Monday, September 28, 2015

Transitioning from Stay-at-Home to Working Mom


The night before the first day of school I stood in my kitchen and cried as I finished packing the last peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I cried because I couldn't take the pain inside of me any more. If you've never experienced what I went through, you might be asking "what pain? Didn't you sign up for this?" It's the pain of saying goodbye to a life that I knew for 6 and a half years. The pain of having to face the unknown. The pain of detaching from my old life while welcoming God's new. Transition is no joke and I know it because I've been through it more than once. I also felt the love and care of my friends and family. The text messages, prayers and phone calls availed much. Some of my mommy friends even surprised me with dinner to wish me well in this new season of life. Friendship is rich beyond measure.

I'm thankful to God for my amazing husband. His strength and encouragement are valuable and comforting. I don't think I could do anything I do without his support. I do have a super man for a husband. 

Transitioning helped me be more organized. I enjoy the challenge of organization and I have welcomed it as a natural part of the assignment God has for me. To be plain about it, I get to prepare at least 20 meals ahead of time, 20 outfits, homework assignments and all the other wonderful things God has allowed us to do. If I don't get ahead, I drown. I get stressed and everyone suffers, which is not fair. Organization is not a spiritual gift, is a vessel for sanity. 

I appreciate the fact that I have found a lot of people who want to hear my heart about this transition. I have friends who have been through it successfully and I have friends who haven't but both groups have a lot of empathy. Knowing that someone cares for me during this season has been great. Knowing that I have people who will listen, care and encourage me is the best gift. 

I still have feelings that are not completely worked out about this whole transition. The good news is, the worse is over.

Allowing myself to feel my feelings was the healthiest thing I could do. Staying away from negativity was the smartest thing I've done. Getting to a place of contentment is was the best thing I could do because there's great gain there. 

My greatest assurance is that God has truly opened this door of ministry for me. My honor is to serve Him well and serve my family well. Here are other things that helped me make this transition doable: 

• Talk it out - talking about my process and feelings has been a healthy thing. I tried not to overload one person with my stuff and I'm thankful that I have several friends who want to talk to me about my thoughts and feelings. When I bottle my emotions in, my body overreacts in ugly ways. That's called stress. I fight against it hard so that I can live a freer, healthier life. 

• Find your why - Knowing "why" I am in this current season brings a lot of peace. My husband and I never make life altering decisions on our own. We get a word from God, we talk to mentors, we pray about it and we ponder how it will affect our family. My "why" is anchored in the fact that it's a God assignment and it benefits our family. Having this anchor helps me weather any storm. 

• Grab your support - I have prayed for a support group and God has blessed me with a wonderful mix of peers and mentors with whom I can do life together. I have an "open door policy" with these people, which means they are free to speak the truth in love and literally drop in whenever they want to reach out. I also pray that I can be a blessing to these wonderful folks.  

• Stay ahead - organization is not my spiritual gift but I decided it is a vessel that leads me to sanity. I stay ahead by packing lunch boxes ahead of time. I stay ahead by ironing clothes ahead of time. I stay ahead by turning on my coffee maker and making sure I get a cup during my early morning Bible reading time. This act of staying ahead has eliminated a lot of stress from my life because I don't rush as much. I get to be peaceful and make the best use of the time God has given me. 

• Do what you love - A lot of people have asked me if I'm "dead tired" yet. I honestly say, not really. I have learned to get enough rest so that I can be energized for the day. I also learned to make room to do the things I love. I love running, so I made it a priority. I love writing, so I write daily. I love reading, so I carved 2 hours a week to do that. You can say that self-control includes having a hold of my daily schedule. I get to do what I love by making time for it. 

There's nothing easy about transitioning in my experience but there nothing goes to waste either. I believe God can use transitions in our lives to help us grow in our character, gain compassion for others and grow the talents He has already given us.

I have learned that the choices before me were to either be upset about a change in seasons or to find contentment in this season thus living it well until the following season starts.

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