When my first baby was born I was a mere twenty-three years old. I am a singer & songwriter. I've always dreamed of a full-time career recording and traveling. And it's possible to rear children while traveling. I've seen evangelist's families do so my entire life. As a pastor's kid with an inside look at the everyday life of an evangelist's family, I've also been aware of the challenge of it. Its difficult for a wife and mother who's entire upbringing has branded in her that the job is best done in a house with a foundation, rather than a house on wheels. Mothers thrive in one church, and in one community. That subconscious tug can cause a woman much duress when she's trying to rear her children and build her marriage while on the road. It can be a marriage-killer to attempt to rear the children in a house with a foundation while the husband fulfills his call on the road. It's possible, but not always best. My hat is off to those women who have the strength and stamina to keep their family intact while never being able to enjoy the comforts of the thousands of families they encounter each year.
It's difficult to have a "date night" when you're always in other people's domain, being hosted by vast variables of personalities. (Now my hat is off to them, AND I'm in a curtsy.) Traveling families live on a schedule that's never consistent. A mom must decide if she will trust utter strangers to babysit so they can enjoy a little romance in a strange land.
(First my hat was off, then I bowed in honor, now I lay prostrate in respect to mom's who live on the road. Most especially to moms who live on the road AND keep their family together. You far surpass me.)
While "traveling" in any capacity is still what I love, God was kind and gave me a music career WITH roots. It's limited my ability to record songs I've written to albums. Actually, I can record them all I want. And I DO record every year. But I can't sell the albums without traveling. If you don't sell, you can't bring in revenue to make new albums. So, that particular dream is stifled. But I am the music director at my church. Which means that I get to make fantastic music every week. I have created a unique bond between stage and audience that traveling artists rarely get to experience. And most importantly, I've been able to enjoy every second of time with my children.
I homeschooled for as long as I could. Then it came time when it was best for my kids to attend our Christian Academy. I can only assume that the reason I'm not pining for their toddlerhood, or for their elementary days, is because I truly was very purposeful to fill each stage of their lives with my best work. My story and song writing morphed from adult topics to child topics. And I don't mean that I wrote about children, I wrote TO children, specifically to MY children. All of my inspiration and energy went from being channeled into items for sale or people to impress, to the building of my babies.
Again, I'm surmising this is why I'm not a 41-year-old missing my children's childhood. I absolutely adore babies still. I take great joy in reading books to babies & kids, watching them discover their world, holding them, playing on the floor with them. (As my connections on social media can attest, due to my pics!) I still crave babies, but I do not wish mine were back in that stage. Nor do I wish for more of my own.
(Did you hear and read that, Lord? NONE of my own. It was not an amusing joke having my grandma great-with-child at 50 years old. Just felt a need for clarity. Ha!)
I write this blog today out of several sources of inspiration; both of my teens are out of town this week and I'm imagining how in a few years they'll be out of my house permanently. Also, yesterday I so enjoyed lunch with my niece & nephews, ages 6, 8, & 2. And last night I babysat my 1-year-old niece. I miss that my teens are out of town, and I loved my baby-time with my sibling's children, but I feel content and peaceful in this stage of life. A dab is enough to do me, thank you very much!
In my limited understanding, all I can accredit it to is that during my babies' upbringing I didn't try to split my time between my dreams and being a mom. I was JUST a mom. I think I adequately filled myself. Of course, I had to work. But my job wasn't my focus, my kids were my focus and work was strictly the means to focus on my kids.
I don't know if I'm correct. If I were an on-the-road mom, I'd like to think I'd have figured out how to fulfill myself with my babies rather than pine for a foundation. But that's easier said than done. I just know that I write today full of thanksgiving that my children are teens, enjoying learning, developing in ministry. And I'm thankful to be in the stage I am too. God sees my dreams, he always has. And He has always known how to fulfill me. I'm excited to see what He has for me and my kids!
It is well with my soul.