Tuesday, June 2, 2015

When I Grow Up

When answering the prompt, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I can remember in first grade, I answered “Poet”. I’m not sure where I got that one from, but it makes me smile now.

In eighth grade, I said, “Doctor”, which changed quickly to “Child Psychologist”. I loved being a listening ear for my friends, and I eagerly wanted to help people.

In high school, I don’t remember being set on any specific job. My computer-aided-drafting teacher swore that I would be a great architect. My pre-calculus teacher thought I had what it took be an engineer. When I took “Career Ed”—the survey came back that I would be an amazing secretary. But when I left for college, I had two ideas—Sociology and Spanish. 

At some point during my freshman year, I remember calling my mom with a revelation that I was always meant to be an elementary school teacher. I felt that everything in my life up to that point made it obvious that this was the career for me. (My mom had gone to the same college as me, and got a degree in Elementary Ed, so she was super proud.) 

I spent the rest of college immersed in my teaching classes, and I (for the most part) loved it all! I took as many Spanish classes as I could, in hopes that someday I could teach elementary Spanish. I did three practicums—one in a Chicago Public School, one in a private school (actually the elementary school that I attended from preschool to eighth grade), and finally student teaching in a suburban public school. 

And while I was student teaching, I was also planning my wedding, which was five weeks after graduation.

I moved to Pennsylvania, and Steve and I got married :)

Steve had just graduated also, and he was starting a Master’s program at the same university as his Bachelor’s. We were in a fairly large city, and I started the paperwork to become a substitute teacher. I had to jump through some pretty big hoops to get my teaching certificate in Pennsylvania. Even though my Illinois certificate was brand new, Pennsylvania wasn’t going to give me one until I had taken the Praxis tests and an additional undergraduate math course. I was able to sub as an “emergency sub” until I had my certificate.

Being an emergency sub meant that I couldn’t get a job until the night before or the morning of. There were fifteen elementary schools, and I quickly found out that most of them were rough. I came home almost every day in tears from bad experience after bad experience. I was really disheartened and unhappy.

The following year, I started subbing in the Catholic schools, and I had much better experiences. But I never really found joy in going to a different job every day, with no idea what to expect. (And every age group from 2 to 14.) 

I found out that I was pregnant with Nolan around this time, and Steve got accepted to a PhD program in a new town. I knew that the $60 a day I was making as a sub was not going to pay for childcare, and I fell in love with the job title of “Mommy”.

Fast forward four years, and I still love staying at home with my babies! It’s HARD, and there are many days where the idea of getting dressed up and going to work sounds wonderful. But most of the time, I am so glad that my job is at home.

So when I think about what I want to do when I grow up, I sort of draw a blank. I am open to so many things so long as they are somehow creative and fulfilling.

But I do know this:

I want to be my sons’ photographer,
their birthday-cake-baker,
piano teacher,
homework helper,
adventure co-pilot,
faith encourager,
clothes buyer,
and personal chef.

When I grow up, I want to be Steve’s wife with laugh lines and gray hair ;)

Linking up with Andrea today.


  1. Being a wife and mommy is really just SO hard but even more, it is SO rewarding! Glad you see it that way, too :)

  2. Love that the test said secretary! lol! I swear those tests were designed in the 60's! Love that you love what you do :)

  3. What a sweet post. And teaching is HARD! I was there for 4 years. High school English.

  4. I love your conclusion! Perfection.

  5. I love your very last "when I grow up" :) Also, that picture of you when you were younger is so cute! Nolan definitely looks like his mama!

  6. What a lovely post! Mom is a great job desciption. I talked about coaching Girls On The Run today on my blog, and it breaks my heart to see these girls with about.... ZERO family support and home life. Mom is SUCH an important job description and you are beyond amazing! Your boys are going to love all these pictures and memories!

    Katie @ www.KatieWanders.com

  7. Love this! Nothing better than the role of momma & wife!


Thank you so much for your comments! I enjoy reading each one!


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