As many of you may have heard by now - there is some transition coming to the Pardy home! Josh has accepted the position of Director of Admissions and Marketing at Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine, CA, just about 25 miles from where we live now. Not only are we excited for him to transition into a new position that will be exciting and challenging, but the best news to us is that this change will also allow me the luxury of being a stay-at-home-mom! Woohoo! Double promotion for us!
This has been a prayer on our hearts ever since we knew we were pregnant the first time around. I knew that it was unlikely I would be able to stay home when we had our first child, but we continued to be hopeful and prayerful as we worked towards this goal. It was insanely heart-wrenching to have to leave my baby at home in the (albeit, utmost and best) care of another. Especially in the early days, it just ripped my heart out to hear her scream as I had to walk out the door. There is nothing like that feeling, and I will never missthose kind of mornings having to depart from her. Even now, my heart leaps out of my chest if she is clawing at me like a little koala bear and I have to hand her over...those mornings are rare, but they are still torture. What can I say - I miss her! I want to be home with her! And so, it is with full joy and gratitude that I am counting the days until I get to stay....all day...all week...all the time. I can't even fathom it. This day is a long time coming. Not only have I hoped for it in the last 18 months since Matilda's birth, but truly all my life. All the women in my family have been able to stay at home to raise their children. I've been in awe of them for years, exposed to the life that I had to view as only luxury, a goal just out of reach. This is not to say that my life as a working mother hasn't been equally fulfilling or even that I haven't reaped loads of lessons from the balancing act that it is. Indeed, it has taught me a world about appreciating the time I get with my baby as well as how to maintain relationships and interests outside of the home. I'm also thankful that having to work outside the home forced me to take leaps beyond my comfort zone - learning to trust others to care for my child, trusting God to be in control of it all in His timing, and struggling to keep all the balls in the air between home life and work life chaos. I'm also walking away from this job with the utmost respect for those mothers who have to continue working to support their family (you can do it!) while I still honestly struggle to understand those mothers out there who make the choice not to stay home even if they can afford to (this is certainly an individual choice - I'm just saying it is very difficult for me to understand!) All that to say - I can't wait!
Certainly, this new chapter in life will not come without its days of challenge. I have no grandiose expectations of acquiring limitless "free time" or "me time" or staying in my pajamas all day (though, no promises on that one in the early days). In my head, I would love to admit to the fact that I dream of a house that is tidy, orderly, and consistently perfectly maintained in Mary Poppins fashion, with a home cooked Barefoot Contessa meal on the table every night, exquisitely garnished with herbs I grew myself. Okay, so maybe my dreams are a bit farfetched. But, there is also the practical and realistic side to me that knows there will be days when the absolute highlight of my day is when I got that spit-up stain out of the onesie, I'm ordering pizza on the phone in one hand and pulling my child down from climbing the curtains in the other, and how I measure my motherly success based on the sheer fact that my children are still alive and breathing when their father gets home from work.
Ah, the beauty of motherhood. Is there any more unpredictable job than this? I feel so honored that the Lord has blessed me with this new title of "stay at home mom". To me, I'm delighted to feel that I've hit the ceiling in my career. I just can't imagine anything better than this.