As I sit down to write this article… I do so with many thoughts and feelings heavy on my mind.
I have prayed about this.
I have had many experiences pointing me to write a post such as this….. and honestly have been putting it off for almost 6 months now. Why? Mostly because I am unsure how I will word things, and I want to speak TRUTH, and not just my own opinion or something superficial.
It all started YEARS ago…… as I watched my own mother, a mom of 10 kids…. did you get that? TEN children. Yes, same mom and dad for all 10, and YES, they are still married and happy together. God bless them.
But growing up, I watched my mom care for us kids the best she could. I always felt safe. I always had food. And I always had loving arms to give me a hug if I needed them. I watched her balance her check book and write check after check paying bills and rubbing her eyes and having heavy sighs at our kitchen table during “bill time.” I watched her make shopping lists for food, and make menus and try her best to stay in the budget and be frugal. But I also watched something else. Which, by the way, is NORMAL. I’m just sharing early childhood memories to made a point. I watched her be TIRED, and emotional, and firm in her discipline. I watched her drive from place to place, write check after check for softball…. for piano lessons…. for band instrument and orchestra rentals…. for homecoming dresses and show choir fees….. for high school college credit tuition and books…. for good grades and many times for the dentist. I had NO clue how much money things cost until high school or so. The point, is that I KNEW that she was spending money. I KNEW that she was aware of our budget. I KNEW that she was in control. I KNEW that she was doing her BEST to care for my siblings and I. Many times I caught her praying at her bedside….. looking deeply concerned with a furrow in her brow that, to be honest, I think has left a permanent mark. 🙂 My mom truly is an angel and a champion of LIFE. More than a few times a week I would come home from school and find her sleeping; sprawled out on her bed looking rather disheveled and uncomfortable, really. And felt really bad waking her up….. oh if I only knew then, what I know now about the importance and rarity of those moments!!!
I also watched my mother try to fit in some exercise. I watched her do her best to be aware of community events and help others when she could. There were many times in my memory, that I noticed she made a LOT of dinner, and would load up TWO casseroles, and right before meal time, would pack a few of us in the old station wagon to deliver dinner to someone that was in need of a good meal. I remember when a financial advisor came to visit with my parents and we had to stay in the other room…. and I remember when they were trying to get my dad his own business, and get our first CD ROM Computer and learn the DOS system to run it. Exciting times! I was often called upon to babysit my siblings, to make dinner, to even make the menus as I got older- and being the third oldest I was in the unique position to be called upon a LOT. As my older sisters did a lot as well, I recall babysitting from the age of 11 or so, up until I left home at 18 1/2. And Even then, in my early years of marriage, was called upon several times to come and help out when my parents needed help with my 7 younger siblings. My youngest sister was 2 when I got married, just to shed light on the situation.
After graduation, like literally, the morning after I graduated high school I moved out, and have never been back. I have missed out on many things, but was ready to begin my own life.
But what did this experience do for me?
Why share this history and reflection with you?
BECAUSE OUR KIDS ARE WATCHING US. And they WILL pick up on behaviors, goals, and ideals. I have had to chip away many things that I assumed as a child, from my upbringing, that through NO FAULT of my parents, were imbedded in me from an early age.
Some of those things I honestly thought as a youth, are listed here. Many of which HAVE changed, but some have not:
-Money is stressful
-being poor = being frugal
-people with lots of money are lucky
-being a mom is hard
-paying bills is something important
-having new things is bad = frivolous
-investing is risky and not worth it
-working at a job you don’t like is ok, it is a means to an end
-God is worried about what we do in our homes, not so much what we do for work
-dads are never home
-moms have to do it all (housework, food, shopping, bills, etc)
-big families are doable, and fun at times
-a clean house isn’t always a fun house
-prayer helps moms to feel better
-naps help moms feel better
-dads take care of fixing things and doing yardwork
-exercise is for people that want to be skinny
-moms who work outside the home, just don’t have the skills to make it work on one income
Do any of these sound familiar to anyone else?
