i wish i was a boy

When I was a little girl I used to cry or get angry and yell at my mom that I wanted to be a boy. All my friends were boys, but they could never come to a sleepover. All the fun toys were boy toys- GI Joes and matchbox cars and legos. Boys got more freedom in their behavior and expectations.

Not us girls.

There was so much pressure, even from the very beginning, on they way we should look, speak, think, and act.

And there still is.

But now my struggle is less over the external pressures, and more from internal fears.

I’m married. Obvs. But I’m also 30, and my husband and I have a dream that we’ll have 4 children. I want to give my children the best shot they could have at being born healthy, which means we can’t really wait that long before trying to get pregnant. And because we’re married and 30, people ask us regularly when we’re having kids, how long we’re waiting, if we’ve started trying, and all sorts of other super-personal questions about, basically, our sex life.

It’s awkward, guys. Cut it out.

To be fair, when I’m with all my married girlfriends it’s a question I ask them, too: How long are you waiting? It’s more out of my own fear then it is about my hopes for their next generation.

You see, I’m still afraid of becoming a mom.

But let me start further back.

I never wanted to get married or have kids. Never. This may sound like a shocker to you, but my mom never had the pleasure of being married to a man who really treasured her, or took care of her, or even practiced kindness regularly. That’s what marriage meant to me until God slapped me in the face with Joe and Janice Wood, pastors of the Vineyard Community Church in Richmond, KY. They took me under their wing(s), discipled me in the most intense, intentional way, and taught me the beauty of marriage and parenthood. They aren’t perfect, but I’m pretty sure they’re as close as God will let someone get.

394523_10150473652344017_1434159995_n

Through their honesty, their intentionality, and a lot of the way they treated each other, God redeemed marriage for me. He also used them- and a handful of awesome, young, stay-at-home mothers, to redeem parenthood for me, as well. Pretty radical thinking for a girl like me.

I grew to understand and really believe that my role as a wife and a mother is irreplaceable. I truly believe that Kingdom touches earth first in the home. And I believe I have the great privilege and opportunity to raise and train my children- and that is important to me. It’s really important to me that I not have children simply to let them be raised by someone else.

And yet.

Lately my Fear of Missing Out has been overtaking a lot of my time, conversations, thoughts, and energy. It’s a disease that is literally sucking me dry.

I work for this incredible organization called Adventures In Missions where I am surrounded by a hundred young twenty-and-thirty-something women who are driven and career-oriented. There is a lot of talk about the latest country they get to visit, the last group of women they have been able to teach, and the next big promotion they’re getting ready to receive. There isn’t a lot of talk about the babies that are going to come, and how excited they are to leave their current role to embrace a newer one.

I’m sure the talk is there somewhere. I just don’t hear a lot of it. And it’s really scary for me.

What will happen when we start having babies, and I decide to stay home to raise them all day while my husband gets to hang out in an active, dynamic, innovative office with 200 people his age who are all chasing the Lord all over the globe? Will I be left behind? Will I miss out on community because no one else wants to stay home with their children? And worse, will I be asked to babysit my girlfriends’ kids so they can go back to work in that same dynamic, fast-paced, exciting environment?

Point blank, I can think of nothing worse than becoming a day care.

I’m not a baby kind of girl. If you’re walking down the street with a stroller and a dog on a leash, I will cross the street to say something to you about your dog and attempt to pet it, and will not mention even the slightest thing about your baby.

I’ve been told again and again it changes when you have your own, but I’m skeptical.

How can I be torn in such extremes??

I want to raise my own children, but I also need people and significance outside of changing diapers and an opportunity for recognition and praise. It is integral to my wiring to receive recognition for my efforts. Why do you think I was so excellent at martial arts? Was it just for fun? Or was it because with every win, every trophy, every medal, I received the praise and accolades my soul so desperately needed?

Even further, my body will not be my own. An actual living thing THAT IS NOT ME will be bouncing around of his-or-her own accord, just taking up space in my skin. All I’ve heard from my now-mama girlfriends is how they struggle with self-esteem and image issues because they can’t get their pre-baby body back.

And most of them only have one baby so far!

What will FOUR do to mine??

I wish I was a boy.

It’s so easy for men. You get all the fun of sex without any of the physical consequences. You don’t have to carry a baby. You don’t have to grow a human being and then force it out of your tiniest places. Societally-speaking, you aren’t asked to stay home and raise it. Nothing changes for you! You get to keep going to a job you love, surrounded by people who can have adult conversations with you, and show up at home to see how much your kids have grown and changed and learned that day.

What a life.

I know how ridiculous I sound.

But am I? Am I being ridiculous?

The reality is that The Professor and I have agreed we won’t wait very long before starting our family. This was an equal agreement. He supports me in every way. We aren’t ready yet to get pregnant, but that time is coming.

