Will my husband ever really know what happens here at home everyday while he’s away at work? I sincerely hope he can, because he’s missing out.
Of course sometimes we feel cooped up inside our home, and sometimes I feel like a slave to the chores or even the children, but even on those days I am in my happy place.All my life I knew I wanted to be a stay at homer. It made college very difficult for me as I sincerely felt it was a waste of my time and money. Eventually I grew up and realized I needed a degree, a certificate, a better plan at least. When I first started staying home with my little loves it was a MAJOR adjustment and I actually wanted to get back to work. It wasn’t exactly “for me” and it took maybe a full year of doing it and working out the kinks before I fully enjoyed the benefits of staying home with my children.
Each day I get to see the new things my child learns through play or through experiences. I’ve watched our three year old build and Eagle with he Lego blocks for weeks, and then finally he created something new. I couldn’t tell you what it was, but he played with it for an hour.
Potty training a two year old can be rough, but seeing how proud she is after going on her own is so rewarding. It’s a process, that’s for sure. First you have to teach them to go. Then you have to teach them do tell you they need to go. Then we put the potty chair in a stationary place. Next we move the potty chair to the actual bathroom. Then it’s wiping. Of course pulling up your own underwear comes way before taking them down at the beginning. Then you have to move them to the big porcelain throne. (I forgot to mention about car rides and bedtime, and being out in public) There’s a gazillion milestones that come with the territory and each one she masters lifts my heart with joy. I get to see her independence thrive.
The baby stage is my favorite, for the same reasons as above. There are milestones after milestones you get to witness nearly everyday. I’m not one of those moms who wants to keep my child on the bottle, in the crib, and so on just a little bit longer. I worried I would if I knew we were on our last, but I’m not. It is so fun watching them blossom into their own little personalities as tiny humans!
I’m overwhelmed by the growth my children have gone through and I’m blessed to be there with them in many cases, but that isn’t nearly the half of what goes on here everyday.
Our mothering four year old is playing house nearly everyday. She wants four babies. She puts everyone to bed sweetly, feeds them meals, takes them to the park, and so on and so on. I take this one as a VERY personal compliment. I feel she knows that what I do for them everyday is good and I hope she knows it means I love them each ridiculously!
When I hear them repeat words my husband and I have said, I learn very quickly how I need to improve. These little nuggets keep me in check. Sometimes they bring shame right up to my face, but I’m glad. I want to be better than I am for them, and I encourage them to demand it from me. That’s my everyday. I get to have conversations with each kid and I can learn so much from them.
My absolute favorite thing about being home is just getting to reach out and touch my child’s head, or hand, just to know these people are real and God gave them to me. Knowing that, make me feel God’s love instantly. I love being with my family. I love working for my family. My goal everyday is to enjoy our time together. This is precisely what I hope my husband gets to experience someday soon.
It isn’t that he doesn’t have these feelings, I’m confident he does, it’s that he’s gone too much and is missing out on so much going on. I mentioned how much I admired my gal Lisa and her family because I too would love for my husband to work alongside of me at home. I’d love to homeschool our children together, because we would actually be a perfect team for that specifically. That family unit, the togetherness, is what I love most about staying at home.
In fact, I don’t feel like I need time away from my children, I just need time to do the things I love, or need, in front of my children. I want to settle in with a book sometimes. I’d like to do some sewing projects more often. Baking with the kids is getting easier. Taking care of myself in front of them is an important life lesson. I want them to see all the parts of me. I actually feel they should see me as imperfect. As mentioned before, I want them to expect more from me… to demand it. One day I was getting upset in conversation with their dad, and I was just about ready to lose it and start weeping our of frustration. But then I heard a tiny voice from way in the back of the vehicle that said, “Mom, you need to be calm. Okay? Be calm.” I looked at her and quickly said, “Thank you!” She saw me weak, but had courage to help me. Maybe she’ll have courage to help someone else, or better yet, herself.
Just because I don’t feel the need to be away from my children, doesn’t mean they’re with me all the time. I also have a duty to teach them to be without me. I do that by spending time with my husband on date nights. Shouldn’t we teach our kids how to love their spouses when it comes time for them to marry? It is fun to watch our children push us out the door so they can be at home alone with their babysitter, but when I’m home again with them during the day we have lots to talk about.
I love having conversations with these children, and they love it too. They feel important when their mom gets to sit with them while they talk. I feel important because they’re choosing to tell me. We have so many conversations all day long, but hearing them talk to one another is even better. I imagine they’re already conjuring plans to sneak the sweet treats in the kitchen, hiding the toys in their bed to play after lights are out, and much more. Often I know what they’re up to, but I act as if I don’t because they’re bonding. That’s probably not great parent advice, so disregard that.
Most of our great conversations come from our many many adventures. We get to go to the zoo, multiple awesome city parks, nature trails, museums, the aquarium, and just strolling around our little neighborhood. Sometimes our adventures consist of picking up some groceries at the store, or an errand to the post office. I love presenting them with something new to promote conversation and ultimately learning. Why would I want to miss out on learning about how to make a bug hotel?! You tend to remember lessons better when you learn on the fly while hanging with your parents or even grandparents.
Staying home with my children is allowing me to see them more, not just see their faces, but their souls, their personalities, their habits, their love. I’ve enjoyed their laughter more, their hands in my hand, and most importantly their sweet hugs and kisses. They’ve taught me patience, humility, love, compassion, giving myself grace, etc.
When my husband comes home and asks us all, “What did you do today?” I could pile off a long list with things such as, made our beds, went to the store, forgot the diaper bag so ‘it’ took us twice as long. Kid #3 needed to poop while I was making dinner, so dinner is overcooked, but our child finally got over her fear. We needed a bandaid for this ouchie, and we did art three times today which means we picked up art three times today. There was a dilemna in the toy room between these two, timeouts happened, baby had a blow out, the laundry got folded twice thanks to someone clearing off the coffee table for their tent. I could mention the chaos that often happens, but I should just say, “Today, we got see a wooly caterpillar outside and talked about how it can turn into a butterfly or a moth.” “Our oldest made everyone a crown with her art supplies.” “We had a race at the park, and the littlest actually one.” “The baby played with the big kids for 30 minutes without fussing today.” I could mention all the nitty gritty details, but I prefer to see the Joy of Motherhood… the joys of staying at home.
I know not everyone has the chance or ability or even the desire to stay home, and I wouldn’t dream of disrespecting your decision by saying this is the only way. I know many parents who have all the same experiences, it just isn’t as easy. In fact it takes a ridiculous amount of work on the parents’ part. I’m very blessed. I’m very, very blessed.