Again, I do have a point to share with you on this.
Since moving out, I have ALWAYS had a job- well, I guess there was about a year right after I had my first daughter that I didn’t work, besides full-time schooling. But other than that one year, I have always worked in some way to contribute to our family finances. I have since learned, that my ideals had to change. Because God had a different plan for my family and me, than what I had learned growing up. And this is my POINT about this. THINGS change. You can change. And guess what…..
IT IS OK TO WORK and BE A MOM!
I have since learned to change a few things in my thinking from the list above.
-Money is a blessing and offers opportunities in life
-being poor is a CHOICE, and frugality is a life SKILL
-people with lots of money either fell into it, or have simply, and honestly, worked for it
-Being a mom is a blessing
-Paying bills is IMPORTANT 🙂
-having new things can improve your life, but considering if you NEED it vs WANT it is important
-Investing is awesome
-Working at a job you don’t like can be a means to an end, and may be necessary for the short term, but is in NO WAY something you need to do for a lifetime. THAT IS A CHOICE.
-God is involved in EVERY aspect of our lives and as we take Him as our daily partner, we can live a life that is more awesome and wonderful than we could ever know!
-Dad’s have a responsibility to provide the basic needs for their families. That does NOT mean that they are providing solely in a FINANCIAL way. They should preside over their families, and PROTECT their families by making sure their needs are taken care of financially, emotionally, and spiritually- and for some, that may mean supporting their wife’s passion that brings income in.
-Motherhood is a calling, an opportunity, and a GIFT for all women. It is not a task. A season, or something that we just “do.” All women share an uncanny ability to see insight into people’s life experiences, and to CARE for people in a nurturing way, that denotes our divine gift. Motherhood has NOTHING to do with who should or shouldn’t be doing laundry, dishes, meal time, or bath night.
-Big families are doable and SUPER FUN! Always enough for teams when we get together!
-A clean house is NOT always a fun house. 🙂 But neatness affects the ability for God’s spirit to reside there more often.
-Prayer ALWAYS helps moms- and helps ANYONE
-Naps are just random.
-Fixing things around the house and yard work can be done by anyone with the skills- including children and moms and dads and neighbors and professional services.
-Exercise is for people that want to live long and prosper.
-Any human being can work a job for their own reasons and be HAPPY!
Late one night, I was asking my husband about my career with Beachbody….. and what he felt about me spending regular hours on it and really being committed to building it up to a point of full time hours and income. His response has stayed with me and helps be DEEPLY.
“Honey. I believe that God has given everyone talents and abilities that go beyond our duties as mothers and fathers and families. We need to be involved in other people’s lives. You have a story and a passion that you need to share. So many other families are suffering as we have been with bad health and not understanding true facts about food and nutrition. And you have the means to be a vehicle to share that with others and offer information and this opportunity to others that are PRAYING for something to help them! Your example, and your faith and your consistency will be important to many people.”
I love that man.
I also had a phone call, just the other day, that is what spurred on the final coming about of this article. It went like this- after we had discussed a few trivial matters….
my friend says: “I noticed you weren’t at church on Sunday! Where were you? I saw your husband all alone with your little ones! Were you sick?”
me: “No, I was out of town.”
my friend: “Oh! What were you doing out of town without your kids?!”
me: “It was a leadership retreat for my work.”
my friend: “What? You work?? I thought the church teaches that motherhood comes first……”
me: “haha! They do teach that motherhood is important alright! But you know what? I have talents and gifts that go beyond motherhood that God wants me to use.”
my friend….. after a little silence…..”Well, I suppose that’s true. So what do you do?”
And then I went on to explain a little of what I do and how awesome it is for my family.
