Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Unemployed? Me?

There was a strange sound to the words as my aunt’s sister said them. As we visited in the kitchen Christmas Day, I explained that I had taught at the local university until Saturday and that I would be staying home with our children for an undetermined amount of time.

“So you’re unemployed?” she said.

Unemployed?  I guess I hadn’t thought of my situation that way.  I chose to leave my job.  I’m not looking for another full-time job outside of the home.  I believe I am very much employed since I’m busy at home and have an endless list of projects to work on. 

I’m just not going to be bringing home a paycheck right now. 

That fact doesn’t make me a different person or less valuable.  It doesn’t mean I’m not using my degree.  It doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my dreams.  Being a stay-at-home mom actually is one of my dreams.  And it’s time to follow it!

I know people will have different kinds of reactions to my decision.  So far, I’ve received support from unexpected places (even in the dentist’s office!), some admissions of envy from friends, and some more critical responses (though not as harsh as I may have expected).  I pray God will give me the courage to explain our reasoning to those who question and the strength to hold fast to this new commitment, despite negative reactions. 

And, then there is my own questioning heart to deal with at times as well.  I’ve prided myself on my financial independence since I started college as an undergrad.  I’ve found some of my identity in my work and studies.  Those things aren’t necessarily easy for me to let go of…   

This decision is a rather huge leap of faith for us.  We don’t have it figured out.  I’m having trouble getting the financial numbers to balance in my mind (and, if you know any other engineers, you may imagine how that bugs me), but my God has never let me down.  He is always faithful, and the times in my life when I’ve been called to step out in faith in radical ways have been the times He’s helped me grow the most in my relationship with Jesus.

May this season of service bring glory to Him and refine my heart in new ways.