Stay-at-home-wife - the luckiest woman in the world.
I had an epiphany last week. Not the kind of epiphany that people celebrate shortly after Christmas Day - although I think that's somewhere in this vicinity, right? I had a personal epiphany. Then yesterday, I had the beginnings of another epiphany. Well, really it seems to just keep rolling so more of a second wave of the first epiphany. One of the definitions of epiphany is an illuminating discovery, realization or disclosure (according to Merriam-Webster).
I have been struggling with my identity as a stay-at-home wife. The kids are all grown now so there is no one left to be a stay-at-home-mom to - not in the way we usually view it. For several years I have been toying with the idea of pursuing some kind of work that will actually result in an income - something to help make it possible for my husband to change jobs or retire earlier than planned. I have contemplated several things I could do to accomplish this; writing, podcasting, voice over, virtual assistant, an herb business, a traditional brick-and-mortar job. I have never felt entirely settled into the idea - my life is so busy already I can't imagine trying to find a way to fit in a J.O.B.
I met with my kindred spirit yesterday and, as usual, we are visiting the same topics in our own head space. We share similar life seasons, situations and interests so it happens very often that we are pondering the same schemes. She has a solid plan in place to move ahead into a situation for which I believe she will succeed and thrive, helping others and sharing her vast experience and knowledge, all while earning a solid income and supporting her and her husband's desires for their next season together.
Initially, I left feeling like it was the confirmation and impetus I needed to move forward in my own pursuit of a revenue generating ventures. Then I arrived at home. I came back down to earth. I faced reality. I don't want a J.O.B. I don't want to leave my house, I don't want the deadlines and pressure. I don't want to have to quit the job I already have...
The voice in my head:
"Oh wait, you mean I already have a job?"
"Of course, silly. You just don't see it as a job because the rest of the world often says it's not a "real" job. But you know. You know it's a real job, and the best job for you. It's the job that brings the greatest joy and reward that you could ever imagine. It just doesn't come with a paycheck or direct deposit with your name on it."
"But I love that job. I love being able to be here for my husband and our kids when they need me - although it takes some effort to learn healthy boundaries and then practice them. I love being able to care for our home, and make sure there's a decent meal on the table (most nights), that the household runs fairly smoothly. I love that I can spend time with my kids and my grandchildren and I don't have to shop on the weekends during the craziest, busiest time of the week. I love that I can be flexible and do things I love to do."
There's a lot more of this conversation that took place in my head, but the important thing to note is that I had a brief but succinct conversation with my husband (like a real conversation, not just in my head LOL). I asked him if he wanted me to get a job. "No", was his immediate and firm answer. He was already aware of the identity crisis and tsunami of insecurity that had been culminating in my mind and heart. And I already knew his answer, but to hear him speak it was so important to me and confirmed without a doubt what I already knew. No, he does not want me to get a job - I don't need to get a job or produce an income, but he will fully support me in the things I want to pursue in any way he can. He really is my greatest cheerleader, and I really am the luckiest woman in the world.