Have you ever wondered if motherhood is a waste of your education?
Have you ever worried that the skills you have developed in your career will atrophy as you raise your child?
Do you think that your professional work will fade into meaninglessness as you prioritize motherhood over your career?
I’ve wondered and worried about all of those things. When I became a mother, I gradually moved from my teaching career to staying home with my children. It was a luxurious choice that suited our family well, but it took me a long time to adjust from a lifestyle of measurable, consistent achievement to a more hidden and less measurable lifestyle. It took me a long time to bid farewell to a paycheck, pat on the back, and public appreciation, but those appetites faded over time as other appetites grew. I began to love the ongoing pleasure of seeing my children grow centimeter by centimeter, discovery by discovery. I began to love the rhythm of our days and the stimulating work of nurturing my kids.
When our firstborn was 2-years-old, our daughter said she wanted to be a nurse. She didn’t want to “become a nurse someday“, but she wanted to be one, now. She wanted to introduced herself with, “Hi! I’m a 2-year-old nurse.” And she was! She’d notice the slightest cut on anyone’s hand and ask about it. She mastered the application of Dora Bandaids by the time she was 3 years-old.
This helped me to see that our daughter would love – and need – scientific instruction. What a thrill to give her all of the things I learned earning my B.S. in Biology. When she was 4, I taught her how to set up an experiment with a control and a variable. We looked at things from the inside-out, and when she had complex questions about cells, energy, or heart chambers, I knew where to begin.
Now that she is 11 years-old and joined by siblings who are mathematicians, readers, musicians, writers, administrators, athletes, you name it, I can confidently report that every dollar and all of the hard work I invested in my college degrees (a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a M.A. in English Literature) has been worth it.
My education enriches my work as a mother. Every day, my education provides me with ideas, skills, and know-how. Because of what I learned in college, grad school, and my career, I can introduce my children to literary themes, teach them how to communicate clearly, choose good books, read carefully, listen for details, and write persuasively and gracefully. I can teach them how to work hard and ask good questions.
I never could have guessed how valuable my education and career would be to my children. It was worth every penny.
Do you ever struggle to see the ways that your education and career enrich you as a mom?
This may help:
Today, take some time to jot down 3 ways in which your education and career have enriched you with content, perspectives, and skills that you could pass along to your child.
What are your child’s inclinations, dreams, and ambitions? Look for ways that your unique education and skill set complements your child.
As you begin to enrich the teachers, developers, physical therapists, accountants, environmental scientists, and artists around your kitchen table, you’ll be amazed by the way God has lavishly prepared you for motherhood.