I picked up a fitted sheet off the floor. It was clean, but I’d been putting off folding it for a couple of days because . . . well, just because. I had just gotten back from the grocery store and was trying to decide whether I should fold the rest of the laundry or work on the puzzle on the card table. 

As I laid out, folded, then ultimately wadded the fitted sheet, I thought about the fact that in two years, all three of my kids would be in elementary school. Just two years. 

I’d always assumed I’d go back to work when my youngest went to kindergarten. But as I stuffed the wadded sheet into its place upon the shelf, the thought struck me: 

What if I don’t want to?

What if I just want to be a housewife?

What if I just want to be a mom?

What if I spend the rest of my days folding laundry and washing dishes and shuttling kids from place to place?

What if the degree I worked so hard for is never again used?

I wondered if that made me lazy, or a failure, or lacking ambition. I wondered if that made me one of those crazy moms whose life revolved around her kids and didn’t have an identity outside of them.

But I see so many other moms with these huge passions and gifts and dreams they are pursuing, total badasses climbing ladders and breaking glass ceilings. I see the joy and tenacity they have in their careers and I wonder, “Do I have that? Do I want that?”

Or maybe . . . is my passion and my gift and my dream right here, within these four white walls. Could it really just be this? Am I THAT boring? Or is it just THAT simple?

You see, for a second there last year, things were going my way. Doors were opening in my career, people were reaching out, balls were rolling, and my dreams that had always been distant and fuzzy were starting to materialize in the most unexpected ways.

Those things I’d always hoped for were actually happening. But in the midst of it, all I wanted was to be home with my husband, reading books on the couch to my kids or cooking dinner or even folding laundry. I craved the simplicity of just being a housewife and wondered if I’d been living my dream all along.

I’d been chasing this thing that felt more significant, more fulfilling, more successful than my boring, old life. I’d been chasing this thing that offered more affirmation, more praise, more glory than cleaning toilets and wiping bottoms.

But even during all the supposed successes, even when people were telling me all the things I’d always wanted to hear, I just wanted my people, the ones who lived in my home, the ones who really knew me. 

And maybe I’m a coward—maybe I’m still searching for that balance that’s so dadgum hard to grab hold of—maybe I crave comfort too much and need to challenge my safe boundaries.

Or maybe there’s something about the simplicity and humility found in a life behind-the-scenes that’s good for my soul.

Somewhere along the way these kids changed me, grew me up, and I think my goals and dreams changed along the way, too. I don’t want the same things I did seven years ago. My joy isn’t found in the same things and my ambitions have changed (or just plumb disappeared . . . hard to say).

What if I don’t want promotions or accolades or to leave a huge print on the world?

What if all I want is a simple, mediocre life, in the middle of small-town USA, surrounded by the people I love, serving and loving those around us?

What if I just want to be a housewife?

You may also like: 

This is Stay-at-Home Motherhood

What Do Stay At Home Moms Do All Day?

My World Really Does Revolve Around My Kids

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Jordan Harrell

Jordan writes about the days with her three kids and wonderful husband to help her get through the days with her three kids and wonderful husband. She's really good at eating chocolate, over-analyzing everything, and forgetting stuff. In 2017, Jordan founded fridaynightwives.com, a blog and boutique that serves as a ministry for coaches' wives. You can find her at jordanharrell.comFacebookInstagram, or Twitter.