Over seven years ago when Anthony and I first began having our children, we decided it made much more sense for me to quit work and stay home with them full time. In all honesty, those four years of diaper changing, feedings, and cleaning up behind two babies, then toddlers was a bitter-sweet time for me. Don’t get me wrong, part of me loved being able to just be home and be “mom”. But the other part of me desperately looked back longingly at my other life of real jobs and being in daily communication with anyone taller than 3 feet. There were certainly days that I wondered if “Rachel” even existed anymore and found myself desperately trying to hold onto any remnant of my own identity (and sanity) that I could.
At times, loneliness seemed more like a companion and there were days that I found myself on the floor of my bathroom sobbing during their naptime or staring out my front door wishing I wasn’t on the inside looking out.
But today, now that that short time has come and gone, I’ve noticed that I find myself looking back fondly on those days at home in which it didn’t matter if I got dressed, or put on make-up or did much of anything that felt like normal adult life. And although I also love working and have learned that I need a balance of both; some weeks I crave a few days like that at home with my kids.
Like the way it used to be, watching veggi-tales with my kids on the couch in our PJs with little more our daily agenda demanded than meals, cleanups, naps, playtime and waiting anxiously for the sound of daddy’s truck to pull up the driveway.
Those were the simple days. And while at times I remember looking out the front windows of our little house wondering if life was passing me by while the rest of the world was actually “living” while I resided in yoga pants and baggy tee-shirts; I’m realizing more and more that they were actually some of the most precious days of our lives and they flew by all too quickly. Looking back, what I would desire for another mom to know that is in this place right now that I’ve written of, and what I wish I would have known back then is;
This is only a very small season of your life and it will pass quickly and give way to a new one; a different one. And despite how you may feel some days, it is a sweet season. Don’t spend this precious time you have here wishing it all away, for the day will come all too soon that your babies won’t need you quite as much and they will go off to school, and you’ll find the house quiet and empty for eight hours out of the day and your time to “find yourself” again will have come yet again. But for now, find yourself in the adoring smiles of your babies and let yourself find joy in the everyday mundane tasks of laundry, dishes and cleaning floors. For one day, you’ll long for more time to just stay home and enjoy the motherly tasks we women are hardwired to do. Just for now, I would encourage you to find yourself soaking up the simple things of life in visits to the park, wiping little noses and savoring the gift or motherhood and time with your children. Because chasing dreams, pursuing business endeavors and the rest of the world will wait for you …but once this time is gone you can’t ever get it back. So drink it up and remember that what you are doing in this season of life IS living….. and your daily efforts matter so much more than you can see right now.
So today, every single time I am blessed with a rare day at home with my children without the demands of schedules, work and outside pressures – I find that I couldn’t be more happy and content to be on the inside of my front door, looking out. Fulfilling my role at my first job….the one that matters most by far. And what I find there gives me a fulfillment that no other earthy pursuit will ever give.
Of this I am sure.