It has been a little over two months since I began my new career as a stay at home mom. For those of you who have been keeping up with my adjustment, I wanted to give you an update.
The biggest difference I notice in my life now is the same thing I noticed at the beginning. Life is not frantic anymore. I don’t feel like I have ten different plates I need to juggle, just hoping they don’t come crashing down…or I come crashing down beneath the weight of it all. I am able to enjoy life in a way I’ve never enjoyed it before. I am able to enjoy my children in a way I’ve never enjoyed them before. (The pictures above represent that: one was Alyssa and I playing outside on a pretty day and the other was Drew and I working on a school project while he was home sick.)
The one worry that I had when I was planning on coming home was that I’d feel useless. After spending my entire life (in school, college, and career) striving to excel in areas that were measurable, I wondered how I’d function on this new playing field. Knowing that I can’t measure “excellence” in my children – and knowing they aren’t a task to be completed – leaves little room for feeling a sense of accomplishment.
Yet, I strangely do not feel useless. That is in part thanks to my husband who has done nothing but been encouraging to me. But I think it’s also a gift from God. Part of me wonders when I’m going to wake up. It’s a dream come true, from a dream that I never had in the first place. Until God birthed that dream in me. It brings to mind new meaning to the verse, “Delight yourselves in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) God changed my desires, and I can’t express my gratitude to him for doing so.
Now, lest you think these last two months have been perfectly blissful, let me set the record straight. I have had difficult days. My biggest challenge has been trying to figure out how much one-on-one, uninterrupted time I need to be spending with my children on a daily basis. I’ve never been gifted to work with children, and frankly, I don’t enjoy playing with them all that much. (Yes, feel free to gasp.) I prefer to play alongside them. Them with their toys and me with mine. J I feel a lot of guilt about that. And truthfully I don’t the answer. Many SAHM friends tell me not to feel guilty if I don’t spend every second totally immersed in their world. They tell me that my being there is what counts. They tell me that if I condition them to be entertained by me all the time, they won’t learn how to entertain themselves. Still, I feel guilty if I prod Alyssa to play with toys all alone while I do housework.
One day I decided I would teach Alyssa her lowercase letters. I became discouraged when her attention span lasted all of 5 minutes. Yes, Miss Task-Oriented Who Isn’t a Child Person can’t figure out how to manage the most mundane of teaching her child. That’s my biggest challenge, my biggest guilt.
But I’m sure I’ll figure it out, somehow. The bottom line is what matters: I love my new job more than anything.