I have wanted to write this for a while. I have now been a stay-at-home mom for a little more than a year. And yes, it is everything I hoped it would be. Although, it is much more difficult working at home for the family than it was to pack the kids up day after day, cart them to childcare for 9 hours a day, cart them home after a long day apart, make dinner, bed the kiddos and collapse. In those days, I lamented that the people who were raising our children were strangers. I felt as though we were aimlessly floating through life. I thought in a few short years my children would be in school and that would be it. All those precious moments, I longed for would be gone forever.
At first I cherished every moment being home, although, I was not exactly sure how to spend every moment and my kids were ill-behaved. I quickly learned that there was hardly enough time in a day to get every thing done—from activities with the kids, to cooking, cleaning and laundry. The house gets a lot messier when the kids are home all day. I was surprised at the workload. I had to learn how to balance the cleaning and spending time with the children.
As I figured out how we should structure our days, I began problem solving my children’s behavior. I attributed their behavior to their age. Now as I reflect upon the past year, I think their behavior had more to do with the fact that we did not know each other very well. That’s a hard reality for me. I thought that I knew my kids well. But, we did not know how to be around each other all day. In retrospect, I do not think the children trusted me or my discipline. Perhaps it was an adjustment for all of us.
I had to learn how to be a better mom and wife all around. I am still working on that. (“Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.”) I had to learn how to feed my kids without them rejecting everything I offered. I had to teach them how to listen to me and show respect to me and others. Then we added another child and a house and a dog—all in a year. Everyone in our family made it through these exciting times. Although, the waves were rocky at times and the boat tossed much, but, we kept faith that the storm would quiet and all would be right again. We trusted in God that this storm was meant to strengthen us. I am amazed at how much we have all grown in a year.
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,” Col 1:9-11
One thing I do not like about this last year is that even though I have seen my husband more I do not feel like we have had as much alone time and bonding time. The workload has simply been too great for the both of us. But, I think that has more to do with our new daughter and our new house. I am sure this will settle down after a while. Further, after having had my kids in daycare for years, I feel a little guilty leaving them with other people. But, also I see they really enjoy a little time away every once and a while. However, I sure do miss my lunch break (to go running, eat a quiet lunch, read a book, run an errand) and going to the restroom by myself.
Something that I have valued most about this year is getting to teach my kids more about our faith and help the whole family focus more on our faith. “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut 11:19 I am praying that every year is as fruitful as the last. “May God grant us many blessed years in peace, health and happiness.”