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Tag Archives: SAHM

The Introverted Stay-at-Home Mom: Uniquely Challenged and Abundantly Blessed

girl-by-lake

Dear grocery store clerk,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. You offer to take my groceries to the car and I turn you down. You try to get my attention in the parking lot to take my cart back and I pretend I don’t see you.

Dear friend,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. I have waited too long to return your phone calls or I haven’t returned them at all.

Dear sweet children of mine,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. I have reached my socialization quota for the day. Instead of finding a quiet space, I had a meltdown.

Dear passenger,
I’d like to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you. I spent 45 minutes serving drinks and food to you. I socialized with you. I laughed at your jokes and made a few of my own. I engaged your children. I was warm, friendly, and accommodating. But I reached my limit and needed to go hide in the galley for a few minutes so that I could recharge my batteries.

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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Parenting

 

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If it was easy, everyone would do it

Mimi boat

I always dreamt of being a stay-at-home mom. For as long as I can remember, I hoped and imagined that when I had kids someday, I would be home to take care of them rather than working.

I admit that I even judged some moms who worked rather than staying at home. I was convinced that they could make it work financially if it really mattered to them. I especially didn’t understand those moms that chose to work when they didn’t have to.

Although I had this dream for years of staying home with my kids, I did not realize how unprepared I was for it or how much my life would change.

The women who were the closest role models in my life had all been career women. I was raised by a single, working mom. The only grandmother I ever knew had been a career woman her whole life. She never raised children. She became a grandmother through marriage. (She was an awesome one, by the way and I miss her dearly. She is the woman pictured above traveling around the world in the 1950s.)

I started my first job when I was 14. By the time I got pregnant with my first child, I was well educated, well traveled, and well experienced. I had held a variety of exciting jobs working for globally recognized companies in my city. I had also spent a year in another country as a missionary.

What no one ever told me was that wanting to be a stay-at-home mom and preparing to be one are different things. Almost nothing I had done in my career “qualified” me for this position. I was totally inexperienced at this thing of making a home and raising a child.

I went through a very difficult adjustment period during which there were many days I wanted to cry and scream. The loneliness, lack of mental stimulation, and boredom seemed too much to handle at times.

I recognize that my situation is unique. I was able to stay home with both my kids for the first six months of their life. After that, I went back to my job as a flight attendant; however, I work part-time so I spend many days with them during the month.

Today was one of those days that I wanted to cry and scream. I have been off for ten days because of vacation on my schedule. I admit I am spoiled in that I get opportunities to travel several times a month. However, more times than not, these opportunities are not vacations for me. I work very hard at my job and oftentimes make sacrifices about the types of trips I fly in order to spend more time at home with my family. When I do get longer trips with great layovers in exciting cities, I enjoy it in the beginning but soon find myself very homesick. I usually come home from work exhausted and needing more time to recover than I get before jumping back into the stay-at-home routine again.

My adventure begins again tomorrow as I head out for 10 days in a row of trips.  This sacrifice I make in order to have the 4th of July holiday off to be with my family.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, working mom, work-at-home mom, or some combination of these, you have great challenges and make great sacrifices. My hat is off to you tonight, whatever type of mom or dad you are.

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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Parenting

 

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Confessions of a (sometimes) stay-at-home mom

 

 

woman praying

Today was a tough day. One of those days that tests you in every way.

I woke up with a sore throat that continued all day along with a general malaise.

I recently began staying at home with both my kids on my off days. I have found incredible grace to do this and praying on the armor of God everyday has helped tremendously.

I reached a point of frustration today though. I realized that I hadn’t had time to open the mail in five days. I hadn’t had time to make a phone call, do our budget, or other administrative things necessary in our house.

In case you haven’t met me, I am that perfectionist mom. Everything has to be done right and done on time.

My daughter is no longer in school and my kids no longer have to go to a sitter each day now that my health has improved. That means less time to handle business that needs doing around the house. I was in a quandary this morning about how to handle this.

I decided I would let me kids sit on my bed while they watched a TV show on my laptop. I set everything up, with big fluffy pillows for them to lean against and asked them not to touch the computer.

I then began to use the time to make those phone calls I needed to make, open the mail, read my email, etc.

Then all of a sudden Bang!

I went into my bedroom to see my laptop on the floor and my daughter informing me that my two year-old son had managed to throw the computer on the floor. Fortunately it still worked just fine (I’m using it now), however part of a corner was cracked and the screen was separated a little bit from the cover.

I immediately shut the computer and ordered the kids to go play in my daughter’s room. I made it clear there would be no TV since my computer had gotten broken. My son went to time out for his part in the fiasco.

I could tell by his face that he knew he had done something wrong. I told him he could get out of time out and go play. He went to the other side of the house, then turned around and came back to give me an apologetic hug.

I continued making my phone calls; however I was interrupted by the sound of my kids screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. They were fighting about something. I got off my phone call and stormed back to where they were playing. I ordered each of them to go to their respective rooms. They both started crying. I went to my room on the other side of the house and broke down crying.

I cried and I cried out to God. These were not faith-filled words or praises. It was gut wrenching and honest about how hard I sometimes find life to be as a stay-at-home mom. I cried out to God about not being able to open the mail and about not being able to have a peaceful phone call.

I felt somewhat defeated the rest of the day and a little sad. Sad because I had once again failed to live up to my own expectations.

I was able to show myself a little mercy as it got later in the day and I realized that a number of factors were working against me. I was both sick and hormonal at the same time. Not to mention still learning how to juggle this thing of staying home with my kids.

As the day went by, I pondered how I could explain to my two year-old that I forgave him. He doesn’t understand what the word “forgive” means. I felt it was very important for him to know that even though I was mad about what happened, I forgave him and we were okay. I sat him down and told him I wanted to talk to him about the computer. I told him that I knew he didn’t mean to break it and that it was okay.

I managed to muster the strength to head to the grocery store to get a few urgent items we needed. While I was there, I saw a Facebook post by Lysa TerKeurst:

Lysa TerKeurst

I got teary-eyed in the grocery store because it was just what I needed to hear.

It was a reminder that despite all my imperfections, God chose me to be my kids’ mom.

What an awesome privilege.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Parenting

 

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