I've been thinking about this for a while, but wasn't sure how to put it. I was reading a friend's blog this morning, and I think it may have cleared up some of the confusing parts of my dilemma.

When I was a senior in high school, I was sure I was going to get a degree in creative writing and be an English teacher. And then when I had children I would stay at home and be a freelance writer, thanks to the advice of my high school counselor. I met Jake, got married, and moved to Oklahoma not long after high school. [Technically I met Jake a month before I graduated from high school, but who's being technical?] There were no creative writing programs in Oklahoma City, so I got a degree in English on the writing track [and the education track, and I was one course shy of the literature track, and in three years because I wanted to graduate "on time," but again, technicalities]. Wherever Jake was going for his graduate work would be where I would further my education [not necessarily at the same school, but in the same city/close region]. Here we are in Chicago, and there are several creative writing programs, two of which I'm really interested.

So what's the problem? I haven't written anything substantial since I graduated from college. I can't figure it out either. I used to write all the time just because. I've been wondering if I should get a degree specifically in writing or something that inspires my writing. I'm passionate about a lot of things, one of which is the area of social equality. I've been glancing at public policy and international relations programs, both of which can be coupled with a law degree. But even with all of this, I wonder how/why I would do such a thing when I'm totally devoted to being a mom at this moment in my life. I'm still paying of student loans from undergraduate, and it doesn't make sense to possibly incur more debt when in the end of the program I will likely continue to stay home until all of my pretend children, besides Cora of course, are in school.

This has been what I've been going around and around about since Cora was born.

I was talking with a cousin about it and she said something I think is very true: "I think that it is prudent for you to be as educated as you can be- for both you and Cora, I think that any education you get will only help her in the long run, but it would mean that there are days you would have to spend less time with her while you do it and I don't know how that balance works out..."

And then I read Megan's post this morning. Among the many things I could relate to, the part I'd never thought of was where she talked about wanting a hobby, but not wanting it to feel like work or a job. "I want to do it as much or as little as I desire." Because she has a job, and that is being a mom to her three children..."and it's a great gig." Something about thinking of what I want to do with my life in terms of what career I want to have really made sense. I think I spend too much time worrying about what I'm going to do that I don't ever do what I really love to do. I shouldn't worry about a piece that I want to write being suitable as a writing sample for a prospective program, or picking the right organization to get involved with as something that will look good on a resume.

The word unfulfilled has come up. Am I fulfilled as a wife? Yes. Am I fulfilled as a mother? Yes. Am I fulfilled as a me? Not completely. And I want to change that. And I don't have to know everything all at once, no matter how much I'd like to. I just don't want to be in neutral because I can't think of anything more lame or heartbreaking than simply staying put.

PS: I deleted a paragraph from this post about how I cringe whenever I'm asked to think about my "talents." I'm a "jack of many* trades, but a master of none." I think one of my talents is kindness, and maybe the kind of person we are working towards becoming has the potential to be our greatest talent of all.


  1. Maybe taking a class in an area you're interested in would help fill the void if you don't want to commit yourself to a program!

  2. Ah, the age-old dilemma of further education and mommyhood. I am putting off having children thinking that I'll go back to school to get my master's degree first. But paying off the undergrad and saving to go back to school has ended up being more time-consuming than I planned for. So I really don't know where that leaves me. I can empathize with you, though. ;-)

  3. I had always planned on going to college, but my plan was much different than the Lord's plan for me. It is a hard thing to balance school and motherhood, but I know it's possible. I'm just not ready to divide my attention, my kids need me right now. I have the rest of my life to get an education. (easier said than done, it was hard for me to come to this realization, lots of prayer and really searching what was best for me and my family) I think considering it a hobby is a good idea. That leaves you in charge of yourself and no one to answer to. Good luck! Never the same answer for everbody. That's the beauty of us all being so differnt and the Lord knowing us so well.



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