Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Missing School

I've almost been out of school for a full year. That's quite strange for me.

Some children, especially lately, seem to abhor school. They long for summer vacation and when it ends they groan in reluctance as they're forced to trudge back to the dreariness of the prison called school.

(That was a good sentence. Congratulatory pat on my own back.)

I've never understood that. I was always excited for school. When I was younger, they used to post the class listings on the front door of the school as summer was coming to a close. I eagerly anticipated when my teacher would be chosen, and I remember riding my bike to the school every day during summer so that I could to read my name and my class over and over.

We only lived a block from the school, but still! I was excited for school. I loved learning and I loved my teachers. The social aspect wasn't always fun for me, but it didn't really matter either. I excelled at my classes because I enjoyed it so much.

When I graduated, I immediately entered into a study-abroad semester that took me to the east coast of the United States. I immediately loved college. The other students were a ton of fun and I became part of a group of very close friends.

We actually met during a painting class. We were drawing some historic buildings and we struck up a conversation. Soon we were laughing and talking so loudly that we were bothering some of the other students. We tried to quiet down, but we were having a great time.

I spent the majority of the semester in their company and the time flew by. I began college the spring of 2006 and continued with only a small year and a half break for an LDS mission until the spring of 2013.  I could have had a Master's by then, but my mission caused some serious reflection and I decided to change from an Animal Science Major to a Teacher's Eduction Major. I love animals and kids, but the killing (or putting them 'to sleep') aspect of being a veterinarian didn't appeal to me.

Continuing school did. I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life in a classroom. I love seeing kids' eyes light up when they figure out something new, and I love learning new things myself. However, after we were married and I found myself pregnant, I had a decision to make, and it was a very easy decision for us.

When I was a baby, my mother was working and trying to rear three children while my father was going to school. It was hard, especially with a baby like me. I was an absolute fountain after I nursed, and I wouldn't nap unless I was being held.

My mother and Father weren't sure what to do, until President Benson spoke up in conference and said the following words:

Brethren of the priesthood, I continue to emphasize the importance of mothers staying home to nurture, care for, and train their children in the principles of righteousness.
As I travel throughout the Church, I feel that the great majority of Latter-day Saint mothers earnestly want to follow this counsel. But we know that sometimes the mother works outside of the home at the encouragement, or even insistence, of her husband. It is he who wants the items of convenience that the extra income can buy. Not only will the family suffer in such instances, brethren, but your own spiritual growth and progression will be hampered. I say to all of you, the Lord has charged men with the responsibility to provide for their families in such a way that the wife is allowed to fulfill her role as mother in the home.
At these words my mother and father decided that my mom needed to stay home to be with their three children. It was hard, and they were very poor, but they were able to get by as they followed the counsel of the prophet.

Though my school was hiring new teachers and I was on the top of the list because I had been student teaching there, I wanted more than anything to be a stay-at-home mother. My own mother had told me this story many times and so Grig and I prayed about it and asked the Lord what we should do.

We felt very strongly that I should stay home. I was grateful, because I couldn't imagine allowing anyone else, including my family, to raise my son. I wanted to be there when he took his first steps, said his first words, and learned to be excited about nature and animals. I wanted to be there when he climbed on his first chair and fell off for the first time. I wanted to be the one to comfort him when he was sad or sick, and the one that he laughed and told his first joke to.

So, I finished my degree and then I left the world of jobs behind me. Being a stay-at-home mother has been everything that I dreamed. Sure it's hard sometimes and sometimes I miss school and helping my husband monetarily, but Kevin is worth it to us, and the Lord has provided as we followed his commands.

However, after having worked so hard to earn my teacher's certificate, I am not planning on letting it expire. I am excited because I have to take some college credit before I renew it, and that means that I get to continue learning and going to school. I'll probably end up doing online classes.

Once the kids are out of the house, I plan on becoming a teacher again, but for now, I'm being a different sort of teacher. I do miss school sometmes, but I'm learning an awful lot in the school of how to be a good mom. Kevin is a great teacher, and the classroom never ends.


  1. My mother had a similar-ish experience. When I was about four and my sister was about two, she was in a nursing program. She was going to graduate with her RN in a short period of time... months or weeks. But my sister started really struggling with being in childcare. My mom quit, just like that. The End. I am grateful to have that as an example of where her priorities were and how she wanted to make sure we were OK, and it also helps me (like you) feel confident that our choice to stay home and rear our families is a good, and important one, in spite of what the world might tell us.

  2. also... you and I are very much alike about school. I loved and was so excited when school started each year, to see which class I was put in. They'd send a mailer out every year with the new classes, with the teachers and the names and pictures of children in each class. I used to love that thing to pieces :) even though, like you, I wasn't very social. What was so exciting about it? I'm still not sure. But I do know that it's one of the reasons why I eventually pushed for our kids to be public schooled after age 8--I wanted them to be able to participate in the "fun" aspects of school, teachers, classrooms.