Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Life as a Stay-At-Home Mom {One Year Later}!

*DISCLAIMER* This post is not written to debate the stay-at-home mom vs. working mom decision all women have to make.  I have done both, both are hard, and both are rewarding.  This post is written for Gibson, Elliott and Finley so that they may one day see that their mom wrestled with tough choices, that life isn't always easy, and that sometimes you have to choose the one that means the most to you.

One year ago, Elliott and I walked hand-in-hand into the CAPS administration building.  I had on my ring of courage and my librarian like glasses to shield my teary eyes.  Elliott was oblivious, but I had a stomach full of butterflies.

The last time I had walked into this building with a stomach full of butterflies was for my interview eight years earlier.

This time I walked in to turn in this letter.......

February 29, 2012

Dear Mr. Veldman,

I am writing to officially resign from the teaching position that was held for me for the 2011-2012
school year.

I am grateful for the opportunity to take a sabbatical and have discerned that returning to the
classroom for the 2012-2013 school year is not the path I am being called to take. As the logistics of our adoption have been complicated and continue to become more tedious, with no end in sight, I feel that it is in the best interest of my family, and our daughter, if I solely focus on them.

It is not without a heavy heart that I write this letter as I have been blessed by my time at CAPS. Thank you for the opportunity to grow professionally and personally during my eight years at South Elementary.



The moment of turning in my letter was not as climatic as I had dreamed... In some selfish way I had hoped there would be tears of people sad to see me go, pleas for me to stay or even a round of applause for my bravery.  But, instead it was quite anti-climatic.  The secretary said thank you, Elliott and I said goodbye to Ms. Joni in the daycare, and away we drove. {I did later receive a very nice letter from Mr. Veldman that I still have today.}

I would be lying if I said I there wasn't a small part of me that wanted to turn the mini van around, storm the administration doors and dramatically ask for my letter back. But, instead, I drove away knowing that it was the right choice.

There is an old saying that says, You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher.

So, on my one year anniversary of walking away from it all, I thought a good exercise of comparing and contrasting paired with some good ole' processing was appropriate.  
Oh, how I am craving some chart paper, a Venn diagram or t-chart right now, but in the world of blogger a simple list will have to suffice.

I thought....
  1. I would have LOTS of time to read books, oh how I longed to read non-education books.
  2. I could now easily keep up with my house and it would always be clean.
  3. I would have so much extra time for all of those projects on my list.
  4. I could take naps, naps and more naps.
Reality.... I am just as busy as before, almost as tired, my house is still a mess most of the time, I have only read a few books {and it is never during the day}, the projects still await, and I have only been able to squeeze in one nap.

  1. Relationships with parents over the years ... {Steph, The Hunters, Cathy....I miss you!}
  2. Seeing the underdog smile when they accomplished something.
  3. Being able to step into the hall and chat.
  4. Read alouds!!
  5. Book orders.... Oh, how I loved spending my bonus points.
  6. Talking the talk, being really good at something.
  7. MESSA Insurance!
  8. Teaching writing.
  9. Chart paper.
  10. Receiving notes and words of affirmation.
  11. Little teacher gifts here and there.  Hey, who doesn't love a gift card or some chocolate?


  1. My false identity.  For so long, I found my value in teaching and felt naked with out it, wondering who my true self really was.
  2. A paycheck.  Again, I somehow found value in a check with my name on it.  Now, I am working just as hard, with no pay and there have been times when I have questioned my worth.
  3. My plan.  It was my plan to happily retire after 25 years.  However, I realized that this was not His plan, and as confident as I was in that, I still had to grieve it.
  4. Massages, going out to eat whenever we wanted, and having a mini spending spree at Target.  The cost of my choosing to stay at home was that we would now have to be on a budget.  Again, it was never a part of my plan.
  5. That I was easily replaceable.  Let's face it, we all are, but it doesn't mean it wasn't a sucker punch to the gut when it become a reality.

  1. Being able to hug my boys as they get on the bus and be on the front porch when they get off.
  2. Having energy for my own kids, instead of being drained my 3:30 each day by my school kids.
  3. God has provided for us.  When I first told Steve I felt like I was supposed to stay home we sat on our porch and crunched the numbers and it didn't seem feasible, but it has been, and we are thankful.
  4. The new relationships that have blossomed because I have more of me to give.
  5. Beginning to find my true self.  I am a risk taker?  I am courageous? I am creative in other ways?  I am naturally an optimist?  Who knew?!
  6. The freedom of Sunday nights!  All of the teachers out there know exactly what I mean.  Can I get an amen?   
  7. Happier, healthier boys.
  8. A happier, healthier husband.
  9. A happier, healthier me.
  10. Being able to use the restroom at anytime of the day.
  11. Grabbing coffee or lunch with a friend at 9 am or 2 pm or any hour in between.
  12. Not having to wear make-up on most days.
  13. One pair of jeans and a few nice shirts are all my wardrobe really needs.
  14. The calm that is now in our home.
  15. That when one of my boys is sick, no sub plans are needed, I can just stay home and cuddle all day.
  16. Being able to wear yoga pants whenever I want.
  17. The luxury of being able to say, I don't think this is working for our family.

Has it been smooth sailing and easy ever since that rainy day one year ago? 

Oh my lands NO.

Have I for one minute regretted my decision? 

Not once!

Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.
Steve Jobs


  1. Likewise, your presence is missed as well. These decisions while they are good, are never easy. Even as you look back on the year, btw very nicely done, the doubt will creep back in. Uncertainty and questions keep us guessing, but the truth that you know to make the decision never changes. Keep it up, keep your eyes on Him who gently guides. :-)

  2. great job, great great writing. MESSA's not all that these days anyways.

  3. yep. you're missed. had to do a little grieving myself. but i'm so thankful that i had the opportunity to get to know you. that you poured into my sj for three solid years. that i can call you friend, more importantly, sister in Christ.
    you are exactly where you need to be. never doubt that. you are building up and pouring into your hubby and your boys which is irreplacebable.
    we're fine here at CAPS. you just keep on following Jesus, sharing your heart, lovin on your family, and keep us posted about your finley grace. love you!

  4. Theresa,
    Thank you for putting those wise words out to share with others. They are so true, and I get each and every one of them. I am so happy that all has been working out in respects to your choice. You are an amazing women and being at home has allowed others to see your positive, loving, and creative characteristics too!
    Love you tons!
    Aunt Kris

  5. Too much to say here...just going to have to give you a call tomorrow. :)

  6. You're right where you should be - and God keeps giving grace for the journey. Here's to brutal, beautiful living. Here's to community. Here's to friendship.


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