent in school to be a complete waste.
This got me thinking about the eight years and $50,000 (that we're still paying off by the way) that I spent going to college and then pharmacy school. Was it a complete waste of my time? Should I go back to work in order to justify the value of my education? I had a total identity crisis. I guess for the three years that I worked, my career was somewhat the source of my identity. At 23, I was making a six-figure salary and pretty much had it going on. Who the heck am I now?
“Oh, I'm just a stay-at-home mom."
I found myself saying that when people asked me what I do for a living. Just. Ugh. If only I could remove that word from my vocabulary. I mean, how does one define this “living" that I'm apparently not making. Am I dead?
Then I realized something: I still have it going on. I have a super gorgeous, caring, loving, intelligent, Christ-loving husband who provides for our family, and I love taking care of him. Together, we have beautiful and incredibly intelligent children whom I get to nurse, nurture, educate and share my day with, and I don't miss anything.
Seasons and reasons.
I believe in the different seasons of life. I believe that everything happens for a reason.
The process of getting my degree + the short amount of time that I spent in my career shaped a lot of who I am today.
It absolutely was not a waste of time.
I made lifelong friends during those eight years and their friendships are priceless to me.
I made lifelong friends at my old job.
I learned important life lessons while taking care of sick patients.
I learned how to conduct better research.
I learned that my hobbies are valuable and I'm happy when I have time to completely immerse myself in them.
I learned how to manage my finances.
I learned that money doesn't buy happiness.
I stay up-to-date on the happenings in the health care world because I like to be able to have those kinds of discussions with my husband.
If I would have chosen a different path in life, then I may never have met and married the man of my dreams.
We plan on homeschooling our children. I think the education that I've had the privilege of having gives me the confidence to know that I can, in turn, give them a good education.
A good friend of ours once said this: “Who you are is not as important as whose you are."
For me, that means that I already have my identity, and it lies in Christ.
I'm thankful for the time that I got to work as a pharmacist and help people, and it doesn't mean that I won't do it again.
But right now, I am so thankful and I realize that I am incredibly blessed to have the privilege of being able to stay at home and raise our daughters. The past few years have already gone by so quickly that it frightens me to think about how quickly 10 years will pass... and I don't want to miss a thing.