August 21, 2008

A SAHM Rebel?

Various subdivisions exist in the Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM) Camp. Some staunch supporters would say you are not a true SAHM unless you stop earning a paycheck from the moment you hear that first baby's cry. We'll call them Camp #1 "The Traditionalists."

Others are partial SAHMs. They stay at home until their children are old enough for preschool, then rejoin the workforce. This is Camp #2 "The Early Years SAHMs."

Still others are those special creative types who have figured out how to earn money while staying at home. (My hat's off to those moms - I admire your industry and resourcefulness). I call Camp #3 "The Proverbs 31ers."

Then there's me. And I'm starting to feel like a square peg, because I don't fit into any of these camps.

Oh, I used to fit into Camp #1 until very recently; thought about Camp #2 when I was a new mommy (oh, those long nights!). I'm still looking for a way to fit into Camp #3 (maybe if I write the next best-seller, they'll let me in and share their s'mores with me. . .). But alas, none of the camps can claim me as a member now.

See, it's been 19 and 1/2 months since I heard my baby's first cry. And I am earning a paycheck once more.

I started a part time teaching job on Monday. I am teaching English to several South Korean high school students, three nights a week. 6 hours a week, total. With Jason at home to watch Caleb while I'm gone.

So what does that make me? A hybrid SAHM? A deserter to the cause? A rebel? Can I even show my face in a SAHM Camp anymore, or would I be strung up for high treason?

Serious questions, friends. My identity's changing, and I don't know how I will survive unless I can find a nice, neat social circle to fit in. Any advice? Ideas? Registration forms for a SAHM subdivision that houses non-conformist moms like me?

But I don't really feel like a non-conformist. I take my role as Caleb's mother and Jason's wife seriously. I spend my days running our household, being wife, mother, nanny, cook, maid, launderer, chauffeur, nurse, secretary, and occasionally, traffic controller. I love this job. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

The question now circling the camps is, Can she really be a good SAHM if she's working outside the home? Well friends, I guess I'm about to find out. Jason and I both spent time in prayer and discussion about this itty-bitty lil' ol' part time job. And we both felt God giving us the green light.

So stay tuned as I venture where few SAHMs have dared to go; there are surely interesting stories in my future.

Who knows? If all goes well, maybe I can create, populate, and preside over my own subdivision: Camp #4 "The Intrepid SAHMs."

But if you'll excuse me now, I need to make meal plans for next week and a shopping list for tomorrow.


Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

Ah, our need for labels... we strive and strive, trying to find where we fit. In reality, I think we're all square pegs who just shave off our corners--and, in so doing, part of ourselves--to fit into someone else's round hole.

How's this? You are a follower of Jesus, Jason's wife and Caleb's mommy and a teacher to grateful Korean students. And that first item in the label? Makes the rest exactly what they need to be.

Love you...

Nicole said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. I couldn't have put it better myself. =) Yep, there are times when I do crave labels; and there are times when I know I'm upsetting the proverbial "label apple cart."

But then, the Lord is always faithful to remind of what really matters. I belong to him. =D

Linds said...

Very cool, Cole - I'm sure you'll be great at it!