It's amazing how much a person can forget over the course of a year, say for example, how small their kids use to be and the everyday moments that made up our lives. These are just some photos that I found that didn't ever make it on the blog. I taught Jr. High at South Ogden Jr. High a second year last year and with that came a few new responsibilities at work and even less time at home to do the things that I used to do. I found that working even part-time was extremely draining when coupled with taking care of kids and our home. I focused all my energy on my kids and my job and that left room for little else, which would explain my absence on the blog for so long. I don't know how single moms do it, but if you know a single mom, help her out, give her a break because raising kids and working is the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm not alone!
Working was a good out for me and it helped me to advance my teaching license so that if or when I go back to teaching, that I can be competitive and not stuck in the same pool as entry-level teachers--not that entry level teachers are bad, but I'm too old be considered entry-level and I graduated from school WAY too long ago to be hot-of-the-press like all those new education grads. I didn't think I would stand a chance of getting a job, so upgrading my license was a good thing in the event that something ever happened to Brannon or his job. It will give me the advantage I need to get a job if I ever need to. So to all you moms out there with professional licenses, DON'T LET THEM LAPSE! You never know when you might need it and I know as a teacher that if I were to let my license expire, it would take a lot of time and money and more school to get it renewed and it's just not worth it, especially if you need a job NOW.
I remember when I first dropped Haiven off at daycare my first year back at teaching. She was 10 months old and she cried, A LOT. It was awful. Those first three months back working were hell every time I had to leave these two at daycare and I wondered if what I was doing was worth it. I wondered if it was worth it when Taj would ask me why I was leaving him there. It hurts too much to think about the 20 months that I lost with them because I chose to go to work. They grew up fast in those two years and as I look at these pictures, I realize that there is no way I will ever get that time back. These pictures were from last summer, my time off with them. We tried to pack a lot in that summer before I had to go back to work. The only thing that keeps me from being too hard on myself is the fact that I have chosen to stay home for awhile now. I achieved my goal of upgrading my license and gaining valuable teaching experience that will help me if going back to work ever become necessary for me. I used to think that being "just a mom" wasn't enough for me to feel accomplished, but not I realize that being a mom is the only occupation that will ultimately be the most fulfilling "job" that I ever do in this life. No job out there can compare with what being a mom has done for me. I've grown and progressed in ways I didn't think possible and been strengthened in areas that I didn't even know were weak. These two have made me a better person and I now realize the great responsibility I have to lead and guide them through this life safely. That's a HUGE responsibility, but I'd rather be putting all my efforts into my family instead of a career. I can't fathom facing my Father in Heaven and having to tell him that I cared more about my career instead of my family. I think that I will have gotten the whole point of life all wrong and have done a major disservice to my kids and family. The whole reason we are here is to help each other make it back, not to further our own selfish desires. If at the end of my life I can say with full confidence that I did everything I could to raise my kids right and to help them gain a testimony of their Savior, then I'll feel that I've done my job, the most important one: being a mom.
I used to be obsessed with finding out what career I'm meant to do in this life. I made it my life's quest for the last seven years to figure that out and I never seemed to get an answer. I prayed hard, I searched, I pondered and prayed, and still no definite answer--at least that's what I thought until I realized a small voice had been telling me the whole time that now was the time for being a mom--that now was not the right season to pursue dreams of no eternal consequence. Until I read an article on FB titled "Am I Enough," I didn't realize how little I valued my job as a mom. I didn't realize that my kids are enough to make me feel accomplished, that I didn't need a worldly title or recognition to feel accomplished. Why couldn't my kids be enough? I felt immediate remorse and shame over all the time and energy I spent pursuing things that I felt were more worthy goals than taking care of my own children. I'm just thankful that I finally got it and that I figured it out before my littles grow up and leave me. So I guess you can say that I have a fresh take on motherhood and I'm am thankful for the privilege and honor of the title mother. I can say with full honesty and not an inkling of a doubt that being a mom is all I want to do for the rest of my life. I know there will come a time when I will have more time to pursue other interests, but for now, all my best is going to these guys.
All of these pictures are from Summer 2013