At my last visit with my psychiatrist he asked me, “What do YOU want to do when your kids are in school?”
I stopped and thought and couldn’t seem to speak. Eventually I told him I hadn’t really thought about it.
Becoming a mom takes a lot from you. For awhile you lose sense of who you are, or at least I did. You are a cook, story teller, diaper changer, chauffeur, a live in maid, financial adviser, head of management and so forth…
I have always been the type where I have to plan everything and if something doesn’t go according to plan I freak.
When I graduated high school, the plan was to attend community college and graduate with my associates, get my degree in Ag Education at a University and get my Masters degree once I had accomplished all that. I would then get married after finding a good job and eventually raise a family. That’s how it all turned out right? Close, but not quite.
I’ve accomplished the Associates degree and completed another year towards a degree in Ag Business before being derailed by a freight train.
After all that knocked me down, I didn’t manage to get back on the horse (college) before we were blessed unexpectedly with Grady. It wasn’t until almost four months in that we found out I was pregnant.
I’ve wanted to get back to college and take classes and it is always on my mind but with two children and a husband who farms for a living so far that has been impossible.
When my psychiatrist asked me that day what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was dumbfounded. I hadn’t even thought, hey I still have a life to live for MYSELF. I am more than just a mom. The last couple of nights I have had even more difficulty falling asleep (dang farmers and their time change needs 🙂 ). Laying in bed, my mind wanders from A to Z but the last few nights it has gone back over and over to what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Here is what I’ve come up with as a list of possibilities:
- Write a childrens book to promote agricultural literacy!
- Go back to college to complete a degree in Ag Journalism and freelance for various ag publications.
- Become a certified vet assistant and work in a large animal clinic.
- To not go back to work and work a long side my husband on the farm and be basically a “room mom” at school, when needed.
- Open up a greenhouse and nursery.
Truth is, no matter which of these paths I take, or even if I don’t take any of these paths it’s important to do something that makes me happy. That brings joy and a sense of accomplishment.
I am blessed to be able to stay at home with both of my children during these years that I will never get back. However, thinking of the future and what God has planned makes me excited. I love agriculture, love promoting it and living it. I hope it is included somehow in my future. I am sure it will be, being as almost anything you do or need somehow in one way or another relates back to agriculture.
I know raising kids is an accomplishment in itself. It’s probably the most challenging yet rewarding job out there. I know no matter what I do or don’t do as a career woman in the future, my children won’t care. They will remember the times we checked cows and “mooed” at ever cow out there, jumping in mud puddles until their boots were stuck in the mud, fishing in “their” pond, or just singing International Harvester at the top of our lungs as we drove to preschool everyday.
As much as I think I need to do something “career” wise to impress my children or satisfy my need for accomplishment, the truth is, I’ve already accomplished so much. No matter what God has in store for the future I am just happy being mom and enjoying it while I still can.
If I would’ve told my 18 year old self that in 10 years I would have two children, no college degree, and was a stay at home mom, I probably would laugh. Life hasn’t gone according to plan and it has caused me much chaos but I am starting to learn you can’t live by a plan. You can plan, plan, plan all you want, but you never know what is to come or what road blocks or blessings you may face.
What I can do, is look back at the life I thought I would plan for myself and smile and laugh at the road God has decided to put me on instead. Maybe he thought I needed time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe he knew I was going through such a dark time and a little bundle of joy and the work that comes with it would pull me from my lowest of lows. Maybe he knew I needed a bottle calf this week to snap me out of my funk and remind me how simple and enjoyable life can be when you have something that makes you happy. Yes, it took a bottle calf to remind me of my earlier years. To remind me how much I love animals and the outdoors. God put her in front of me and just a couple days later decided he had another cow who would take her and give her the life she deserves. Just like that, my wake up call has gone back out to the pasture to live the life God has planned for her.
We can plan our life….or we can live our life accordingly. Planning can make for a nice life, a cautious life. Living life accordingly can be a challenge but I’ve learned to go with it and live day by day. Today I may be a stay at home mom but in 15 years I may be speaking at a women in ag conference about where I am today. So my new plan, is there is no plan. I am open to whatever he has in store. For now I will raise my children until he tosses something else on my plate or takes something off it. I will be happy with the life I live and look forward to my future of living according to his plan.