Friday, February 25, 2011

Where Has the Last Eight Years Gone?

This week marks the eighth year as a FULL TIME stay at home mom. I've sat and thought about the past eight years, how things have changed, is it what I thought it would be, do I plan to continue being a stay-at-home mom? I thought I would share my thoughts with you and reflect a little.
Eight years ago my sweet Caleb (baby #2) was born. That marked the beginning of me being at home full time. After having my oldest (20 months earlier) I continued to stay working 2 days a week at the pediatrician's office I had worked at since college graduation. I remember being so ready to just be at home and not worry about driving on the snow and ice, the babysitter calling and saying I had to find a back-up because of sick kids or whatever the case would be. From this point forward just me and my two babies hanging at home.
I had this idea that this is what a stay-at-home mom's life would entail:
#1: Always keep a perfectly clean never know when company might pop in. (Plus maybe they would think I was lazy if my house wasn't spotless).
#2: Supper should always be on the table when Hubby arrives.....that's just being a good wife right?
#3: Laundry should never pile up...I'll have oodles of time to take care of that chore.
#4: My children will always be well behaved and use their manners.
#5: I would be fullfilled in every way just loving on my little ones.

Well I think you get the drift......I WAS REALLY CLUELESS!!!! I giggle at those funny ideals I had conjured up in my head. Not that some of the aren't good ones, or that some of them don't happen from time to time, they are just not all realistic and in the proper prospective.

#1: It took me a few years to figure it out....well honestly I'm still not the best at this one but I'm much better. I remember an older gal gave me this advice when I was struggling with balancing a perfect household with an infant and a 20 month old. She said this to me: "Your not a stay-at-home mom so you can clean your house full time. You stay at home to take care, nurture, and train your children. This season of life goes so fast, don't miss it. What kind of legacy do you want to leave your children? I promise you that they won't care how perfect the house looked but they will cherish the time spent cuddled up reading, eating homemade goodies, and playing board games together." I remember that conversation gave me a new perspective on the whole "super mom" complex.
#2: This is one I still like to accomplish if I can. We sit down and eat as a family each night, and if we can do it right away when Hubby gets home then we have the rest of night for whatever else we want to do.
#3: Well I'm not sure where I thought all this time was gonna come from. I guess with one child you do have more down time then you do with two that are less than two years apart. I now know that they rarely napped at the same time...once they were older I could coordinate that better, but that seemed to take FOREVER. Caleb didn't understand what the word nap meant...unless you count closing you eyes for 15-20 stretches...ugh! I was straight up tired all the time! So when I did have a 20 minutes stretch I just wanted to sit down and relax a minute....but I rarely did because I had so much other stuff to try to do.
#4:(INSERT HYSTERICAL LAUGHING here) Yep, I really honest to goodness thought that since I would be training my children from sun up to sun down in my own home that they would just be all hunky dory whenever in public, or when company came over. Well kids are kids and as much as I would like to fool myself into thinking they will always be kind and polite they fail. (and so do I). It's a non-stop processing of correcting them, but now that some of boys are older I am starting to see some of the fruit of my labor (glimmers that I may be doing something right in this parenting gig.)
#5: I love my children with every fiber in me (even on the days they really make me want to commit myself to some quiet, soft padded, room where I can be by myself.) I did realize that my contentment is no in them, nor my husband's affirmation of my clean house or dinner on the table when he arrives. My contentment must come from the only one who can fill that place, and that my friend is JESUS. There has been a big learning curve, lots of memories made, lessons learned, grace given, and mercy shown.
looking back at the past eight years, I am so blessed we made the choice as a family for me to stay home and raise the kids. I wouldn't change it for anything. I am a STRONG believer in giving mommy breaks....and thankfully so is my supportive Hubby. There were sacrifices made over the years for me stay at home......every one worth it......all of them don't hold a candle to the benefit of being where I am. For as long as I can remember, I couldn't wait to get married and be a mommy. I am so thankful that God has given me a wonderful husband and four busy kids. I do plan to stay-at-home if that is where God keeps me. It's where I want to be.



Megan said...

great post! Staying home is very worth it!!

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