Saturday, July 9, 2011

Thoughts on staying at home

When I was a little girl I had big plans for my life.  My plans didn't end with adulthood.  I graduated early from college and was the youngest person to graduate from law school the year I walked across the stage (the following year a 16 yr old did it!).  I started my career and advanced quickly becoming the youngest director the management company had ever known in my position and then my 4 year old, SugarBear, ask me a life altering questions.  "What don't you understand about Stay-At-Home-Day?"

Monday-Friday are "school days" and Sunday is church day, so Saturday became stay-at-home-day.  As a Convention and Catering Director I often worked long hours over the weekend and spent little time with my family.  I tried to make it count by filling the time I was at home with special treats and family outings, but in his simple way of seeing the world he saw through it all.

That innocent child's comment started a long string of conversations between my darling husband and I.  We decided I would give my notice at my current position and start working from home running our own business.  Fast forward 6 years and we have now sold that business and I am a full-time stay-at-home-mom to our four children.  Do I still miss working?  You bet.   I am not one of those girls that dreamed about raising kids and taking care of a house.  I have good friends that are those girls and I envy them, honestly.  They seems so happy to be at home with their children all the time.  I don't know how they do it.

My darling husband and I now have conversations about what I can do when the kids don't need me at home anymore.  Part of me can't wait to get back out there, but the bigger part of me knows that I am doing what is right for my family now and that I will do it as long as they need me to.  Every so often one of them will give me a hug and tell me, "I'm glad you always pick me up from school", or "I know you love me because you are always here".  Then there is my favorite from our oldest, "Thanks for loving me enough to stay at home with me, even when I know you miss working".  He gets me.  He said just that to me not too long ago and his words of love are etched onto my heart.  As my darling and I have often said in response to many questions, "It's for them and not for us that we do it."

I think I misunderstood the "staying-at-home" part of this new assignment.  When someone hears that I stay-at-home they see great amounts of time that are left open.  The truth is that I am often running harder than I did when I worked full-time and had childcare to help with the kids.  I thought it would be easy with half of them in school, but school can really complicate things.  (No, I wouldn't consider home schooling them.)  Part of our decision for me to stay home involved adopting two special needs children and we have found that their school is much more helpful when I am readily available to volunteer wherever they might need me or come to the school to modify the behavior when it gets to be too much for the administrative staff and teacher.  I know it is just my need to "do it all", but there really is more to get done now.

The grass is always greener, indeed.

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