This week I embarked on a new adventure in life…a stay at home mom. I’ve worked at our family’s music school for seven years. I started when I was pregnant with Jay. It was a good job. I enjoyed it very much. I was only “part time” and things were flexible as far as being able to take the boys with me or missing a day if someone was sick. Even though it wasn’t a full time 9 to 5 job, I still missed out on the full experience of being at home with my children. I was always thinking about a bank deposit or wondering if I needed to go in to return phone calls or when I was going to make it to Wal-Mart to buy more paper towels. It was a full time brain load.
It’s been a good, long run. Now I’m moving on.
This is my first week of being at home and I am loving it. It’s noticeably different to me. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. Sad? Anxious? Happy? I had no idea what to expect. My last day was weird. I was at the school all day (as I had been all week) I finished up what I was working on and said I was leaving. I looked around at all of the things that still needed to be done and it felt strange to leave and know I wasn’t coming back on Monday to work again. I felt like I was leaving a mess, things undone. Well, I was really…but not in a bad way. They are preparing for the upcoming school year and have about a month’s worth of work left to do to get ready. So I finished my tasks, actually hung around about an hour after I said I was leaving because it felt so weird to leave, then finally I packed up my crew for the last time as a music school employee and went home.
I noticed it on Sunday night as I talked to my sister about a birthday party for my mom the next day. I realized that I didn’t have to call anyone and see what I need to take care of before I left or drop in to check messages or feel guilty because I really should be updating the website or passing out flyers for the upcoming semester. Nope. None of it. I just got to leave. Oh, what I feeling! What a glorious feeling!
I have been thinking a lot about this SAHM thing. As I was putting the 285th load of laundry in the washer this morning I wondered why I want to do this. Why is this so important to me? I don’t have an answer yet except that it’s a desire that God has built into me…women…mothers. I am so grateful and hopeful that God will bless us and supplement my income in new and exciting ways. (more on that in a later post)
I just finished reading “For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. I read it on several recommendations and it’s wonderful. This passage was very thought provoking for me.
Cops and robbers. Mud pies. Scratches from climbing trees. Adventures on tricycles. One child stares at an ant carrying a crumb, and a few others start a club in a garage.
Certain factors encourage play. It is often easier home-based than institutional-based. There should be space, and lots of free time. Children need to be outdoors (for hours). They need to make noise, mess, and to have access to raw materials (old clothes for costumes, hats, tables to turn into camp, etc., etc.). They need privacy from intruding adults, but the need interested support in quarrels, thinking of another way around a problem, providing food, and, at the end, bringing the children tactfully back into the world where supper is ready, the camp has to be packed up, children are tired and ready for the soothing routine of evening stories.
Grown-ups need time if their life is to support this kind of play. The children have to matter more than the furniture (but children don’t mind at all sticking to the boundaries). This means saying no to too many time –consuming activities both for adults and children. It means welcoming their friends, and sympathetically diverting others who will “spoil our game. We just got to the good part” (said with feeling as a destructive two-year-old blundered into the “camp”).
Doesn’t that sound dreamy? I want my life to support this kind of play. The thought of not working was a little scary at first. The more John and I thought about it and talked about the kind of childhood we want our boys to have, it only made sense to be a full time, home school mom. Don’t worry, I know every day is not going to be cherries and lemonade but I am excited to see the wonderful, educational, and fun memories we get to make together. Wednesday night at dinner (after a long day of playing at the swimming pool) Jay was talking about the kids he is going to have one day (he does that a lot) and he said that he’ll teach his boys to wrestle the way daddy wrestles with him when it’s time for bed. He’ll say “my dad taught me this and now I’m going to teach you.” I asked him what he will say about me and he said “that you like me a lot.” It’s true…I do! I want more memories like these! I just love it! Don’t you just love making memories with these amazing little people that have been given to us? I’m constantly amazed…I love it. Truly.