"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are more of importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." ~Thomas Moore
I was thinking the other day that "if I could just stay home one more year" that I'll have been a stay at home for ten years! I don't think I've ever been more proud of anything in my life than the decision to stay home.
When the money was tight I stayed home.
When the "plan" was for me to stay home for one full school year I stayed home.
When I felt funny wearing sweats day after day after day I stayed home.
When it was hard to do all of this stuff around the house I stayed home.
Because I listened to my heart. Reason in my head would have told me, "you have your master degree in elementary education." "you were MEANT to be a teacher." "that salary sure would make bill paying easier. (or doable) "
But I shut that voice up and listened to my heart that said, "Anna needs you to sit on the floor and play with her. She needs YOU. No one else can build that trust, that love and heal her heart." "And baby Abigail is teaching you everything that Anna missed. Abigail is healing your heart."
Some say that I do too much for my daughters. Some say they are too close to me. But I don't care. I have one shot at this mothering thing. And I'm going to listen to my heart and my heart says "be here. stay home. love them. touch them. hold them. feed them. and do it YOURSELF."
(and yes, my nine and five year olds still need touch, love, time, attention, and with Abigail even feeding)
No one else can take my place. I've had to listen to my heart when I made that phone call to my principal when my 'one year' was up. I've had to listen to my heart when people tell me that Scott and I don't go out enough. We feel like no marriage is stronger than ours. We don't need a fancy weekly restaurant date night to have a strong, beautiful, best friends marriage.
I've listened to my heart every step of the way. And yes, I know that this is a touchy subject for all of us. We all seem to band together and convince each other that our way is best. I just know that for me, my family, my daughters, my husband, being home is best.
Will I have a classroom of students again? Perhaps. Maybe even yes. I'll leave that up to the One who can work all of those plans out for me. One thing I know that I know that I know for sure is how I'll feel when I'm 80. Will I wish that I went back to work sooner? Will I wish that someone else picked my little Kindergartner up at school? Will I wish that a babysitter heard their after school stories? Will I wish that we ate fast food more often? Will I wish what we had more money in these 'golden baby years'? Will I wish that I had fancier clothes? Will I wish that someone else kissed Abigail's cheeks and hands in her kindergarten line a million times each morning?
I KNOW the answers to all of those questions. And because I do, I am home. Sometimes I get tired of hearing, "well, I have to work." Guess what? After a year home I HAD to work too. There were times that we had to charge our weelky groceries. Yes, for real. But we made changes. We budgeted. We MADE it work. Nothing would tear me away from my toddler Anna. No one else could take care of her. I don't think I would have survived if it wasn't me. So listen to your heart. You know what's best. And time, time with your children (whatever their ages) that is what is best.