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FAMILY MATTERS | Musings of a full time, stay at home, working mom

 

 

 

Ruth S. Morales

I HAD a full-time job, but being a stay-at-home mom was my ultimate dream, says Sol.

I was invited in a small gathering of women to share my story for encouragement and inspiration, and there was another lady who shared hers. Sol Mendoza is a pastor’s wife and a mom of 2 teenagers. I was touched by her story of how she transitioned from her job in the corporate world to being a full-time homemaker. So, I asked her to write for the readers in this column, and here’s her story:

My kids were still sleeping whenever I leave for work. They’ve long gone to bed by the time I get home. This went on for years, and each passing day, my frustration grew. 

More than a decade ago, the work-from-home setup was a privileged arrangement only for select positions in the company I was working for.  Back then, I had only two choices: to stay in my full-time job or to resign from work to fulfill my dream. I still recall the feeling of exhilaration when I drafted my resignation letter:

“With this move, I will miss the chance for career advancement, but at this point in my life, nothing entices me more than the chance to personally watch over my kids.  Nothing excites me more than the joy of seeing them wake up with mom at their bedside and bringing them to sleep after our nightly rituals.  Nothing motivates me more than the experience of being at home, to be there to answer their questions whenever they ask.  I want to be present at all their school activities and be the one to assist them as they do their homework… Of course, I will miss a lot in the corporate world.  At the end of the day, I am just one of the many dedicated employees, and a lot more capable people will replace me the moment I leave.  At home, I am their only mom.  Besides, being a full-time homemaker is my ultimate dream job-so I am making this career move to also fulfil my heart’s desire. “

Two-and-a-half years into my “ultimate dream job”, I wrote in my journal: “When the daily chores and things-to-do overwhelm me, I need to remind myself of the excitement I felt when I finally became a full-time homemaker. Honestly, there are days I feel so exhausted and even frustrated that things are not happening as I imagined them to be (sigh). There were disappointments, but I never regret the decision. I realized that my frustrations were actually from self-imposed expectations.  I imagined myself to be an organized homemaker, maintaining a neat and orderly home, a mom with cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, craft, and even carpentry skills to share with my kids… I imagined myself always sweet and pleasant, one whose words are a constant source of joy and encouragement. I wanted to instill discipline, to wisely supervise my kids’ TV viewing and computer use. Oh, I even wanted to homeschool them! I imagined us doing activities together: visiting museums, going to the zoo, the park, out of town trips, camping outdoors, swimming and many more!  A reality check vis-à-vis these ideals make my frustration level skyrocket each time! But before I sulk into self-blame, I recount the many positive things that happened since I decided to stay at home full time. And I must admit, it is highly rewarding & fulfilling! I still have a long way to go, and I acknowledge my shortcomings, but I refuse to give up. God is at work, helping me each day to be a better wife, mom, and homemaker. “

 

Fast forward to 2021. I am back to having a full-time job, but this time around, working from home is the new norm.  Similarly, all kids are studying from home (whether homeschooled or under distance education).  A decade ago, I could have been thrilled at this setup. But the current realities are beyond anyone’s imagination. My teens, like most students in the country, are struggling with being stuck at home for almost two years now.  Any parent with teenage kids can relate to the emotional challenges our family is going through every day.  Despite of this far-from-ideal situation, I remain grateful that in this season of our children’s lives, my husband and I are at home.  We have a precious opportunity to walk alongside them during these uncertain and challenging days.

 “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” 

– Charles R. Swindoll

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow you have to be in their lives today.”

 – Barbara Johnson

Sol, a child-at-heart who is easily fascinated by the beauty of nature and the simplicities of life, is a firm believer in the family’s important role in child development. She advocates active partnership among the home, the church, and the school towards children holistic education. 

 

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