From the White House to My House: Staying Home Ain’t For the Weak

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This past November, my husband was offered a great career opportunity in OKC.  He, our five year old daughter and I took the plunge, moving here from the Washington, DC metro area.  My husband’s job not only brought us to a new state with brand new mid-west adventures, but also catapulted me into life as a stay-at-home mom.

For seven years prior, I served the Executive Office of the President in the White House. As one could imagine, it was a demanding, but wonderfully challenging experience that taught me so much about how the world works.  Those years were filled with round-the-clock email exchanges (and I do mean at ungodly hours), daily crisis management, and moment-by-moment crash courses in staying ahead of the game.  My husband and I were the perfect ping pong team, taking turns dropping our daughter off to school and picking her up.  But after so many years of commuting, meeting unrealistic deadlines, and being as present as I could be at home, this metropolitan mom was worn down to a nub.

I arrived in OKC sparkly-eyed and optimistic.  I felt like God Himself had delivered me from Egypt and led me into what seems like The Land of Faith and Family- a happy, drama-free place where folks’ main philosophy  is anchored in ‘The Simple Life.’

It’s a place where I have felt safe enough to shed.  To rid my tired soul of so many expectations and demands outside of my home.  Here, I’m trying to learn how to be a better mom and wife. I’m sure many of my female peers in D.C. would not understand or appreciate my new goal. But that’s honest. I don’t want to climb anymore ‘ladders’ for the time being. Though making money is tempting and will be necessary at some point, I’d rather coupon for now. I just want to get down to my bare bones.  Let the core of who I am resurface. Not worry about introducing myself to others with an automatic job title attached. IMG_4336

I have a new pride in being a stay-at-home mom at this time in my life.

Now, before I mislead you, let me be clear- I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.

Not yet anyway.

I don’t even know if I’m being politically correct (sorry, politics are in my bones) by calling myself a ‘stay-at-home’ mom. Am I supposed to be saying something else? Do we prefer ‘domestic engineer’ or something else more modern or snazzy?

(Y’all let a sister know).

I do know that there have been  major mountains to climb for women to get the respect they deserve as homemakers. I know that many have not seen value in a woman’s choice to focus primarily, and maybe solely, on her family. And if I’m nothing else, I’m a feminist with a mop and a broom, so I want to represent with the respect and appreciation raising a family deserves.

I’m quickly learning that planning high-level negotiations between governments has nothing on keeping a little kid happy and occupied ALL DAY LONG, or convincing other moms that your family is ‘safe’ for play dates, or planning meals that won’t end up in the trash.

…or becoming an extreme couponer.

Being a stay-at-home mom ain’t for the weak.

IMG_4403-2And though I’m a pitiful rookie, I am proud. And excited. And afraid. Because I don’t want to just get the words right, I want to get the role right.  As a person, it’s always been important to me to be competent and purposeful. That is true whether I’m working in The White House or in my house. 

In this role, newly-found friends are coaching me along- showing me how a REAL play date goes down, and texting links for one-pot recipes.

Like nothing I’ve ever done before, I really want to get this right.  And though I’m in the infantile stages, I can’t imagine a better place to grow with grace than in the Land of Faith and Family. 

Thanks, OKC.

 

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Cece Jones-Davis a worship leader, speaker, social advocate and writer, Cece’s work is deeply inspired by the social ministry of Jesus Christ. She is the founder of
 Sing For Change, Inc., a social justice initiative that works to mobilize faith-motivated musical artists and communities in the fight against HIV/AIDS. She is also the founder and facilitator of the Women & Girls Working Group, raising awareness regarding issues impacting female reproductive health globally. Cece was honored to serve the Obama Administration for nearly two terms, and now lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Mike, and little girl, Halo. Cece is from the small town of Halifax, Virginia and graduated from Howard University and Yale University School of Divinity, as well as the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Worship and the Arts. Her heart's greatest passion is the build bridges between faith, music, and community service.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Late Welcome to Oklahoma. This state is really a wonderful place to live, but I may be little biases. BTW “Stay-At-Home” is politically correct to me, and doesn’t have a negative meaning behind it. I think its great that you are able to. I’m working to let my wife do the same thing.

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart, Cece. I love your encouragement and the vulnerability of purpose. More than getting it right, I am positive your family will develop from getting and being loved, more so than doing right could ever provide! So thrilled for you and the journey your family are encountering. Cheers!

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