So a few months ago I started staying home full-time with the kids. I was working for the church about 30 hours a week but that coupled with schoolwork, ministry and responsibilities at home was getting to be overwhelming. It’s been a couple of months now and I thought I’d give an update on how things are going.
Some people might say, “Cool. You don’t have to work and just get to play with your kids all day.” It hasn’t quite turned out like that. I’m still working on homework (only 1 week left!!) and we’re still very busy with ministry stuff in the evenings, so I’m having to try to get all of the housework done with the kids making new messes in another room while I’m picking up.
At times it’s extremely frustrating and I just want to send them back to school. But, I try to take a deep breath in those moments and remember how lucky I am to be able to financially afford to be home with my kids.
I get to celebrate with Eli when he comes in 1st on MarioKart or goes over a jump in the field on his bike. I get to talk to Cora all day about how much she likes pink and purple. I get to see all of Ezra’s first moments: sitting up, crawling, teething, eating crackers. As much as I want a break sometimes and crave any sort of adult conversations, I have to admit that I’m really enjoying being home with the kids.
Another thing I’m learning is that this time is not about me.
There are days when I just feel like going to the mall or reading a book or talking to my friends on Facebook. If I focus on what I’d like to do the kids get bored and boredom is the enemy when it come to three small children. If they’re bored they’re going to get into something!
So I’m having to be more intentional in planning out activities for them. One day we rode the Brea Trolley that travels a circuit around downtown Brea every 20 minutes. It’s free and the kids loved it! Somedays we take a walk to the park down the street and the kids attack spider webs with sticks. I’m trying to resist the urge to let them sit in-front of the TV or Wii all day, but there’s those days too.
Eli starts kindergarten this fall and I’m realizing that once he starts he has to go to school; it’s no longer a choice and I won’t have him around all day, everyday anymore. This is my time to be the main person in his life who teaches him right from wrong and how to treat people and all of that. I have to make sure that I’ve got his foundations straight now so that when he starts school, even though it’s only kindergarten, he’ll be able to weigh what he’s learning against what he already knows.
Basically, I’m kind of thinking of these days like child-birth: There are times when I’m in the midst of it that feels anxious, painful and never-ending, but I know that there will come a day when I look back and the negative has faded and I just remember the wonderful gift I’ve been given.