Just a Stay At Home Mom Battling the “What Ifs”

Do you battle the “what if” life?  I sometimes glance at the mess piling up around my feet and hear the screeches of children fighting as I try to discuss a math problem while frantically thinking of ideas for lunch and wonder what on earth I have gotten myself into?  I mean, really!  What am I doing? I’m trying to do a million little things at once and I don’t think I’m doing any of them well.  My life looks so messy.  I ask myself if this is fulfilling and if this is truly my calling.  Then the doubts creep up on me and I lapse into the dangerous daydream of “what if?”

What if………………

  • I had a corporate job?
  • we had waited longer to have kids?
  • we had both worked for a while?
  • we had fewer kids?
  • we had more kids?
  • we didn’t homeschool?
  • someone else shouldered the responsibility of teaching my kids?
  • I had time to go to lunch with friends (or at least make new friends)?
  • I had more help around the house?
  • I had time to work out?
  • I had time to cook the meals that I would actually like to eat?
  • I had more time to volunteer?
  • I could be more involved at church?
  • I could pursue hobbies?
  • I could actually read an entire book in one sitting?

I look at all the wonderful things that I could be doing.  I wonder what life would be like.  I wonder how life would be different.

Then I have to step back and focus on the here and now.

How do I put the “what ifs” behind me?

I count my blessings, examine the privilege of what I do daily, and remember that this season, while exhausting, is a fleeting one.  In a few years my life and my time will look drastically different. 

And mostly I question my heart.  What are the cause of these “what if” questions?

Usually it comes back to pride or selfishness.  I look at my stay-at-home homeschool mom job and I feel very unimportant.  I sometimes wish for a job where I was more visible or at least my results were more immediately noticeable.  Or maybe I wish for more time for myself to spend on my own pursuits rather than unselfishly dividing my time between 6 other people.  Yes, it’s usually a problem within my own heart that has caused me to question my worth and the purpose of my “job” on a daily basis.

I realize that I’ll probably always wonder what if?………but I’ve started to change that question into “what now?”  I’m moving forward and remembering that I can choose today to live with an undivided heart – one that is fully devoted to the here and now.  I can’t change the past but I can impact the future.

4 thoughts on “Just a Stay At Home Mom Battling the “What Ifs”

  1. Right now I’m just a stay at home mom, so I struggle with the same kind of thoughts. I don’t even homeschool my Kindergartner. I taught professionally for years and, honestly, teaching is work! I just want to stay home and take care of my preschoolers for a few years. It has been nice to have time to take care of the little ones, home responsibilities and to use my teacher planning time just for fun, meaningful and special moments each day. To be honest I really want my kids to stay home when they are older, the learning material is more interesting to me, and we can do volunteer work in the community together. Can’t get burnt out fighting over phonics before we get to that point! It’s in the plans unless the Lord changes things between then and now. So those are my what ifs, but you’re right—the what now is pretty awesome.

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