For Hire or Fire

I haven’t had a job with a paycheck in ten years. When I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter, I decided to become the CEO, CFO, and head maid at the Moses house. It’s not a bad gig. I am extremely fortunate to be able to stay home and spend my husband’s money. He appreciates what I do and knows that if I got paid by the hour, I would be super rich. (Then maybe I would hire someone to take over my maid status.)

There are many blogs, books, and articles about working mothers vs. stay at home moms. I am in favor of whatever works for each family. For my family, being home with my girls works. For others, it may be a mixture of daycare, nannies, and/or preschool. DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SURVIVE!! But please, whatever you do, don’t judge someone else’s decision.

I’m going to be candid but I am not going to complain. Here is the good, bad, and ugly of my stay at home experience…

On more than one occasion I have tried to quit my job. One day I called Stephen at work. He is a doctor and does not have time to just chat with his wife at 2:00 p.m. I did not care one bit that it might not be a good time to answer his phone. Our three year old was being impossible and the one year old wasn’t exactly endearing herself to me at the moment. When he said “Hello?” I said, “I quit. I’m not doing this anymore.” He listened, I didn’t abandon our kids, and we all lived through that crisis. Then I felt guilty. This would be a recurring theme.

We added daughter number three to our family. I love babies. I am half crazy but those first six months are my favorite times. I adore tiny human beings who love me best. But the sleep deprivation was rough. No more naps for mommy during “down” time because there was no down time. Our youngest has a lot of food and environmental allergies and asthma so her care at times was more challenging than usual. I was outnumbered and at times craved just a few minutes when I could go to the bathroom alone or finish a thought. Then I felt guilty. (See the pattern?)

I wanted to have a clean house, relatively clean children, dinner on the table, and still be awake to say hi to my husband when he got home from work. I really wanted a lunch hour. For me, the above expectations were just too much. I’ve learned that having a clean kitchen and a sort of clean bathroom really does make me happy. The rest of the house will just have to wait. My kids take a bath or shower every night and I can’t budge on that one yet. I like to cook but dinner might be eggs and toast or Papa John’s. Sometimes a cartoon gives me the peace of an uninterrupted sandwich.

I need to spend time with friends and have interests that do not involve my children. My girls need to see me enjoy and excel at something other than hair detangling and grocery shopping. They need ME to be happy so I can ensure that THEY are happy. And I cannot feel guilty.

I will never be good at math, crafts, or birthday parties. I will continue to throw away papers I’m supposed to save. I will have some really crappy mom days that push my patience to the limit.

However, I will always tell my girls I love them. I will never stop singing loudly in the minivan when driving them to school. We will keep laughing, crying, and learning together. And no matter what, I won’t quit my job. After all, this is the only profession where I can get away with wearing yoga pants everyday.


This Is What REALLY Happened

My husband started a blog on January 1. This is a pretty big deal because he has a busy work schedule and he has decided to post everyday. I enjoy seeing what his topic of the day will be. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was today’s topic! Please read this before you proceed..

I was really touched that Stephen wrote about how we met and his words made me feel appreciated and loved. As I was reading I couldn’t help but chuckle (okay, I laughed loudly) about his interpretation of how we got to know each other. Yes, we had a lot of classes together that semester and yes, it did become quite clear after the first week that I would be seeing this Moses character a lot. He maintains I had a copy of his schedule but let’s be honest folks, that isn’t possible. Not even for someone as smart and connected as me.

Here’s what REALLY happened. I kept hearing teachers call roll, “Moses?”, “Mullins?” So naturally I turned around to find out who “Moses” was. I learned quickly that he was smart, always came to class, and I could ask for notes and find they lived up to my high standards. (And I only asked for notes because I got sick and missed a couple of classes). Then I noticed he also ate breakfast each morning. Then I noticed that he wasn’t bad looking. Finally, I found out he was a fellow Methodist and those were few and far between at Georgetown College. Some might even question the reason a biology major like the future Dr. Moses would take Politics of China during our senior year. Certainly it wasn’t to get back in the good graces of the future Mrs. Moses who was a Political Science minor…

It’s been 18 years since I met Stephen Moses in a basement classroom of John Hill Chapel on a cold January day. He can tell his version of our story and I can tell mine. The most important part is that our story continues. It isn’t always perfect and sometimes we get it wrong. But at the end of the day we can compare notes and admire our three best and most beautiful chapters and look forward to the stories yet to come.



I’ve Got Big Guns and I Cannot Lie

This is not a post about weapons. The guns I’m referring to are my very skinny arms. I’ve blogged about my exercise routine before but in the last six weeks I let myself go. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. I just didn’t want to sweat or be tired or basically do anything I didn’t have to do. So I took a nice LONG break. And my “guns” became sticks again. And I got sick twice in less than three weeks. And I had to take all sorts of antibiotics and steroids in order to leave my bed. And I realized that it was time to face something I’ve struggled with for awhile…depression.

I’m not ashamed at all that I was having a hard time emotionally. Life can seriously suck at times. But my life wasn’t any harder than anyone else’s and I kept thinking, “It’s the holidays. I always miss my dad more this time of year.” Or, “It’s the weather and being stuck inside so much. I’ll snap out of this mood.” I was in a hole and couldn’t climb out. Actually, I just didn’t want to climb out anymore. I wanted to snap my fingers and make things “perfect” or at least “easier.” I wanted to stop dreading little things and have fun. I wanted to stop feeling guilty about everything I did or didn’t do.

I am lucky because I live with my doctor and he knew I needed some help. But so many people have to take that first step and actually go see their doctor. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and sometimes you need medicine or therapy. All of these options should be explored without guilt or shame. I am on my way to feeling better and trying to be more positive and thankful. Soon I hope to be in better physical shape too but emotional health is just as important.

So I’ll keep my weapons concealed during these cold winter months. But watch out world. When it’s hot again, I’m coming out on the other side of this guns blazin’.