I have been a stay at home mom since the birth of my first child – 18 years, 4 months and 9 days – to be exact. Believe it or not – raising children and being a wife was always my dream as a child. Whether or not girls in this day and age have this dream, it isn’t talked about much in our society… and it definitively isn’t encouraged. Let me explain. If a young girl voices that she’d like to be a mommy when she gets older, a typical response is “That’s nice, what else do you want to be?”. What ELSE? In my mind, that implies that being a mommy isn’t enough, there needs to BE more, you deserve to WANT more. You can’t JUST want to be a mommy.
That being said, in all my time at home, I have never once regretted that choice. There were days, mind you, that being at home and doing all that it involves with 4 needy babes and 2 lazy cats was not my idea of “fun”. On occasion, the job itself was exhausting and I felt all but invisible. Yet, I had a strong sense that being at home was my ministry. It was my chance to have a great effect on 4 future adults, citizens, husbands and wives, voters – and more. I got to feed them, clothe them, teach them, pray for them, build their confidence and encourage their generosity. I also got to change diapers, fish things out of the toilet, prepare meals that weren’t eaten and live my life to the soundtrack of the constant background noise of the washer and dryer. The ups and downs were staggering and daily – if not hourly. I would feel a crazy combination of confidence and bewilderment as I maneuvered my way through each day. The needs of young children are mental, physical and emotional – which spells out F-A-T-I-G-U-E for their caregivers. Tired, but not disgruntled (hopefully).
At this point in mom-ing, my oldest is a Senior and preparing to leave for college in August. My conversations with him span from my favorite part of cafeteria style eating to how long I went in between washing my bed sheets (GAH!) to how desperately I’m going to miss him on any given Tuesday. I fill my spare time learning how to send cookies in future care packages and how to “fill” his part of my soon to be emptying nest. I have been blessed to spend my years focused on raising my tribe and even more blessed to have a husband that felt it equally important that I did so. I have no answers for those who ask me “What do you do all day?” because my answers will never be enough for them. I love my life and will continue to serve my family for years to come. As the children grow into teenagers and begin to need me for different things, I am allowing myself to seek new hobbies and volunteer opportunities. I am also hoping to get this whole book gig up and running again. I have a heart for all moms out there who continue each day to give all that they have and then do it all over again tomorrow. Keep up the good work – it is noticed and you ARE making a difference.