Dealing with life's many changes
What I thought I wanted vs. What God wanted:
Growing up, I was adamant that I was never going to marry or have children. That flew out the window once I met my stud of a husband. He loved me so deeply and was amazingly talented, kind, and selfless. Spending time with him made me desire lifelong companionship and I no longer felt as though being married meant that I was also losing my freedom. After 3 years or so of marriage, another change to my plan surfaced: I came to the realization that I wanted little ones who reflected this wonderful man.
Do you see the pattern here?
As much as I'd like to think that I have most stuff figured out, God seems to remind me that He has a much better plan. With that said, His plan isn't an easily marked path nor is it easy to trek. Marriage hasn't been a cakewalk and neither has the road towards parenthood. However, through the hard times and devastating letdowns, I have become a better version of myself, have a better understanding of what love means, and have learned to trust God even if I don't get the desired outcome.
Fast forward to early 2016.
This was the year where everything changed. After various unsuccessful past attempts, my husband and I found out that we were expecting a rainbow baby*. I felt elated but also conflicted. We were no longer trying and had taken a step back from attempting to start a family. I was in my third year of teaching and just so you know, this had been my dream since I was a little girl - to have my own classroom, full of students who I could teach, motivate, and love. Everything seemed to point towards moving on from children and then Wham! Curveball. With pregnancy came some tough decisions. The most difficult of all, deciding to leave my career - the one I had worked so hard for. Deep down, I knew that I wanted to be fully present once my daughter made her appearance and unfortunately, I couldn't give 100% to parenting and marriage if I were also teaching.
*A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. A beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better.
Dealing with Guilt
Now the reason why I am laying this all out before you is because I have now come to a crossroads in my life (one of many, I'm sure). I have been a full-time mommy and stay at home wife for about a year and a half. Every day brings a different struggle but mostly I've been dealing with guilt. Guilt that I'm not paying enough attention to my daughter, that there are still so many tasks to get done around the house, of not bringing in any income into our home, or of feeling shame for not appreciating the fact that I can stay home with my daughter when so many have to go to work and aren't able to. The most common form of guilt, however, is the feeling that what I'm doing here has no real contribution.
If I'm being honest, most of those thoughts come from the fact that I have felt as though I have lost a sense of myself. But as of late, I have come to terms with the fact that while my life is in transition, the work that I do at home is an important part of a much bigger picture. The love I have towards my daughter, the time we spend together, the influence I'll have on her life will help dictate the type of woman she will become. I'm slowly trying to accept the truth that one aspect of my life does not fully define who I am. Therefore, my worth is not determined by the role that I am playing at the moment.
Change isn't bad.
I think of you familia and all the roles you take on as well. Maybe you're at a crossroads or a transition in life. Maybe these changes have left you feeling uncertain about who you are. Remember, you are more than the roles you step into. Your whole life's purpose is part of a large tapestry that is made up of these small moments in life. At the time, they may seem insignificant, but they're not. One day we'll see how every little change, every hardship, every moment of insecurity, every victory led to who we will become and the great dreams we will achieve. Until then, don't fight the change. Life is going to throw you curveballs, but God has already equipped you with what you'll need to face these changes and succeed.
In Silvia's words to me from Episode 32: [We're] going to be alright.
Mabel (IG: @mabelinne)