Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Stay at Home Mama

Abby posted this last month, so know I will post my side.

I am a stay at home mom.

I worked from high school graduation(1988) until the spring of 2001. I enjoyed working. I enjoyed the interaction with people, and I enjoyed the paycheck.

When I got married, I was without a job for a couple of months and then, by the grace of God, got a job in our little tiny town. It wasn't a job I loved. In fact, I loathed the job. But the people made it worth getting up each day. I loved the people I worked with. A couple of the phrases I use often are from people I worked with there. (my favorite is, I'm as happy as a fat girl at the prom! Just happy to be here!)

I quit working when I went on bed rest with the twins about a month before I had them. Samuel spent his first 3 1/2 years in daycare. Good daycares. Good people taking care of my baby. I was and am thankful that God put us in the right places at the right times in order for him to be cared for by such loving and dear women.

My mother didn't work a full time 8-5 job when I was growing up. From the time I was in kindergarten (which is my earliest memory) until I was in high school, my mom was home when I got home from school. I didn't treasure that like I should have. These days there are so many children that go home from school and stay by themselves for hours before a parent shows up. I'm thankful that that wasn't my situation.

When I quit my job in 2001 I never went back to work. Our goal in 1998 was for me to stay home, but I had been working for so long I just didn't know any other way to live. I was friends with a girl that said she was a better mother because she worked, I believed that about me too.

And then I stopped working. And then I began teaching my children at home. These were both foreign ideas to me.

But, I wouldn't trade these years for anything. Sure, there are days I would love to send my children to public school and spend some time by myself. Sure there are days when I would like to put on some dress clothes, work and help support our family. But overall? No way!

Staying at home frees me up to be with my children. One on one. Four on one. I see them learn to read, write, multiply, divide, write stories, converse about the civil war. But please don't think for a minute that I'm staying home making my own peanut butter. I'm active in the church, the community, I have ordered more baseball uniforms for teams than I care to admit.

I don't watch tv all day. I do read. I sometimes clip coupons, because I like to get things cheaply. I don't sew. I do cook most every night. I don't wear pj's all day. I do take a shower daily. I do have my own vehicle. My house isn't real clean or clutter-free. My kids have cold breakfasts most days.

I'm by no means a perfect parent. I'm by no means a perfect stay-at-home mom. I don't have an etsy shop, I don't take pictures, I do absolutely nothing, except sell clothes at a consignment sale and a resale shop, to bring in any money to my family. And we are the poorer for it.

But I don't need money to make me happy. Sure, it would be great to have more money than we have. Sure, it would be great to have new furniture, name brand clothes, and a house to call my own. But those things aren't what make me tick. My family is. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

God and I used to have long talks about me staying at home. I used to want to go and do all the time. But I asked Him to help me to love being at home, being a mom, being a teacher of my children. And He did, He does daily. He really is great!

Can you believe that Abby and I are even related? Gotta love it!!!

3 comments:

Angie said...

I am proud to call you my friend!

I agree with ALL of this, 100%. I have had friends tell me that they would be bored staying home all day. My thought on that is, there is always something in my home that needs to be done. (And I don't make my own clothes, peanut butter, or bread either.) I have friends that say they could not stand to be with their kids all day. Really?? That saddens me. I mean, sure, I crave a break that I won't get for many years. But spending these few short years with my children? I wouldn't trade it if it were possible, because this is a season that won't last me many more years.

Oh how I would LOVE to spend an entire day in my pajamas, watching daytime tv. I read too, but I get most of my reading time in at night to relax me. I am a coupon queen too.....in fact, there is a huge stack right here beside me that has been there way too long because I haven't had time to clip them!

My mom stayed home too. She did not homeschool us, but she was there when we came home each afternoon. I didn't think much of it then, but I do now. We decided before we adopted our children that my place would be at home. Even before we homeschooled, it meant everything to me to be the first to see my children's faces after they had been in school all day.

We don't have fancy things. I think we have nice things, but they are not the biggest and the best. We have been blessed beyond measure. Our home is not the finest and it is 50 years old, but when I go to bed at night, I can sleep knowing that we can afford the mortgage on one income. Everything in life is a trade off--the choices are up to each of us individually. We choose to get by on one income. And that is enough for me to be happy!

Amanda M. said...

Stay in my pajamas all day!? HA!
I am a SAHM, too. And my life sounds a lot like yours. I do have an Ebay store, but it's been sadly neglected as our family seems to get busier by the minute. Perhaps if I had like 4 more hours in the day?
I have also thought of homeschooling - I admire you and think homeschooling rocks! :)
I just love your post - it reminds me of my own family.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I guess your Mom and I did an okay job rearing you two girls.
Both of you turned out to be real keepers. I can identify with you, Jules, since I'm a stay at home husband. I do, by the way, make my own peanut butter. And, I am, by the way...the only one who dares eat it.