I have to be the luckiest man alive because God picked Michelle to be my wife, my life-long partner and my best friend. To watch the transformation of her life over the last 5 years has been one of my most joyful experiences to date. The transformation hasn’t been easy, but the fruit that has come from it is nothing less than divine. Enjoy this post from my wife Michelle.
My name is “Mommy” and I am a stay-at-home mom.
As I write this, I recall a day in the not-too-distant past that I was slightly embarrassed to admit that. As I voluntarily left my professional career of being a successful pediatrician, I was often asked, “How can you leave your practice after all those years of schooling and hard work?” The answer is simple, but the process of me discovering the answer was not. Before I give you the answer, it’s important to note that I am still on a journey of understanding my calling of “working at home”.
As I grew up and determined to become a doctor, I didn’t pay much attention to domestic roles of learning how to be a wife or mother, or how to manage a household. Instead, I pursued the accolades of being a doctor and “helping people”. During medical school, my internship and residency, and the early years of growing my pediatric practice, I didn’t prioritize my family. Yes, I had a vague understanding that family was important but how I used my time and energy reflected that I valued my career more than my family. And I knew I was in good company being a “working mom”: some internet sources quote up to 3/4 of women work outside the home.
At church and in the LIFE community, I started seeing examples of women with a passion and love for their family. I started envying the joy and peace that these women had as they made homemaking their primary priority. Even as my heart became burdened with the desire to be home with my husband and kids, I wrestled with quitting my job. Could being a stay-at-home mom provide me with the same satisfaction I received from work: the respect and status of being a doctor, the paychecks, the applause from family and friends as I seemed to effortlessly balance “boss” and “baby”? Dorothy Patterson writes:
“Homemaking – being a full-time wife and mother- is not a destructive drought of uselessness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity: it is not a dreary cell to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to channel creativity and energies into meaningful work.”
God used lots of people and circumstances to redirect my attention – less on myself and my career and, instead, more on my home. As my heart changed, I grew to desire to become an excellent wife and mother and to nurture those relationships by investing in them intentionally. I grew to want to learn how to make my home a place of rest, enjoyment, peace and order for my family. I slowly began to realize that my principle place of work was at home, as a wife and a mother. I began to realize that my role of managing the home complimented Matt’s role of leading our family.
The Answer to the Question
The answer to the question of how I could step away from my pediatric career to become a full-time wife and full-time mom is….God. See, I told you the answer was simple, but not easy! As I’ve continued to learn a biblical perspective of work and marriage, I’ve realized that homemaking is an important and noble calling in God’s economy.
The gift I received yesterday from our 9-year old daughter is better than a year-end bonus at work or the compliments of satisfied patients. My daughter gave me a handwritten envelope that was addressed “To the Best Mom in the Universe!” Inside it read,
“Dear Mom, Thank you for being born so I could be born! I love you sooooooooooooooooooooo [yes, 21 zeroes!] much and I love dad sooooooooooooooooooooo [yes, 21 zeroes!] much too. I love the way you walk, talk, love, and cook. You are the best cook I have ever met and you are so loveable and careable. I love you more than you love me and it’s possible. A lot of love from, Anna banana”
I have the BEST JOB in the whole world!
I am a stay-at-home mom.