I was talking with a friend the other day about what it was like when we had small babies. Boy, was it hard. I was remembering when I had recently quit my job and then had my second baby. My life had changed so much and I felt pretty isolated. It was during this time that I really needed to hang on to my vision of being a stay-at-home mom and caring for myself amidst that.
Last week, I wrote a post on painting the picture of a vision for your life. Wow, I am just struck over and over again by how important it is to have a vision for where you are at in each moment of your life. I don’t mean just an overall vision that encompasses your whole life. I also mean a specific vision for now.
I needed that specific vision for where I was at, when I was at that point with two tiny daughters and staying at home full-time. It was so beautiful but also so hard at the same time?! The cost of childcare was high for me working part-time and would have been even higher with 2 kids in daycare. I wasn’t agreeing with decisions that were being made in my work. So I quit my job to be a full-time stay-at-home mom and started a job cleaning our church. The job was amazing! I could work when I wanted during the week, bring my kids with me, and I made exactly the amount that I had been taking home after paying for childcare. I was astounded at how God provided in this way.
But my new job didn’t use the skills and interactions- facilitating support groups and meeting with families, that I had so come to enjoy in my career. I had to hang on to the new vision for my life in that moment. My new vision was:
to care for them at home
working limited hours
use my gifts with my kids
use our money and resources wisely
glorify God in my work at the church
find other outlets for using my gifts
find other outlets for social support
Hanging on to my vision didn’t mean that it was easy or always clear. But I did love the new place God had me. I discovered and felt glad to be with my kids. I got to experience moments and things with them that I would not have gotten to experience otherwise. But I also had mornings where I woke up and wanted to hide from the hard job of being a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to scream when I couldn’t take a shower or go to the bathroom by myself. I also had to put on hold my desires for my career. I had to hang on to my vision, so that I could be a good mom and remember why I was doing what I was doing.
I had to learn what it meant to be able to fulfill my vision. It was a process of growth and an exploration. I had to learn how to be present as a mom, how to use my gifts in other ways, and how to gain the social time and self-care that I needed to be fueled as a mom. I realized that I needed other moms and women to get together with for Bible study and social activities. I discovered that I needed a different kind of love and care from my husband. There were aches and pains. I had to hang on to my vision
When we take action without a clear vision for the bigger picture, it’s easy to lose track of the “why”. That’s why it is so important to paint a vision to hang on to during the moments when you are so enthused about where you are at and during the moments when it just feels hard. One of my great passions, as a coach, is working with moms and other kinds of caregivers to figure out/develop a clear vision for where you are at. Then put it into action. This provides a way to enjoy and fuel what you have been called to do right now. Do you need to paint a picture of your vision today? Make sure that you have a vision that you can hang on to.