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.

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