Dear Single a Girl: Don’t Waste Time; or How Who I Am Factors into being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Miles and I have started doing “school time” together a few days a week.  I know, I know…he’s only two.  Let me assure you…it’s really simple and laid back and only takes about 20 or 30 minutes.  And we’re both loving it.
Admittedly, I may be loving it slightly more than Miles.  For those of you don’t know, I’m actually a certified elementary school teacher.  I only substitute taught and never had a classroom of my own, but that background and training is there.  After a few years of mostly cleaning up messes and trying to keep a semblance of order to our house, and years before that working in a completely different field (accounting at a furniture manufacturer), I’d almost forgotten how much I really did enjoy teaching.  
You see, Miles’ school time is, for me, all of the things I loved about teaching without all of the things that made it hard and, on certain days, downright awful.  I love fueling his curiosity and seeing his mind expand and grow.  I love scouring the Internet for ideas.  I even really love planning out units and making lesson plans.  
I know, that’s all nice and everything, but what does that have to do with single girls?  I’ll tell you:
Recently, the idea came across my Facebook feed that if your dream is to be a wife and mother, then your days are best spent at home being a “homemaker” and helping with siblings. Essentially, practicing being a wife and mother.  Honestly, that saddens me.
You see, I am very blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home mom and homemaker.  I love what I do.  But there’s also so much more to me than just changing diapers and cleaning toilets.  I have specific interests, passions, and abilities that make me uniquely me.  Granted, there are seasons where there isn’t much room for all of those things.  But they’re still there inside of me, and at some point they have to be allowed to bloom or myself as a person will wilt inside.  
I’ve shared how I’ve struggled with some PPD.  Somewhere in the midst of that I lost my grip on my identity…who God created to me.  Yet, I’ve been watching myself come alive again planning and researching and teaching. I’ve been pulling out the stuff I learned in college, long since packed away.  I’ve been rediscovering and refining my “Philosophy of Education” (you education majors will know what I’m talking about).  In short, this one small thing of doing school with Miles has made me feel the most alive and like me that I have in awhile.  I no longer feel like just a mindless robot who cooks and cleans and changes diapers.  The most beautiful part about it is that I’m still doing all of those things.  I’m still a stay-at-home mom…only now what that looks like is altered by who I am as a woman.  And you know what?  I wouldn’t be able to say that if all I’d ever done before marriage and babies was cultivate the domestic arts.  
So, if you’re single and wondering what you should be doing with your time, I’d tell you to ask yourself these questions: What are you good at?  What would you like to improve at?  What makes you feel alive?  
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a wife and mother.  And there’s nothing wrong with learning to cook, clean, and take care of kids.  Yet, I’d venture a guess that there’s much more to you than just that.

Pursue your passions.  Work hard at something.  Stretch yourself.  Someday when you’re a wife and mom, you’ll be glad you did. 
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