My teaching license expired a few months ago. I haven’t stood in front of a classroom in over three years so really that chapter of my life has been closed for sometime now, but there was something about my license expiring that made it seem so final. It was a sad moment and I even looked into renewing it, but came to the conclusion that it was nearly impossible because I haven’t stood in front of a classroom in over three years.

Ellen's Piggies
Ellen’s Piggies

Becoming a mother was a hard transition for me and in the beginning I felt somewhat sheepish when people asked what I did. Then when we were in the thick of buying our house I felt so unimportant because none of the banks really cared about me or what I did since it didn’t appear that I was a financial contributor. Last year I took a job that I was very excited about. I was excited to get out of the house for for a few hours and do something “important.” Even though I had really good feelings about accepting the job, it was a fairly terrible experience. The job was an ill-fit, finding a babysitter and figuring out payment were a huge pain, and most of the time I just wished I was at home. One day I was at the salon getting my hair cut and the stylist asked me the question I usually dreaded. When I told her I was a college recruiter it felt so hollow and I quickly tacked on, “But being a mom is my most important job.” Even though I was very relieved when the job was over, I am very grateful that it helped me realize what I actually want to be doing for the moment. Now, whenever someone asks me what I do I am able to confidently say “I’m a mom” without regret or embarrassment. (And if I’m feeling particularly cheeky I tell people I run a non-profit for needy children.)

"Baby" Cooper
“Baby” Cooper

Someday I’ll renew that teaching license or get a Master’s in something else entirely. Or maybe I’ll just work on projects and enjoy the silence. But for now, I’m lucky to be able to spend so much time with these crazy little people.

Ellen soaking her feet in the dirty dishes . . .
Ellen soaking her feet in the dirty dishes with her socks on. So relaxing. . .
Cooper's fashion forward box kilt.
Cooper’s fashion forward box kilt.


6 thoughts on “Expired

  1. I agree. Saying “I’m a mom” can sound so…unimportant, too often, and yet, why is an office job so much “more important”? It just means that you “outsource” your child-rearing to someone else (if you have kids). After sending my oldest to school, I am much more secure in my career as a stay at home mom (I was tempted to homeschool so I wouldn’t have to send my kid off!) I’m not sure why it sounds better/busier for women to say “I work full-time and I have X number of children” rather than “I’m a full-time mom to X number of children” Either way you are “working” all day long and at night too (for some of us…) I plan to get a master’s or something later, but a year or two ago, it was a liberating feeling when I realized that my life would not be incomplete if I never did get that extra degree. I feel like our society does not really value motherhood as much as it could.

  2. I don’t know what it means to feel inadequate about what career one chooses. I have found them all boring after I become qualified to present myself as a member of a certain career. I just know that as one decides to pursue a certain path of occupation, they feel remorse in not deciding to choose the other careers. Being a mother, on the other hand, weighs heavy with me as I will never know such a lofty circumstance. My wife enjoys the admiration of her children, her peers, and even my mother. I am forever destined to weird birthday gifts, and condescending conversations from all who are related to me. I probably deserve these attitudes, and will never know the admiration that is given to my wife. She probably deserves these affections, but I will always be jealous . So when I here one feeling worried about settling for being a Mom, I am very surprised. Motherhood is the ultimate occupation one could ever be. Father is just a provider, a protector, one who presides and not one who participates in the joy of living. He sets back and monitors the development of his family while Mom is a functional part. Mom, what a wonderful sound. When one thinks of who one wants to have a conversation with, it will most likely be Mom. Things never seem to be good enough to impress Dad. Dads seem to miss out on the most endearing moments of life, and Moms seems to be the center of them. Thank God you are a Mom, is there anything more glorious?

  3. I had a very hard time the first few months of Motherhood as well. But like yourself I have come to learn the joy that it brings. When people ask what I do I tell them I’m a teacher of 2, it sound silly but then it leads into what I use to do and how mother are teacher, and so many other things. Have you read- ” I Am A Mother” by Jane Clayson Johnson . It is a great book.

    I love Ellen little pig tails

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