Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Where I belong
When my children were younger, as a stay at home mom, I got caught up in the doing of our world. I volunteered at school, I volunteered in the community. I was a mom on the go. It was fueled by an expectation of what a stay at home mom SHOULD do. We should be the ones at school, on the PTG, doing community service. Not much credit or esteem is put on the woman who just simply takes care of her family. I could feel people thinking... what the heck does she do all day!? "I'd get so bored" working moms would say to me. So much of the time I felt like I had to defend myself. Defend my decision to be home with my kids. And so I threw my self out there, not wanting my peers to think I was lazy. I believe it fueled my desire for perfection too. I thought, if I am home all day and the house isn't perfect, people will wonder what I do all day.
Somewhere along the line I think I just burnt out, or maybe I grew up a little and decided it's OK to "just be a mom." Or maybe God put his hand on my shoulder and told me too stop, to slow down and prioritize. I began to realize that I can't be everything to everybody. And that while my main priority was my family I was too tired and busy to let them be my main focus. I started to see that my children aren't benefiting from all this craziness. And I started to slow down.
I realize now that I had totally lost the point.. I was out there trying to convince everyone around me that I had as much worth as they did, and forgot why I was home in the first place. I stay home because I want to create a consistent environment of calm for my kids. I wanted to be the one who wiped their bottoms and noses. I kissed away the boo-boos and hugged away the fears.
I sometimes feel the pressure to back to work now that they aren't babies. I stay home now that they are older because I want to be here to hear about their day. I want to be at their games. I want to know their peers. I want to be here when the horrible day at school comes to a head and I am needed once again to kiss away the boo-boos and hug away the fears. Those growing children still need their Momma. They just need me in different ways now, no more bottoms or noses, but need me to be here as they try to make their way in this world. As they deal with heartaches, triumphs and disappointment. As they try and figure out who they are and who they will become. For the times when they lose their way and need someone to help the find it again. For when they become overwhelmed in the hectic outside world of too much too soon, they need that soft place to land.
I have plenty to fill my days. Thing is I enjoy making a home, and it is something I do quite well. I love being a wife, I am old fashioned in that I want to take care of my husband, and let him take care of me. I love being a mother, the way I see some kids behave these days makes me more sure that my job is here. Over on Clover Lane she talks about Vintage Parenting, While I LOVE that term, and can identify with that style of parenting, it also makes me sad. It means that less and less parents are teaching the values that are most important, that wholesome family values have become "vintage."
I have struggled with my place in life on and off over the years. I am sure I will again. I think it takes real courage to be who you are. Over the past few months I have once again doubted my worth at home. But, I have come to realize that these almost teenagers need me just as much as they did before and my job here is not even close to being over. We have just begun a new chapter.
I am blessed that for me staying home is a choice. We don't need an extra paycheck. I realize many don't have that choice. Many do, and choose the paycheck. I respect that choice too, while it's not right for me, they too need to decide what is best for them and their family.
I have always known that if I did work outside of the home I would not be able to give to my family the way I want to. The way I feel I need too.
I could go back to work but when I think about it, nothing holds a candle to being here to make our home run smoothly, to have the energy to be a Mom that is present, or to be a wife that my husband can't wait to come home to.
I can honestly say I'd rather be here doing this than anything else. I don't feel like I have to convince others that I'm important anymore. I know I am. I know it shows in the people I am raising, in the strength of my marriage and the contentment of my own soul.