Some people think my life ended at 21, the year I got married. Others would argue that it ended at 22, when I got pregnant during my last semester in college, and resolved not to start a career, but to be a stay at home mom. Stay at home mom? Surely, every one knows that’s social/career/romantic/young person suicide. YOUR LIFE IS OVERRRR. I’ve had people tell me that’s why they don’t want to marry young, because their life is just beginning. People tell me “that’s why, even if we marry, we’re going to wait to have kids…” because they don’t want their lives to be over.
What if I told you, my life has only just begun? Let’s take it a step further…. What if I told you I didn’t feel like I had really begun to live my life until I was married? PREPOSTEROUS.
Is it though? I grew up in Southern California, with so many amazing opportunities at my finger tips and yet, that wasn’t enough for me. I moved to Ohio when I got accepted by my DREAM SCHOOL, and yet, I still needed more. I lived in Europe for 4 months, getting to cross off nearly everything on my bucket list and yet I was pining for a boy I had met just before embarking on that journey.
What does is mean for your “life to begin?” I would argue that people use this phrase to indicate that they have finally found what they were created to do. They have found that sweet spot of discovering what they’re good at, and how it applies to what they love to do. People use that phrase when they have found some kind of meaning in their work, or life’s purpose. If this is the case, then I can tell you with 100% certainty that my life began the moment I said those wedding vows. My life’s purpose was only ever enhanced when those vows became incarnate in the form of our children.
That isn’t good enough though, at least not for society. I have people ask me ALREADY what I plan to do when I’m an empty nester. (you know, since I’m WASTING all this time being a stay at home mom…) I’m TWENTY FOUR years old, and people are already asking me about what my life’s purpose will be when my children leave the nest? Are you kidding me? My own mother just turned 50 and she’s still not an “empty nester,” which is the response I *should* offer that question, but instead I mumble and argue that I have a BA, and could easily get my teaching licensure while the kids are in school, therefore being prepared to teach by the time they’re all off to college because THAT is what makes me sound like a productive member to society, not the whole “raising children to the glory of God” business.
Recently I had 2 people tell me that they feel bad for me, because they don’t think I’ve gotten to “live my life,” and that I won’t be able to until I’m liberated from the shackles of motherhood. While I won’t deny that some times it does feel a bit like slavery, this hypocritical feminist view BURNS ME UP. In the words of my husband, as a stay at home mom I am “more useful than [I] have ever been.” He told me, “You’re a woman, and your body was designed to grow babies and to feed those baby’s. If you weren’t using those things, you wouldn’t *fully* be living out what it means to be a woman.” Now before all you career driven women are overcome with some blood lust for my husband, I can assure you he’s no oppressive misogynist. He very cautiously used the word “fully” which is not to say that women who aren’t mothers, aren’t living up to their feminine potential, but instead to say that women who DO utilize these parts are living out their feminine potential to the fullest extent one could. This means that mothers aren’t the epitome of wasted womanhood, or the waste of a life that could have been lived traveling, building a career, clubbing with friends or whatever, but instead a fulfillment of womanhood that far surpasses any of those other events individually.
So, to all my single friends and family who are worried for my poor, purpose-less life: I’m doing fine. In fact, I’m more than fine. I’m living a life that exemplifies the female potential, a life that is full of purpose, and a life that I consciously chose, not out of some blind infatuation for a man, but because I knew my calling. I see where my skills overlap with what I love to do, and that is what I call motherhood.