I’m on my fourth week as being a stay at home mom, and so far it has gone great overall. I’ve enjoyed extra time with my children and husband, and I haven’t yet experienced the gloomy days that I thought might visit.
But there is one aspect to being a full-time Mom that I didn’t expect. Oh, I was warned. Several moms had mentioned it to me, so I’m glad it didn’t take me completely by surprise.
You see, when I worked outside the home, I still experienced failures as a parent just like I do now, but the difference was that before I got too down on myself, I could return to work and feel like at least I was successful at something. I could return to work and control success to some degree. When I couldn’t control my child’s sleep habits, or attitude, or obedience, I could return to work and regain control. Work was like a dose of caffeine to a weary mom.
What being at home full-time has done, without the benefit of a safety net of self-confidence, has torn off the veil and has revealed my true nature as a person, as a woman, as a mom. The good and the bad.
The righteous and the sinful.
Oh, but the righteous is not present like I hoped it would be. Instead, I am faced with my sinfulness on a daily basis. More so now than ever.
But God is so gracious and loving!! He didn’t leave me to this devastating revelation without hope!
By his providence, he has led to a book and a blog (which I’ll share about later) that have brought me back to where I need to be: never “over” the gospel. You see, when I’m reminded day in and day out what my sinful condition truly is, I am reminded day in and day out how desperately I need my Savior, and how grateful I am for his sacrifice.
Let me give you an example. Instead of seeing Drew’s insistence that he won’t share his toy with Alyssa as selfishness that I have every right to get angry at (after all, Jesus got angry at sin, right?), I look at him and see how selfish I am, wanting to be first myself. Instead of seeing Drew’s argumentative, unwavering need to be right all the time and get the last word in, I look at him and see those exact same things in my life.
And when faced with those moments, I am reminded of the grace shown me in my sin, and I naturally am more able to show him grace. I can discipline him in love (not anger), and point to him the sin and point him to the Christ in whom I have found redemption.
Now, before this sounds too good, I still fail at this sometimes even more than I succeed. I still get angry and let that anger control my actions. Yes, I am getting better at responding in grace, but I still have those moments (usually the cranky hours before bed), when I revert back to my sinful nature.
And in comes more grace.
Quite simply, being a stay at home mom has brought me back to the gospel. The gospel that not only changed my life on October 23, 1990, but that changes my life day by day, moment by moment.