My mother had a full time job outside the home for my entire childhood. When I was young, her income provided half of our financial resources, and my father provided the other half with his job. When I was a teenager, my parents divorced. My mother's job became much more critical at that point, being the only means of income for our family. As I grew up, I always heard my mother lament that she could not stay home full time to raise her girls. This was her desire above all others, to be home with us, to teach us, to nurture us. Unfortunately, this was not what the Lord had allotted unto her, and she did her best to be content with it.
My sister and I grew up with these two lessons in our minds - first, seeing that women are very capable of having successful careers outside the home; and second, hearing that being a stay-at-home mother is more desirable than any other opportunity. When we married, we each chose husbands who were willing to work hard to support our families and let us stay home with our kids.
There have been lots of times that my sister and I have second-guessed our decision to be SAHMs. We have each tried different work-at-home businesses - selling kitchen paraphenalia, candles, scrapbooking supplies, etc. We have also each had part-time jobs once or twice, mainly to have a diversion. But every time, these business pursuits have not been successful, and we both have ended up where we started - home with our kids, cleaning the house, planning playdates and menus.
Exactly where God wants us to be.
As I study how to become a Proverbs 31 woman, I am learning how to find the glory of God in the path He has chosen for me. It's so easy for Satan to whisper his negative ideas into my brain - I'm worth more than this, the kids are annoying, my husband just wants a housekeeper, etc etc. If I don't actively seek God's word and His spirit in my life, this negative tirade starts to eat away at my happiness.
God has put me here in my home, with my kids, for a reason. Just as Esther had a purpose in the king's house she did not know at first, I have a purpose here in my home. I do not understand it all right now. Maybe I won't ever understand it all in this lifetime. But I will stop second-guessing His will. I will glory in the life He has given me, and in the blessings He continually pours out upon me and my family. God needs me to be an instrument in His hands, and it's time to stop fighting that fact. God has never steered me wrong before in my life, so I will continue to trust in Him and rejoice in His tender mercies.