But I am still drowning in fears and doubts and worries about a future that isn’t here yet. I am so terrified of the possibility of being left out or left behind that I am physically overcome. To the point there are moments- days, even, if I’m being honest- where I absolutely, positively, 100% do not want to have children. I am so scared of the what ifs that I can’t see straight.

What if I never feel significant again?

What if I never feel like a valued contributor on a team doing work I feel is globally impactful?

What if my husband comes home and continues to treat me like a stay-at-home-mom around the clock?

What if my husband is more a babysitter than a dad?

What if I really am left behind and have to watch all my awesome girlfriends going out and doing amazing things around the globe?

The list could continue for ages.

Sometimes it feels like fears are all I see and feel.

Which is why it’s so important for me to remind myself of the truth I know and believe.

My husband is going to be the greatest father.

I am going to be raising world-changers who are secure in their identity and in the Lord.

I will train my children to be exactly who they were created to be.

I will steward their lives because they are a gift to me.

I will bless my husband with a full quiver. (Psalm 127:4-5)

And we, together, will teach them the real meaning of family, worth, and value.

Even if I’m still afraid. Even if my body changes permanently. Even if no one else chooses to raise their children at home.

I know what I’m called to do in my next season. I don’t know how long the season will last, or even when it will start. But I know what I’m called to do. And my calling can look different than your calling. And sometimes I’ll need encouragement, and sometimes I’ll need help being reminded. And sometimes I can remind myself that God is good, He loves me, and He has created me to be an accomplisher of great things. And sometimes those great things can happen at home.

Help me, Father, to be open and willing and ready for Your plan, and not to live my life in fear of missing out or being left behind.

11402708_10101391325444933_8326301728030061427_o

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “i wish i was a boy

  1. Hannah Coates

    I really enjoyed reading this. First, you are right, that ‘stuff’ is personal & actually etiquette states you should never ask couples when they are going to have kids or another kid or anything in regards to that. It’s rude. But people mostly mean well & are just excited about the potential of your beautiful babe running around. Second, all I wanted to be was a mom & then when I had the chance I had fertility issues. It wasn’t easy but God blessed me with 3 through Jermey & one of my own. I also wanted 4 kids, funny how that worked out. I would have more happily too. Third, your body does change, but it’s such a balancing act of loving your husband, child, and yourself. Taking care of the family unit is such a gift God designed women to do. We can multitask and be in all these places at once, we are real super heroes and we get sweet kisses as rewards. You love your body because it gave you this baby to love. And it’s such an amazing love & I have learned even more of our Heavenly Father’s love for us. A child changes everything. Everything changes, changes for the better. When God is present in your relationship & you understand the importance of a marriage, a child you created together only enhances your relationship & love for each other. You’ll be amazed. Lastly, the being left out part relates to me & still does, with having a young child, (I wasn’t worried about the career opportunity or missing out on friends, some great relationships grow out of having a child & connecting with other women) but the way I look at it, my baby will only be a baby, once. The time is fleeting. I was always afraid I would miss out on something when I put my baby to bed for example & the truth is, I did, you do & sometimes nothing exciting happens, & life goes on, but what you are doing IS exciting too. Careing for this little life, it’s pretty amazing. I may have missed out on things here & there but I feel like I’ve gained so much more! My baby is almost 18 months and I feel like I just had him, Once they’re two, their a toddler and will only continue to grow up from there & eventually things will get ‘easier’ they can do more & you’ll have time to ‘work-on getting your pre baby body back’ & the dynamics will change, but you as the mom will always be needed by your kids. Your ministry at home is so important and crucial to their lives and furthering the kingdom. The world needs moms who stay home and disciple and teach and grow and help their kids to grow up knowing and loving Jesus. Being a mom is no small task and it’s rewarding like nothing else and the love you receive is overwhelming. Sounds to me like you will be an incredible mom and the fact that you are already honest with yourself & your husband regarding your fears is half the battle.

  2. Evelyn Jones

    Motherhood is the hardest job you will ever love. Make sure you get your joy from God and not your husband or children. I believe you will be a great mom and your husband will be a great father. People are too concerned about body image. The most important thing is to be healthy. You know how to do that.
    I was scared to be a mom too. Not the same reasons. I slept so soundly than drunks had a fight across the street, cops were called and I didn’t wake up. I would get sick if someone else did. How was I going to take care of a baby if I didn’t wake up and got sick with them.

    God showed me I would be okay with that when our dog got into something and got sick in the middle of the night. I heard her and cleaned up 5 piles of vomit. I gagged the whole time, but I did it.

  3. Pingback: top 5 posts of 2015 | Barefoot Wanderings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s