Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thoughts on being an at-home momma, six months in

My husband gave me a Mother's Day card with George W. Bush on it and this great line (his own words): "Like W's presidency, motherhood isn't always easy, lots of little people whine about it, and at times it seems like torture..."

He's a keeper. I laughed pretty hard. We had crepes and coffee and Elly wiggled everywhere in a desperate attempt to get anything in her hands and to her mouth. Judah raced around the church lobby, chasing a balloon until he was rumpled and sweaty. He told me he loved me and I asked him if I was his mommy, and he answered in kind, "Yes, I am your mommy." Hah. Elly and I made faces in the mirror until she giggled with her mouth-open-wide smile. Appropriate, heart-melting stuff. And then we came home for bedtime and Judah got up approximately 1,000 times and Elly cried her little heart out, messed up by the Sunday outing schedule.

I have been at home with my kids for six months now. It's not a real stay-at-home mom experience yet because my husband is still home a lot of the time as we wait for visas, but it is dramatically different from working at an office from 9-5. So, this Mother's Day has me pondering my thoughts and feelings about being an at home mother so far.

I think it's not as bad as my worst fears. I had steeled myself, knowing I might find it really difficult, lonely, monotonous, and unfulfilling. Looking back, I don't know why I thought it would be monotonous. I was an assistant, for heaven's sake. Scheduling, organizing the office, and managing the minutia of someone else's life is what I was doing and actually enjoying. Managing our family is not so different. I like to own the space, organize it, clean it, plan meals, and just take care of things.  And then, of course, there's the delightful, breathtaking beauty of my children. That's the highlight.

It's also not just all easy and natural. I really believe there are women for whom full-time at home mothering is the most fulfilling job. That doesn't make it easy and they are still working hard, but for them, it's the equivalent of a professional getting a dream job, pouring their heart into it, and finding it incredibly fulfilling. I know some of those women, I think it's awesome and I'm kind jealous, and that's not me.

However, I learned a lot about jobs and work over the last seven years, and yesterday when Elly wouldn't nap, Judah was a whirlwind, and I couldn't sit down or get two hands free at once, I thought about how to apply it all to motherhood. Don't expect your ideal job and perfect job satisfaction. Most of the time, take the available job, pour your heart into it, do your best, and learn from it. Most likely over time the job will have its ups and downs, you will grow to love it more and you will grow through the experience.

I think that's true of motherhood. I shouldn't expect it to be the perfect, ideal, most fulfilling experience for me. I LOVE my kids with all my heart, and this is the season of parenting them at home. That's a gift and a lot of work, it is my task for now. I will pour my heart into it, I will survive the overwhelming and draining times, and I will soak up the beautiful things. When I am at end of my rope, I can recognize that the Spirit that fills me doesn't run dry, and I will lean in!

I don't need my children to look back and know their mother only wanted to be at home with them. I'm okay with my kiddos knowing that being at home wasn't easy for me. However, I am bound and determined that my kids know that I enjoy and enjoyed THEM. I want to delight in them, because what is more awesome than knowing that someone delights in you? 

And totally unrelated except that this photo was supposed to go on this photo and it pictures the purse.... check out that purse. I have been looking for the perfect purse, because I've gotten picky. Has to be cross-body so I can be hands free for the kiddos. Has to have a a top opening, not a fold over, so that I can overstuff it if needed. Has to be larger than a wallet and smaller than a diaper bag. Sturdy, not just loose cheap cloth. I have had my eye out for ages and found the perfect purse at TJ Maxx for over $100. Nevermind. And then last week I varied my usual walking route to the main road, where a storage facility sometimes opens a few garages and has a rummage sale. It was a bunch of junk. In the very back, covered in dust, was this purse. $2. I love it.


Lisa McKay said...

I loved this post. Really encouraging and so balanced and positive. Thanks!! Also, your post on makeup inspired me to try BB cream. So far so good :)

CatharineKariana said...

I really love this post. I like how your brain works. Really makes me feel better about having kids one day.