I spent today cleaning my oven, inventorying dry goods in the pantry, helping the kids with fall paintings, updating our Christmas card list, and trying to get set for the holiday rush. That got me to thinking. First, how happy I was to be ahead of the curve this year. I can stock up on baking supplies and have a clean oven before the holidays hit. Second, wow is this different from how I was preparing for the holiday season last year. Then it occurred to me that Mother’s Day was over six months ago. I started my new job about six months ago. I started by blog about six months ago. Baby girl started solid food about six months ago, and my baby, the baby, the last one – is rapidly pulling herself to the one year mark.
What happened to all the time I should have gained when I quit working? Six months ago I had great ambition. I was going to get the grocery shopping organized and enjoyable, housekeeping on a schedule, and find those little pockets of time with the kids I was certain I was missing out on while I was at work. I was going to exercise daily, get more sleep, create an awesome blog, and get myself pulled together (ya know – like when I was in my 20’s and only had Man to worry about). I was going to make marinara sauce, salsa, cocoa mix, all baked goods from scratch. I was going to be crafty!
Apparently, I was delusional. I have completely relished the time with my little ones: I have finally been the baby hog, found time to laugh at just how many messes I clean up in a day, and appreciate that my boys (no matter how late we are running) take time to stare up at the moon. I now know what a bubble guppy is. I have come to terms if you put a boy in the backyard, you are going straight to the bath afterward. I have worn sweats so many times, I want to call What Not to Wear on myself!
I have had a lot of disappointment in what I thought I would do and what I actually have: things I swore I would make time for have remained neglected, I still don’t iron or mend, but I have managed to read one book. I have not made it to play outside every day, run, or have a daily devotional time, but we have been clean, fed, and on time to appointments. Seriously, being on time is BIG for me. Like 30 years of being late BIG. I have had time to thank God every day that I get those little moments that pass by so quickly. I thank Him that the days are long, but ask that the weeks slow down just a little. I guess things seem to prioritize themselves. AND last, I have seen glimpses of thoughtfulness that I booted out of my schedule years ago. Time to call a friend, drop a note, spend a morning catching up, deliver food, or leave a birthday wish on a door stoop. I didn’t realize the parts of myself that had been overlooked for so long. Is there something about yourself that you loved that has been whisked away in the day-to-day?
I could not have foreseen how greatly staying at home would change our family dynamic. I am by no means a new mom, but this seems like a completely new job. We will take stock in another six months. Right now, I have just been working my tail off, fumbling my way through my to-do list, and taking comfort in the fact no one has noticed all my mistakes and fired me by now. So what am I going to do with all of my lofty goals – well (in Texas, when we need more time to stall and think…you go for the long drawn out W-E-L-L) well – smile every day and adjust. Take something my presidential favorite Governor Romney said about his wife to heart. He said his wife always made sure he had the things he liked at home (his favorite bread, PB, whatever). It made me think, “Yeah, I need to work on first making home a haven”. I am going to focus on that – that, and clean socks in the drawer. The other stuff, it will come. Or it won’t, but I will still be here for my family and that was the plan from the beginning.
Other people’s posts that I found encouraging: