Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Decisions, decisions

It's hard to make decisions. There's what you think you should do, what you really want to do (or not even knowing what that would be), knowing or thinking what you think other people expect you to do (not that that should matter but somehow it always does)...  the World vs. the Gospel, etc. There's the guilt of wanting something you can't have, or wanting what you think you shouldn't want, or wishing you wanted what you thought you didn't want (are you confused yet? Good. Now you have a sense of my current state of mind).

And then you read things like this. It sort of validates what I've felt for a long time: that I am going to need to at least keep a foot in the "real world" if I want to stay sane. And I really want to be a mother too. I can't wait to be completely absorbed by my little ones and teach them and play with them and feed them and spend every waking hour with them... but I also know that I am going to need to stay involved in life outside the home. It's just hard finding that happy medium. You're probably thinking "that silly Lydia, she's stressing out for nothing -- she doesn't even have kids yet!" Well I like to have a plan, and these are the kinds of decisions you make far in advance. Plus it's not that far in advance... we leave BYU to start our "real life" in April.

I wonder if I'll ever feel certain in any decision. Sometimes I envy my friends who are so certain about what they want in life. I had a close friend in the FLSR who was always dead certain she wanted to be a stay-at-home mother, and that was always the goal. She certainly didn't ignore the importance of education and completed her degree, but once she got married, they saved for a child and made a baby. And she is now a happy stay-at-home mom. Then I have another good friend in the broadcast program who, before she married her now-husband, talked to him about her goals and they decided he would follow her wherever she got her first job, she would get several years of experience as a reporter, and then they would have kids. And she hasn't changed her mind since. I don't even think one choice is superior to the other, and what I admire most is that both of these friends made a decision and stuck to it.

And then there's me, the eternal flip-flopper terrified of taking a wrong step. I want so badly to be a deliberate woman. I want so much to make intelligent, informed and inspired decisions, but I feel like so much is out of my--our--control that I have no idea how to make the right decision. And then there's the whole "leave it in God's hands" vs. "God helps those who help themselves", which isn't helping right now. I'm silly though, because I'm sitting here wishing an angel would come tell me what to do, but the moment that happened I'd probably whine that I didn't get to make the choice myself. Ha ha.


  1. You just put perfectly into words what I have been feeling/fighting/wondering for the last 18 months. Now I've finished my undergrad work, I want to work for a few years and then go to PA school. I don't dare tell too many people this because all I hear all the time now is "Oh! You're done with school! Great! You get to be a full-time stay-at-home mom now." I'm like you- I think it is amazing and wonderful that we get to choose, like your friends.

    I know that I cannot (not will not, but honestly, to remain sane, I just can't) be home all the time. I wish I had an answer for you and me both. Prayers for you coming your way!

  2. If it's any help from an "old" lady's perspective: having babies is a young people's sport and after you raise children their will still be time for another "career." I believe it is wisest to do things that will have eternal consequences first, then all the rest falls into place. Another tidbit, being a stay-at-home mom doesn't mean you never go anywhere or do anything. It means your first job is wife and mother, but you still get to be yourself and go places and do things. I had a blast while homeschooling our children learning with them, taking them on field trips all the time and being involved in church. You can do it all, just not all at the same time.

  3. I too think about how to be a deliberate woman (and mother!) daily. From someone who is raising a young child and currently working... it's hard and definitely not something I'd choose to do - at least both full-time. I do think you can make conscious decisions to progress as a woman while a young mother - but I have to agree with Rozy Lass' comment above - it sure is nice to do things with eternal consequences first... also - I definitely plan to go back to school and get masters/phd when I'm done having young children, so maybe in another 5-10 years when little M is in school! So having kids young is also kind of a selfish thing, cause it means I can step away from a more orderly career for a decade, and then come back ready to throw a lot more of myself into something, rather than dividing time between young children and work.

    Just some cents from me. It's so hard to know what to do and there is obviously NO right answer that works for everyone. Stay prayerful and keep seeking out enriching opportunities, and I'm sure as you move forward a clearer path will illuminate itself!

  4. Also, of course my comment is taken with a grain of salt since I 1. unplanned pregnancy 2. unplanned divorce haha - it's always a bit easier when some choices seem thrust upon you and you can just choose how to react, rather than initiate :)

  5. and then there are those of us who didn't have to make THAT choice per se... but had to decide if we wanted to stay in this insane workplace :)