{Motherhood Changes Everything}

I've literally retitled this post 3 times. However, I think I finally landed on the right one.

I cannot believe my summer is coming to a close. Naturally, no one feels sorry for me given my summer started on April 27th this year, but y'all, it's hard for this new Mama. I am not ready to leave my sweet boy.

I never imagined I would want to be a stay-at-home Mom. Really it makes no sense because my Mom was a stay-at-home Mom during my elementary days and I loved her always being there. Alas, here there I was three weeks from returning to my teaching career, googling "ways to make money as a stay-at-home mom" and "stay-at-home Mom jobs". Please don't get me wrong - I love teaching. I feel like it's 100% the career Taylor-made (see what I did there? ;)) for me, but I never in a million years imagined I would love this stage of life nearly as much as I am.

I feel like that still sounds bad, but allow me to explain. Pre-Wesson I told everyone, very matter of factly I might add, that I was undoubtedly coming back to teaching the following year, and how I couldn't possibly imagine being a stay-at-home Mom because:
a) I would be stir-crazy,
b) I would be bored without adult interaction,
c) that I wouldn't be putting my college degree and teaching certificates I had worked so hard for to good use,
d) I love teaching, working with kids, impacting lives in this way, and can't imagine walking away from it, and
e) that we would be down one income which isn't exactly feasible for us at the moment.

Okay... we could make it work, but we would have to cut way back on spending and make some big changes in our current lifestyle.

Regardless, I never imagined falling so in love with this phase of life. I love being a Mom. LOVE IT! I love my sweet boy, the way he smiles at me when he sees me, the way he lights up when he discovers something new or looks at himself in the mirror. I love seeing him hit new milestones and the way his little personality is starting to appear. I love praying for his future.

I just LOVE him, and I love who I am now because of him. I love that I am different such as putting this little man's needs and desires and hopes and dreams before my own. (Yes, I know he's not currently verbalizing those hopes and dreams, and those things may currently be to eat solid food and walk, but hey let him dream!)

I love that he makes me want to be better in every area of life:
- in the way I am a wife - the way I support, love, talk to, and care for my husband.
- in the way I look after our home, and by that I mean actually keep it a little cleaner.
- in my diet and exercise - eat better and stay fit and healthy.
- in my faith - to chase fervently after the Father and seek Him in everything so that I can show my son what it means to be a Christ-follower and so that he will pursue his own relationship with Christ.
- in the way I love others and foster relationships
I know that Wesson will look up to Ryan and me and learn from our examples. There's a little human watching my every move, and you can tell.

For example, I did something dumb the other night and got extremely upset about it immediately after the incident. I wished so badly I could take back those seconds and make a different decision, but I couldn't. Choking back tears while bathing Wesson, it became incredibly evident that he knew something was wrong, something was different. Mama wasn't smiling, she looked sad, and y'all, that made him sad. He literally made his sad, pathetic, I'm-about-to-lose-it face at me. Immediately, I smiled brightly at him and tried to push my sadness aside and move forward. He noticed that too, and his demeanor changed, and bath time was once again a joyous occasion.

The Lord is refining me through motherhood, and now as I approach an again new chapter of life I am anxious. What does it look like to be a working Mom?

Today when Wesson and I met up with some of our Square 1 group members, a mom and I talked about how there's so much guilt that comes with motherhood and how neither of us expected it. I experienced it when I quit nursing, among other things, and now as I move into being a working Mom I am experiencing it all over again. She said that even though she's staying home she is feeling guilt about her son thinking Mom's can't work, or isn't as strong, or silly things like that. It's amazing what eats your lunch as a Mom.

I can't let my anxiety get the best of me though. I am incredibly grateful to my mother-in-law for watching Wesson during the week while Ryan and I work. He's going to love Camp Gigi. I am also incredibly jealous. I feel like I'm going to miss out on so many more milestones, and that I'm going to be replaced which is of course nonsense, but what did I tell you about that guilty feeling? It's nuts! That is something I'm going to have to pray over a lot as I enter this school year. First and foremost, I am Wesson's Mommy and he comes first. I am going to cherish every moment we have together, though that's going to look a little different now. Additionally, I made a commitment to do a great job at school and teach some amazing kiddos, so I need to work my butt off to do both and serve joyfully. I've never been one to back down from a challenge, so here goes nothing!

Happy Monday, friends. What has the Lord been using to refine you lately?

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