Within the past five days I have done the following: misplaced my keys at least twice. Left the stovetop burner on when we went to pick up our minivan at the mechanic. Left the light on in said minivan overnight, killing my battery. Forgotten I’d left my dog out in our backyard for long enough that he ransacked the chicken coop and ate enough to send him to the emergency vet. Not my best week.
After the van light incident I thought to myself: “Wow, I’m really not staying on top of things. Feels like this has been happening increasingly since baby #3 came along.” The dog incident clinched the deal. Overload.
Today I was talking with a dear friend whose three kids are about the same spread as mine and she was commiserating with me and the balls being dropped. Each of us knows that what we’re going through is normal for our stage and that many other moms share our plight; each realizes that both healthy doses of grace and also intentionality to improve are required. But this is what she said that I’ve been mulling over all day: “We’ve made a full-on career change in the past few years, and the learning curve for the new job is high.”
She was completely right. I spent nearly a decade amassing and polishing my skills as a consultant; I know how to do that job well. I’m good at it. Going from consulant to homemaker/mom is something like going from engineer to nurse… not a lot of overlap. And in my new career as mother/homemaker, I’m a rookie and it shows. I’m learning how to mealplan and cook, learning how to keep house, learning how to organize life for a family of five, learning how to parent kids at various stages simultaneously, learning to prioritize and multi-task in these capacities. It’s intense; it can be grueling. Doing it well will take a lot of practice and I haven’t had all that much yet. It’s a learn-as-you-go endeavor with no option to fast-track straight to seasoned pro.
Ironically the Bible verse the kids and I are memorizing this month is about working hard (one can imagine the applicability of such a verse for a four-year old known to, at times, complain). The verse is this out of Proverbs: “Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.” Perfect. In the midst of my career change, I can rest assured that God will see to it that the work I spend developing my new career skills won’t go to waste.