Making the transition… in more ways than one

It’s been tricky to make the transition from a “New Zealand” blog to being a US-based blog once again.  For starters, I still get Twitter mentions and am nominated for being a “top international blog”.  I have to gently remind people that, alas, I am no longer in NZ and haven’t been for over a year.  I wonder if these people are even bothering to read my blog before mentioning me or awarding me.  Apparently not!

Life in Williamsburg is great.  It’s a fun, cute little town that is very family friendly.  I love that nearly every time I go out, I see someone I know.  Yes, this might sound weird for some but it makes me feel welcomed and connected.  I’ve made some great friends and have gotten involved in volunteering.  Right now, I’m volunteering at a hospice house in the area and am also the registration and financial coordinator for a mother’s group.  The mother’s group has around 100 members and it’s time consuming, but I love doing it.  It’s allowed me to meet a lot of people very quickly and even people that I haven’t officially met face-to-face, I now know their names.  I’ve had a few moments of being out and being introduced to someone, only to say, “Hey!  I’ve been emailing you!”  That’s a nice feeling 🙂

Being a stay-at-home mom has been a lot of work.  If it weren’t for groups like MOPS and some of the FB forums that I subscribe too, I don’t know if I could keep it up.  Even with a lot of friends, it can be isolating.  It also makes me question whether or not I ought to return to paid work.  I told Chris that with all of the time that I spend volunteering, I might as well go back to work and at least get paid for it!  He laughed and agreed, but also told me that he supported me either way.  I appreciate this, but I’ve had some hard, long looks at our finances and I’m beginning to wonder.  Between the down payment for this house, buying our minivan, and home repairs, we’ve spent a little over $70,000 in cash.  In one year.  Gulp.

We’ve been able to do afford that because of living frugally, something we’ve done for years.  I’ve mentioned before that we’ve always tried to live on 1 income, even when I was making more than Chris.  Doing that enabled us to buy this house, buy the car, etc., but it also wiped out a big chunk of our financial buffer.  Things are getting lean and I’m starting to question myself: would it be more valuable to return to work, or should I remain at home?

I’ve started attending a Bible Study Fellowship class once a week and I loved the speaker’s lecture this past Wednesday.  She reminded us that our primary ministry as a mom is to our children, and to remember that whenever we think about putting more on our plate.  Our first ministry, before any other volunteer or outside commitment, is to our kids.  Do I think that moms who return to work are forsaking that first ministry?  Absolutely not!  But for me, it made me think, “Am I wanting to return to work to satisfy myself, as a means of alleviating fear/concern (rather than relying on God first), or because I feel like I’m not measuring up?  Or am I wanting to return to work because there’s a real need in our household and by going back to work, I am ministering to my children?”

The truth is, I really just don’t know.  So, I’ve been praying about it a lot and asking other people to pray about it, that I would have some discernment in this situation.  Because like I said – I really just don’t know what to do about it.  In the meantime, I’m taking some steps on faith.  I’m continuing with my volunteer commitments.  I’m enrolled in MOPS, in a weekday workout class, in a BSF bible study, and am continuing with Joe’s preschool.  I’m also applying for jobs and seeing what’s out there.  I’m brushing up my resume, contacting references, working on cover letters, and thinking about what it would mean for our family if I work outside the home again.  I’m researching daycare facilities and preschools with extended hours for working parents.  And I’m reminding myself that applying for a job, and even interviewing for a job, doesn’t mean you have to accept that job if it’s not a good fit.  But I’m doing what I can to be prepared for either scenario and praying.  And praying.  And, oh, did I mention praying? 😉

So, there’s my life in a tiny nutshell.  Well, a part of my life in a tiny nutshell.  There’s still a lot of other stuff going on but that’s the main thing on my plate for the moment!

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