Last week, I was in the process of scheduling an imaging appointment after seeing my doctor.
The office called to discuss financial responsibility in advance and to ask me demographic questions.
The typical string of questions were asked, but one in particular surprisingly stumped me.
“Are you employed?” she asks, nonchalantly.
“Oh, uh…” I stuttered.
And I actually had to pause and think.
“Uh, no,” I laughed lightly. “No, I guess I’m not.”
“Well,” she said blandly. “Alright.”
“I mean, I’m a stay-at-home-mom,” I quickly interject, feeling the urge to justify myself. “I have twin boys.”
“That’s nice,” she says dryly, and then proceeded to read off the rest of the questions.
It can still be baffling to think about the fact that I’m no longer employed.
I don’t have a job. I don’t have a career.
But I definitely work.
All day, every day.
There are no lunch breaks. There is no clocking out.
There are rarely sick days or mental health days.
There are no raises. There are no promotions.
No celebratory banquets or award shows.
My name will not be called and applause ring out for having changed the most diapers or having finished the most laundry loads.
From sun up to sun down (and the hours in between), I’m on the clock.
So, no, I don’t have a career. I don’t have a job.
But this position? This role of “mom?”
It’s by far the most challenging job I’ve ever taken on.
To the contrary, it’s also been the most rewarding.
It can be easy to lose focus. It can be difficult finding purpose in the day-to-day mundane. It can be easy to question the sacrifice.
In this season, the twins are the center of my life-which means I can get lost in motherhood. Some days it’s hard to remember who I was before this. It’s hard to remember the goals and aspirations I once had for myself.
I think I could best describe it as a split-second tug of war-a momentary pull to return to a career in which I was successful and held on to goals that were mine and mine alone. But it’s a constant tug to stay exactly where I am, spending every single moment with the twins and experiencing every one of their firsts.
In the end, the pull back to a career is never stronger than the want to be home, sitting comfortably in a front row seat to my children’s lives. For now, all my research, goals and aspirations pertain to them and their well-being.
But this life? These boys?
I’d give it all up again. I’d make this choice every time.
For them, and for me, this sacrifice is more than worth it.