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By Lacey Pires
For as long as I can remember my heart’s desire was always to be a stay at home mom. I was the 12 year old walking around with someone else’s toddler on my hip. I’ve never had any desire to further my education or to have a career. I knew that my life would be my children. Over time, I painted this beautiful picture of what my life as a Mother would look like.
And then, when I was suddenly and unexpectedly pregnant all of those plans and dreams seemed to shatter. My husband was in school full time and I knew that we would not be able to provide for our daughter unless I went back to work.
My first three months with Rayne felt like a beautiful (and exhausting) dream. Everything in my world felt so complete. And then, my maternity leave ended. I had an amazing support system in my husband and in-laws, but my heart was still sad and bitter.
My work life intensified. I was promoted which meant more responsibility and more time away from my family. My 8 hour days stretched into 12 or 13 hour days. The more success I found at work the more guilt I felt at home. I ran myself into the ground trying to spend enough time with Rayne, clean, cook, try to sneak in a few minutes with my husband, fall into bed exhausted and then start all over again.
As two years passed, I missed precious milestones. Her first time crawling, her first steps, and her first words. With every passing day, the guilt and pain grew heavier and heavier. I felt as if my life’s purpose was sitting in my hands and yet slipping through my fingers all at the same time. I was failing her. I was not the Mom I imagined I would be.
One day during an emotional meltdown (there were many) I cried to my husband (for the 100th time) that all I wanted was to stay home with my daughter. I felt like I wasn’t living out my purpose and it was tearing me to pieces. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. He finally said to me “Lacey, it’s not realistic for you to be a stay at home mom. You’ve been holding on to this idea that just can’t happen and if you don’t let go and accept it than it will continue to poison you.” WHAT? How could he say such a thing? Give up my heart? My soul? My purpose?
And then I heard the Lord whisper, “Aren’t I your heart, your soul, your purpose?” GULP. I hesitantly whispered a “yes.” “Isn’t Rayne really mine? Don’t you trust me with her?” GULP! “Let go, Lacey. My plan is better.”
It took several similar conversations before I had a breaking moment of surrender. I cried out all of the bitterness that was weighing down my heart. I asked the Lord to help me embrace this season of my life instead of merely surviving it. And for the first time since my daughter’s birth, I felt an enormous wave of peace flood over me.
My whole view of myself changed that day. Suddenly, I wasn’t a bad Mom or a failing Mom. I didn’t have to live up to an expectation that I had placed on myself at 12 years old. I could simply be Rayne’s mommy – without restrictions on what that meant. I had a blank canvas.
I still struggle with leaving my daughter. I still feel pain when I miss a milestone or when my husband texts me because the first words out of my daughter’s mouth in the morning are “Oh no…Mama at work.”
However, I also recognize that I have grown in leaps and bounds. I have been stretched and I have faced fears and insecurities that I did not realize I could overcome. And (GULP) it’s made me a much better Mother to my daughter. There were so many things that I needed (and still need) to learn and overcome in order to be the Mom that Rayne needs me to be.
Now I give myself permission to be happy as a full time working Mom. I give myself permission to enjoy every moment with my daughter and then kiss her and walk out the door for work. God knew I would have to be a working Mom from the beginning. He chose to gift me with Rayne when he did. And he has re-made me in ways that only he could in the midst of it.
I clung to my paintbrush believing that I could paint the most beautiful picture. But, I forgot that I serve the greatest artist of all. I encourage you to let go of your paintbrush and let the true artist paint you a masterpiece. It may not look like you wanted it to, but I guarantee it will hold more beauty and depth than anything you can create yourself.
I’m Lacey. I am continually learning about myself. I serve an amazing God whose loving forgiveness has forever changed me. I am the mommy of a very feisty 2 1/2 yr old. I am married to the love of my life who is my constant support and my very best friend. I am a supervisor at a fast paced medical clinic. I absolutely love to bake and my pipe dream would be to someday own my own bakery. I love to write and blog as well. That’s pretty much me in a nutshell!