Lately I have been on a quest to understand what God would have me to do as a mom of young children...
When Mylin was born I was attending Huntington University full-time, considering myself a stay-at-home mom, but busy up to my eyeballs with learning how to be a counselor through classes and lots (and lots and lots and tons and tons) of homework and research
Then I graduated!!
I immediately began working 2 days a week as a counselor, which is technically part-time, but I also joined the leadership team of a community ministry called Mom Life, which took up 1 day a week of my time and energy...
With those two other days at home a week I would cram errands into one day and a playdate or out-of-town shopping trip into the other
Not to mention I was involved in other ministry's at church and tried to keep up with saying 'yes' to every opportunity we had...notre dame games, Joel's golfing on weekends or camping trips with friends, going to Michigan for long weekends with family, weddings, showers, parties, couple dates, etc. etc. etc.
So basically I was always on the go, stopping only for a brief time at home in the early afternoons when Mylin would nap and so would I
When she was awake I'd be constantly torn between her, housework, preparing meals, reading books, watching ellen, checking facebook, reading blogs, browsing target.com, writing blogs, texting, and visits to our parent's houses
I was going at break-neck speed with my young daughter's life, not enjoying being in the moment
Can any of you relate?!
And then Sully was born.
I'm on maternity leave from work - able to be at home, truly full-time, for the entire summer
After my recovery from his birth, I found myself skirting back into this psychotic over-booked schedule...
One of the first times God gently nudged my heart in simplifying this area was after I spent a morning with a friend who has 3 young children
While planning for us to get together with our 5 children born in less than 2 years...she told me it would be easier for me to come there...since she had 2 boys in carseats and it was hard for her to get out!
God spoke to me on my drive home from this playdate about how I feel like I have to do all of the above explained things (work, ministries, errands, playdates, etc.) but...that is my choice, not my lot.
And immediately I decided I do not have to try to go to the grocery alone with an infant and 2 year old...I don't have to go to all the mom's events offered in our community and put my crying 2 year old in another new nursery setting (another occurence of this summer that has encouraged me to change my perspectiveof what I 'need' to do)
This gave me the beginning of a feeling that had been elusive - FREEDOM!
The freedom I had been previously seeking was freedom from my responsibilities as a mom...not freedom from the obligations that made mothering seem bottom on my list
Then I had another like-minded friend over for a quick supper and catch-up
We were discussing obligations, opportunities, sacrifices, and parenting
And God nudged me again...
For the first time, the thought crossed my mind that even though I may consider myself a stay-at-home mom, that even though I may not be employed or have an income (currently - because of maternity leave), that doesn't mean I'm not 'working'- even full-time, away from my family!
Wow...is this really how God desired me to spend my time that I had designated for my children?
To be full of on-the-go activities?
So on-the-go that I am not able to be home, be still, and enjoy the gifts that God has given me to protect, care for, teach, and train for this short time?
I think not.
And so I am re-evaluating
Being a stay-at-home mom is difficult for me
I always thought I would love the balance of working part-time and staying at home part-time
But why do I desire the time away from my children?
Because I love my job and know that I am gifted in that area and blessed with the flexible schedule it offers?
Or because I think I need/deserve a break from them?
If God is going to use anything in my life to teach me how to be more like Him and how He views me, as his child - it will be parenting.
So, here I am,
But not in our culture's most recognized sense...but as a woman who wakes up each day, tries to simplify her plans, and keep her children first - her priority
This is something I have to remind myself of multiple times during the day...and isn't always something I 'enjoy' - but I am realizing that I do not need to compare myself horizontally to other moms and live up to their standard, but vertically, to my God, who has so much more planned for me through His plan that I don't always understand, and sometimes struggle to survive
Seriously, does anyone else feel like this?!?!