>Identity Crisis

>Some of you know that I (Jenny) really love teaching. My ability along with my affinity for teaching made it seem like my God-given purpose in life. So I have to admit that when the time neared for Selah to be born I was simultaneously ecstatic to meet her to be her Momma, as well as anxious about leaving the realm of teaching. Yes, it was and continues to be a sacrifice to choose to stay home right now. Partly this is due to the fact that I’m an impatient person who tunnel visions into projects until a tangible result is produced. There are no immediate results when it comes to raising children. So now I find myself being the pupil; observing Selah’s cries and body cues, pouring over baby books, having small moments of victory and some failures as well. For a while I felt shy about answering the question, “What are you doing this year?”. Formerly I would have animatedly shared that I am a teacher and prattled on about students, curriculum, the joys, wonders, and trauma of a teacher’s world. But now, I felt like my identity badge had been stripped. My aunt shared a story with us once about the time my then-young cousin asked her what she had wanted to be in life before she grew up to be a nothing. Ouch. Her occupation wasn’t nothing. It was mom. Nate said that stay-at-home moms should be paid a stipend. He’s going to get right on that when he’s President. I happily happened upon some words of wisdom by my old buddy G.K. Chesterton. With these words Chesterton wrote out a new id badge for me in Sharpie and I wear it proudly. Jenny. Mom.

“To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquests, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.” (Chesterton)

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