I remember thinking even before we became pregnant how wonderful it will be to be home when the time comes, Lord willing, to have children. After factoring in income and the expense of childcare, Devin and I both decided that if it was in the Lord’s will, I would stay at home with our future child(ren).
The time came and the Lord blessed us with a precious baby boy. YES! I was going to be home, all day, with no alarm clock, no getting ready for work, and no deadlines to meet. I could stay in my pj’s all day if I so desire. Life was going to be good; reallll good! Right? Well, not exactly! Being able to be home with Zay is nothing short of a blessing and I am so very thankful, but being at home also comes with it’s own set of challenges- both emotionally and mentally I never, ever could have anticipated. It's kind of like childbirth. No one could ever prepare you for what you are about to endure. It's just something you "get" once you go through the experience. I was so used to being active and "making a difference" each day "at work". Remember when I couldn’t wait to be at home in my pi’s all day. Yep, now it's hard for me to feel accomplished when I'm still in my pj's at 5pm. Remember when I couldn’t wait to not have an alarm clock? Well, now that sweet alarm goes off more than I would particularly like it to, and in the form of a human. My, oh my, how my thought process has changed! It’s been one HUMONGOUS learning curve. I’ve had to learn to see the beauty in the smallest of things; from being “okay” with the fact that I despise putting laundry away, to accepting the fact that I only have an hour to get things “done" while Zay naps, to recognizing the blessing in sitting to watch Zay play and learn, which is building a legacy far worth any temporal, tangible item on this earth. Coming to this realization brought freedom and quickly led me to understand where my ministry truly lies. My ministry is home, teaching, by the grace of God, Zayin the ways of The Lord. This I know, without a shadow of a doubt, but wait, I began missing getting ready for work, meeting the deadlines and that feeling of sweet accomplishment. I mean, how can I feel “accomplishment” in the everyday things I “should” be already doing as a mother and wife, like laundry, dishes, etc. What’s wrong with me? How could I ever feel lonely, isolated and unaccomplished when I have this precious baby boy’s smile that stares back at me each and every day. Truth be told, embracing “home” didn’t come natural to me. Does it to anyone? Like they say with breastfeeding; it’s something so natural but doesn’t come natural...- yep that’s right. Working for “home” is a skill I had to acquire and is a mindset I must continue to remind myself of each day. It’s just like love. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a choice. Butterflies fade and life happens, so each morning I wake I have a choice, and choosing to love Devin is one of the best decisions I could ever make for our family. Devin and I don't only reap the benefits, but Zayin does times 1,000!
So back to having to “acquire the skill” and it just not coming naturally... so this means I am not meant to be at home and rather at work? No. It just simply means God is using this season, as He does with most seasons to continue to grow me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Just as Paul, the writer of Philippians mentions in 4:12, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” Paul here is admitting that “contentment" did not come natural to him. This was an acquired skill; something that had to be learned for him. I have only begun to learn what “embracing home”, or “embracing my now" means to me. It is by far the hardest, yet best job I’ve ever had. How is that even possible for something to be hard but yet the best? Yep, I’m still learning. Home can be one of the most influential places for a child, which to me can put a lot of undue pressure on my shoulders, but God has given me the desire and gift to be here, alongside Zay as he grows and learns. But this still doesn't take away the feelings of loneliness and isolation. How could I ever shed a tear when it appears I have everything I would have ever wanted? It took me a loooong while to even begin understanding all of this after birthing Zayin. I thought it was going to be easy- I mean I am home all day and can get everything done, right? WRONG! Believe it or not- laundry, dishes, and toys pile up more now that I'm home then when I was at work and felt I "didn't have the time” to do anything. Like I said before, being at home comes with it's own set of struggles. Believe it or not, the house is cleaned less, dishes done less, and the laundry's piled up more, but I am in the process of learning to embrace the toys everywhere, the never ending clothes that pile up, the unending dishes, the cleaning, the dirty diapers, the cries, the laughs, the milestones, the hugs, the kisses, the “mommy me do it” when you don’t have time for them to do it because you must GO, the tantrums, the falls, the hurts, and lastly, that smile each morning as you enter your child(rens) room after a (short) night’s rest and think, every feeling, good and bad is worth it. Time is fleeting. This too is a season and will pass sooner than I'd ever want it to. Embrace the now, whether it's a fantastic, down-right treacherous, or simply in between time in your life. The Lord's at work. Devin and I consider me being home our “luxury”, so if it's yours as well, cling to this gift because these moments are short-lived. They will pass you by quicker than you could have ever wanted. Let's be honest- we all have moments we want to pass by quickly- like your kid screaming in the middle of the grocery store and no matter what you do or say or give to them, he or she's scream continues to grow louder and louder. No one desires to live in that moment any longer then they have to, but hey, this is life. This is your life. May even the downright ugly moments be teachable moments for both you and your growing child. If we begin to see them as teachable moments, they soon become beautiful memories of, "remember that time when...". :) In the moment, yes they are tough, but I am confident when I begin to have teenagers getting their driver's license, I will so want to go back to those grocery store tantrums vs. my "baby" on the roads! With each season comes new challenges, but more importantly, new blessings. #embraceyournow. Mommies near and far who work outside of the home and inside, or just inside, remember this- we are never called to do things perfectly. Our husbands don’t expect it, our children don’t, and God surely doesn’t. Matter-a-fact, we are teaching our children a valuable lesson if they see us fall every once in a while. We will continue to fall short and that’s a-okay! Focus on the purpose and let God handle the rest. #EmbraceYourNow
Love in Him,