I am having an identity crisis. Not to say I’ve just had lipo, bought a fire red convertible, colored my hair or married the pool boy… (or even gotten a pool! Sigh.)
I’m just having a slightly less exaggerated identity crisis. One that doesn’t involve scandal or immorality; one that is brought on my some serious prayer and thought. One that requires so much faith that I ought to be more scared than what I am.
For 8 years, I have been an English teacher, and darn proud of that. (No, I am not judging your grammar when you speak to me. Well, okay. A little. I hate when you say “I seen”, but anywhoooo…) A great part of my 29 years (*cough cough*) have been lived as an English teacher. I’m an English teacher. It’s what I am. It’s what I do.
But now, it’s not. At least, not after tomorrow. When I meet new people, and they ask me “Oh, and what do you do?” Then they cross their arms in front of their chests, subconsciously guarding themselves from whatever missile I fire at them. For 8 years, I’ve confidently responded, “Well, I teach high school English. It’s amazing!” Their arms uncross, and they launch into an uninvited story about their best or worst high school English teacher. Some think I’m insane to love teenagers; others applaud me for finding my calling. We chitchat a bit, then wonder off together, inviting others into our newly found acquaintance.
But now, what do I do? After tomorrow, when I meet a new person, they will still ask, “Oh, and what do you do now?” The arms still cross, but in my mind they stay crossed because as soon as I say, “Well, I stay at home with my kids… well, one of my kids. The other goes to school. But I’m home. And I work. I do. I mean, staying at home is exhausting.” Their eyes glaze over in boredom, or they stare at me with condescention and look over me for the next, way more interesting person. I know that’s what will happen. If I had 6 kids, I would be freakin’ Wonder Woman for staying at home. But I have 2. Just 2. (And NO- I am NOT trying for a girl, so please don’t ask!) So, I’m just, well. Just.
And I will be okay with that… eventually. But for now, I’m having an identity crisis. I am trying to invent a new, cool slogan that makes “stay-at-home-mom” sound WAY better than ANYTHING else in the world. Why? Because I’ve realized it takes GUTS. It takes faith. Especially when I’ve never ‘not worked’.
But now, I realize more than ever how blessed I am to have the Lord guiding my steps, leading me in this place I’ve never been to do Something Important better than what I’ve been doing in the past. I also realize that I have an amazing husband who supports my taking this tremendous leap of faith, who doesn’t pressure me in finding a new identity. I realize that for just a very short time, I get to be Super Mama, the one that my little ones love and adore before they become stinking pre-pubescent teenage boys who just need me to wash their clothes. (But who, by that time, will have a mom for a teacher again and will have to do their own laundry!)
So, when you see me after tomorrow, and you ask me, “Oh, so what do you do?” and my eye twitches, and I mumble incoherently, please be patient. I am working on my really amazing response that will make you uncross your arms and lean in to hear more about my incredibly exciting life.