The call to stay home with my family was not an easy one to listen to. It’s not one that I wanted. I like working and I like working hard. There is something about completing a task, solving a problem and being around adult conversation that appeals to me (sorry Thomas the tank engine, you’re dead to me). I love my family and my kids are everything to me but I always felt that I needed that separation to help me be a better mom at home.
Leaving a world that I was so accustomed to required me to eat a very large piece of humble pie. It’s not that I was so overwhelmingly fantastic at my job or had a high paying position or a group of people that needed me. I didn’t. But I worked hard, I learned daily and the setbacks at the office brought me down but never took me out.
Parent-fails, on the other hand…do. When I fail my kids, when I am the mom in the store with screaming, tantruming, cheeky kids making a scene, it crushes my spirit. It makes me feel like a failure in ways that cut way deeper than anything else in this world. There’s little validation in parenting when compared to corporate, white-collar work. One doesn’t typically have a “power suit” for parenting because no amount of money can buy a pair of yoga pants that repel puke, snot or bodily fluids that don’t belong to you (or any that do…). When you’re sitting in a pile of your own undoing, wearing clothes that may not have been washed in at least a week, and wondering if today is the day you finally dive into the world of day-drinking, there’s no paycheque to look forward to at the end of the week.
Parenting can really and truly suck sometimes.
And yet, this is the reward in my life right now. I have the opportunity to be home with my kids in a way my job wouldn’t be able to accommodate. Yes…it’s scary. That’s a big chunk of income and benefits we no longer have access to. But it’s also a big chunk of my kids lives I can know surround myself with. I can wake up each day knowing that I have all day to live life through their eyes, experience the world through their senses and live with the simplest of joys echoing all around me.
Sure, there are days when the mere thought of cleaning, cooking, wiping bums and breaking up fights is the last thing in the world I want to do. We all have those days. But those days are not the essence of parenthood. They aren’t the foundation that we have to build our lives as parents on. I feel so blessed to know that I can be the influence in my kids lives right now. I can watch them grow, watch them evolve and become these independent, mature, beautiful creatures that will one day not need me to run after them and wipe their noses or butts (and oh how there will be cake when that day comes!). They will realize that about 99% of the outside world cooks better (aka, not burnt) food that they’ve been eating all their lives. And I will be forced to let them grow up into the tough world that awaits them.
So in this season, I’m thankful I can be home and still have the ability and means to provide for my family in other ways that don’t involve a 40 hour work week. I’ll be working, but at a slower pace, doing something that truly motivates and brings a different part of me to life. And I get to do it all while watching my family grow up.
There is fear and anxiety about this but there is also an abundant peace that comes out of that and fills me up in ways I haven’t fully discovered yet.