Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us for forever. The message: we are what we choose to be.
Have you ever wondered what your life would look like had you taken a different path? You know, taken that other job instead of the one you are now in; gone to that other college instead of the one you ended up choosing; wanting to make a big move to another city, but instead staying where you were? Have you ever gone ‘there’ in your mind? I haven’t gone ‘there’ too often, until lately.
My husband and I are just about empty nesters… for the most part. My youngest daughter is still at home. Well, she still sleeps at home, and does her laundry here; so technically, she still lives here. While my other two children have already flown from the nest.
I started thinking a couple of weeks ago, what my life would look like had I have done a few things differently about 22 years ago. Specifically, how would my life look had I gone back to work part-time after my son was born.
My husband and I agreed that I would stay home with our two children after my second child was born 22 years ago. But at the time, we did not expect my child to be born seven weeks premature. So, as I think back to before I had left my job when I was pregnant with my son, I was asked by my supervisor then if I wanted to return to my position after my son was born. I can remember quickly telling her of my plans to stay at home with my children and how excited I was. It was a new adventure for our family.
I had went through a divorce a few years before, and I had wanted to spend more time with my family. We decided we would make sacrifices for me to stay home. Well, it’s been 22 years of sacrificing, and I look back now on it all and wonder how different my life would have been had I actually went back to work after my son was born. Even just part-time.
What would my life look like today? Had I not chosen to become a ‘stay at home mother’ and continued to have been a working mother? I mean there are so many sacrifices either way you look at it. Sacrificing time away from your children when you are at work, and if you choose to stay home then you sacrifice not only income for your family, but also getting out of the house, adult conversation with someone other than your spouse, a feeling of accomplishing things bigger than just your household ‘duties,’ and a sense of belonging beyond just motherhood. Don’t get me wrong…I do not and will never, ever downplay being a mother. It has been the best thing that God has ever-blessed me being able to do.
I just wonder what my life would look like today had I made different choices back then. Would we still have moved to Guam in 1998, would I have decided to home school my children or would I have gotten a job in Guam? Would we have moved somewhere other than Texas after our time in Guam? I think one of the most important questions I ask myself is? How would my children’s relationships with each other be today had I chosen to be a working mother? If we have done anything right over the past 22 years of sacrificing, it is raising three wonderful, caring children that love each other so much. I know without a shadow of a doubt that these children will always have a close bond with each other, and that is something I would never want to change.
Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.