Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Fear of Staying Home

I am a stay at home mom.  I made the decision before we had kids.  I am so blessed to be able to do it and wouldn't change it for anything.  But what does it mean to be a stay at home mom?

This was easy to figure out early on while in the newborn stage and sleeping a lot.  My day was filled with feeding, diapering, sleeping, trying to figure out this whole parenting thing.  If I remembered to eat I would and if I got the chance I might have tried to clean something or taken a nap myself. The thought of leaving the house was not in my mind nor did I have the energy.

Then we got past that stage and things became more routine.  I wanted to get out and did here and there.  Once we went from three naps to two, wow did that open up the possibilities.  I would find stuff for us to do most days that I could.  Though it was short outings generally, we got out.

When nursing ended and we settled into the new routine, going out became a breeze.  So much so, that I didn't want to stay home during the day.  But I kept running into the issue where there wasn't much going on during the open time we had.  Sure, we could stay home and just hang out around the house, but something was keeping me from wanting to do that most days.

The time came when we went down to one nap.  Yes, I was sad to loose the extra nap time.  However, I then saw all the possibilities we could do during the morning now.  There were the story times, the museums, going to play dates, errands to run, and so much more.  All the things I thought that a stay at home mom was supposed to do, should do.

My fear was becoming more understandable.  I had created an expectation for myself to live up to.  One that I thought that other moms were holding me to.  One that society said we had to do.  It got to a point where I would find something to do in the morning, even if only for an hour or so, just to be out of the house.  We would usually end up at Target.

How can we stay home?  That wouldn't be enough for my son.  It couldn't be.  Then it hit me while we were at Target.  I realized how much time we were spending out and how much of it was really meaningless.  You know you go shopping too much when your son, at 18 months, tries to use the credit card payment thing the way you do.

It took until my husband stayed home with our son for two days during the day while I went to a conference.  Did they go anywhere?  Nope.  Did my son have fun?  Yup.  So, the problem lied within me.

I had a fear of staying home.  That I would be letting my son down and failing as a mom.  I was letting others' opinions (or at least what I thought they were) get the best of me.  Instead of my son getting the best of me.

I sometimes have a hard time when I don't have something going on and filling my day.  So, I thought that I needed to fill the day with stuff for my son.  In all honesty, I didn't need to.  We could do stuff around the house and he would be just as happy.  We could go out and do something, and he would still be happy.

We now stay home and we still go out.  I don't fear it as much, but I do look for fun and new activities to add to the day.  He does his own thing, I do my own.  I get chores done around the house and he helps sometimes.  We do stuff together.

Either way, we go through our day and make the best of it.  


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

939 days, 6,574 days

18 years 0 months 0 days
or 216 months 0 days
or 939 weeks 1 days
or 6,574 days
or 157,776 hours
or 9,466,560 minutes
or 567,993,600 seconds 

I have had some idea of how precious life is, but haven't always lived my life in a way that makes the most of out of the time.  Sure, certain times of year I have lived with more intent, savoring the moments, but over the long its few and far between.

When we lost our daughter the reality of life and just how short it could be really hit home.  And it hit hard.  But then like most things, I got myself busy again and lost in the daily grind so to speak.  Then our son arrived.

Once we were past the newborn stage, where I like many others, really couldn't tell you the day because of being sleep deprived.  When asked what I did for the day it consisted of, feed the baby, change the baby, let the baby sleep.

As time went by, I began to look for forward in the weeks, months, and year.  Planning things out, creating my own inner stories of how things would go.  Sometimes, letting the fear and worry get the best of me.  I knew I needed to slow down, focus on the day, live with intent, and really live in the days moments.

Sure, I still plan, but I try to not let it play over and over in my head the outcome possibilities.  I try to let negative, the worry, the fear lift up to God.  Then, I focus on what is right in front of me and being present.  Yes, I do tune out and yes I do my own thing.  When my son is happy playing on his own, I do my own thing.  But I am not afraid to put what I am doing down to take in whatever the moment may present.

I have heard the, there are only this many Saturdays until your little one turns 18 and is out own on their own.  But it didn't really hit home until I read "How 936 Pennies Will Forever Change How You Parent".  (http://erynlynum.com/how-936-pennies-will-forever-change-how-you-parent/).

In the author's words: "This is when I realize something monumental to motherhood– that as I withdraw those pennies from that jar on my desk, they are not being lost, misplaced, or tossed out to never see again. They are being invested. They are creating something new, something of great beauty, bravery, and Kingdom importance."

So, it's not that you have that much time left, so make the most of them as you can before they are lost, gone forever.  Instead, it's an investment.  Just think, what kind of impact you can have when you invest.  Create the moments, build the memories, share the stories, live in the present, savor the slow.

18 years 0 months 0 days
or 216 months 0 days
or 939 weeks 1 days
or 6,574 days
or 157,776 hours
or 9,466,560 minutes
or 567,993,600 seconds