Deciding to be a wife and mom is not "settling."
I could have chosen a career. But I didn't. I chose to get married at 20.
I could have chosen to study music, train under the music prodigies of the Christian world, travel abroad, and devote my life to practicing hours a day so I could perform in front of an audience, but I didn't. Instead, I chose to learn and study and practice independently when I could, and serve in my local church music ministry.
I could have chosen to wait to have kids. But I didn't. I left that in God's hands when my husband and I got married. And God blessed. Nine months to the day after we were married. And then he blessed and blessed and blessed again- ten times over, with two blessings in heaven.
I could have chosen to have one or two kids. It would have been easier, for sure. But I didn't. I have a big 'ole soft spot when it comes to babies and toddlers and middle schoolers and teens and young adults. I have a big 'ole soft spot when it comes to kids-period.
I could have chosen to get a full time job after my kids came, but I didn't. It would have made life a little more comfortable. When I chose to stay home with our kids, I chose a simpler lifestyle. I chose to scrimp and save and do coupons. I chose to cook at home instead of eating out. I chose to shop second hand clothing, instead of buying name brand clothing brand new. I chose simple vacations, instead of lavish cruises and trips to Paris.
I could have chosen to send my kids to school, but I didn't. Instead, I chose to take their education upon myself. I choose their curriculum, I make sure they do school everyday, I explain things over. And over. And over again to them. I teach them to read- one painstaking letter at a time. I spend the hours educating them the way I want them educated.
I could have kicked my kids out the moment they turned 18, but I haven't. I have tried to remain a guiding force in their life- trying to steer them in the right path, encouraging independence and decisions at the right time, but knowing my time with them is all too short. I spend hours texting and talking and helping them navigate life. I stay up late just for an opportunity to talk to my adult kids. Soon they will fly the coop, and my heart hurts just a little thinking about it.
I chose to exchange freedom for responsibility.
I chose to exchange wealth and a title for raising children.
I chose to exchange accolades and applause from men for grubby kisses and hugs from my toddlers.
I chose to exchange sleep for restless nights.
I chose to exchange peace and quiet for never ending craziness.
I chose to exchange "alone time" for carrying babies in my womb for years, nursing for years, and having babies and kids constantly in my "personal space."
I chose to exchange my independence for a godly marriage.
I chose to put the needs of others before my own.
With all the things mentioned, I had a choice. Some things might have been easier, some things harder. Some things might have been more exciting, but maybe not.
I can't think of anything more exciting than the first moment I see my baby's face. Or the security and peace I feel being married to a man who loves and provides for me. I can't think of anything more exciting than seeing my kids blossom and turn into such incredible human beings. I can't think of anything more exciting than their "I love you's" and their hugs.
In no way, however, were any of the things I mentioned "settling."
I am not a "lesser woman" because I am not a career woman. I am not a "lesser woman" because I have more than 2.5 kids. I am not a "lesser woman" because I stay at home and raise kids and run the home.
Those are all lies from the enemy, and lies from those who place little value in marriage, or the home, or children.
I am exactly who I chose to be.
And I would choose it all over again.