I LOVE this work of mine. I can earn a full time income, working part-time hours. And its not just a J.O.B. I am gaining FRIENDS. I am changing myself and my health. I am being a light for others. I am learning to set goals and reach them. I am learning to deal with failure and disappointment HEALTHILY. I am learning the power of OTHERS and more gratitude in all aspects of life. My children see a mom that is DRIVEN. That has goals and reaches them. And sees a mom that is healthy, and willing to jump on the tramp with them…. to hike with them… to camp with them….. willing to go swimming with them….. able to go to the recitals, the presentations, the class parties. I have all the CHOICES in MY hands. No one telling me when to come to work. No deadlines that I don’t choose to have.
You’ve heard of life by design.
That is what this is.
I am living my life, based on MY choices, my agency, and what I want to and CAN accomplish. Giving my energy to whom I wish, when I wish. It is FREEDOM. And my family DOES come FIRST. Ultimately, God comes first.
You guys, I KNOW it is hard to balance life. I KNOW that God loves you and that not all of us fit into one category.
But I want you to know, that all moms who work and all dads who work are doing their best. They are doing what they feel is best for their families. Do not judge them for their efforts. Do NOT think that they are lacking in some way. For they just might have strength in areas that you cannot even fathom having strength in. Everyone is born with a little “TNT” in their blood. Something they have a deep desire to DO, talents they have that they were BORN with, that you need to discover. And sometimes, women find it BEFORE they have children, and can dedicate all their energies to it. And then a couple years into motherhood, they feel lost or unidentifiable, a lost identity. They have suppressed the TNT, and are floundering through life living their calling, but lacking in finding and outlet for their TNT that God blessed them with. And there is a false assumption out there, that the TNT you have, that goes beyond your natural abilities as a mother, can only be expressed ONE way. Maybe you were a corporate leader before motherhood. Maybe you were a policeman. Maybe a professional dancer. And those things are not going to work with your baby beside you…. doesn’t mean that you NEVER get to do those things again! Find a DIFFERENT outlet! There are so many out there. For me, before motherhood–I was a go getter. I team leader, a business grad, and a fearful person- afraid to take risks, and cynical about many things. I worked several jobs, and did well in them every time. But when I’d tap into that TNT, I’d push back, thinking that to really give into it, I’d have to give up what I had….. and that is just NOT TRUE. Satan was just telling me that I couldn’t do both. I was listening to and giving energy to fear and judgment from others. But luckily, we can CHANGE. And my TNT is now channeled into something awesome!
I know that Beachbody has changed my life and made me a better person! My relationship with God is SO much stronger than ever. My MARRIAGE is better than ever, my kids are on board with my goals and they cheer me on in them! THEY ARE WATCHING. And I want them to watch me juggle my life goals, with them right along side me. They mop my floors. They clean my toilets. They massage my feet! lol! They do the dishes, they help me meal plan. And their dad ALSO supports me. He is involved in my goals, he cheers me on, he keeps the kids quiet while I’m on calls and happily steps in to “do it all” while I need to be away for a few hours or days here and there.
Do I put motherhood FIRST? You bet I do, because I WANT TO. I CHOOSE TO.
I sleep 6-7 hours a day, work on my Beachbody business helping others change TOO, for 3-4 hours, and then, guess what???
I am a MOM for the other 12-14 hours a day. (And sometimes at night.)
And life is AWESOME. Truly, Motherhood is the ULTIMATE CAREER! As women, it IS what we are called to do. I know some people don’t agree with this. But its just TRUTH. Embrace it or not, as a woman, you have it in you. And you ALSO can have a job that edifies and impacts others outside of that calling. And it is GOOD.
My life is not always happy and cheerful full of roses and new clothes. But now, having found my outlet for those other gifts and talents God and I worked on before this life—we living our life, more align with how God wants us to, than ever before. And THAT I am darn proud of.
And I put this out there, because I honestly, and deeply feel that this company was founded for this time! And we are going places in the next few years that will blow your socks off! If you want to be part of this team, this dream, this company- and it FITS WITH YOUR CHOICES—— then contact me. New Coach training starts MONDAY.
I’ll show you all about the company, how to get started, and the step by step process to make this work for YOU. IF YOU CHOOSE. 🙂
Have a powerful Tuesday everyone!