Monday, November 12, 2012

Grateful for Opportunities

I'm not your typical stay-at-home mom.  Or, maybe I am and I just don't realize it.  Maybe I'll be flooded with comments about readers just like me.  I hope so!  You see, the women I see at the bus stop are what I always imagined being a stay-at-home-mom would be like.  They drop their kids off and head to the gym.  Then, they run a few errands, clean their house in peace, volunteer with the PTA, bake some cookies, and pick their kids back up at the bus stop.  (Obviously, I'm romanticizing this, but this is what I hear.)

My day is much more hectic than that.  My day includes taking care of my kids and my daycare kids.  It means breakfast for 10, then off to the bus stop and getting my son ready for preschool.  Then, there's cleaning and coloring, laundry and Play-Doh.  There's snack time, lessons and craft, outdoor play, lunch and story time, nap time and back to the bus stop.  Then, there's homework, cleaning, Quiet Times, and starting dinner.  There is NEVER a break.  There is NEVER a moment of peace.  If I let myself, I will get totally bogged down in the day to day details of my life.  I'll feel sorry for myself because my husband is so busy with work and the church.  I'll miss teaching and having a life outside of the house.  I'll miss getting dressed in the morning and having a quiet commute.  Before that happens, I have to step back and remember what it was like to leave my baby.  I have to remember why I cried and prayed and begged God to let me be at home with my children...and then I choose gratitude.

Five years ago, being at home with my children was just a dream.  I had one baby boy and I felt bad every morning when I dropped him off at the babysitter.  I hated that I was missing the day to day stuff - I could never be sure that the "firsts" I saw were truly his first words or steps.  When I got pregnant again, I knew I couldn't do that again and I began the long journey to becoming a stay-at-home-mom.  You can read more about that here.

When I start to get depressed that I can't be "perfect" vision of a stay-at-home-mom, I remember these things.  I remember my prayers that I could be the one home with my children, and I know that God answered them.  Even more than that, he gave me opportunities.  Opportunities to contribute to our finances so we could slowly work our way out of debt.  He gave me opportunities to use my gifts working with children and to share that with all of you (and I get PAID to do these things - how cool is that??). 

In my years doing daycare, I see what my working parents are missing.  There are so many everyday things that I could never write them all down for the parents to see - funny stories, hugs, cuddles before naptime, dancing in the living room, jumping in the leaves, the joy of learning new things.  Because I'm here, I get the opportunity to really be present in every part of my children's lives.  Our days are filled with a million small things, things that otherwise might be taken for granted.

I can't pretend that being a stay-at-home-mom is easy - or in my case a "work-at-home-mom".  My work day doesn't have a beginning or an end, most of what I do is taken for granted.  It's hard and it's wonderful, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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  1. Love your perspective!
    The great thing about God blessing with being a stay at home work mom is that you are able to bless so many families by giving them a safe and loving environment for their kids to grow. ~mari

  2. I just started following your blog a week or so ago, and so much in this post resonated with me. It killed me too to leave my tiny baby in someone else's care so I could do and teach a classroom of children not my own. And on the days that seem 53 hours long and cause me to tear my hair out over toddler drama, I try to remember how much I cried and agonized over leaving her, and how much I wished I could just stay-at-home.

    And, while somedays we are your pretty typical picture of staying-at-home, the others are a delicate balance of watching other people's children, sewing for my at-home business, and teaching preschool art classes. I think hectic days are par for the course for any mom. :-)

  3. What a great perspective. :) It's definitely a challenge to be a work at home mom and my work is all done online! It's hard, but you are changing and inspiring so many lives with your work! Thanks for sharing this and I love that you found the silver lining. :)

  4. Great post. I guess most mom's have crazy days! I am your newest follower and would like to invite you to add any of your great ideas to my weekly Mom's Library Link-Up every Wednesday.
    Thanks and Be blessed,
    Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

  5. It's so easy to look at the outside of other people's lives and think how much easier etc. it looks. But we all have our stuff, problems, sacrifices. I'm still so much in the process of learning to keep choosing gratitude! I love my life, but I still fall into being ungrateful or wishing for something else instead of embracing my blessings. :)