Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My First Year as a Stay at Home Mom

It has officially been more than a year where I resigned from my corporate job to be a stay at home mom.  I remember being excited, nervous, apprehensive and slightly overwhelmed at this decision.  And now, here it is a year later.  And I've survived.  And so has Winston!   
The decision that Benjamin and I made together for me to stay at home has been life changing for both of us.  No longer is Benjamin responsible for waking up Winston and getting him ready for school.  No longer do I wake up at 4:30 to get ready for a day of meetings, negotiations, and spreadsheets.  Instead Winston and I have our own little routine that I love it with all my heart!  I still get a thrill hearing him call my name each morning when he wakes up.  The hours after dinner and before bedtime is when Benjamin and Winston have their special time together.  Most days I get to jump in on the action, but some days it's just the two of them out in the garage creating and imagining great things together.  
During the first few months after retiring there were moments of wondering if I had made the right decision.  There was no need to check my email umpteen times an hour; there was no one needing a report or a presentation.  I didn't need to dash to make a meeting I had dismissed on the calendar.  The only person that need me was the tiny human {and our sweet Lulu fur baby}.  Was I okay with only being with this one human all day every day?!  Each time doubt came along, God was there to affirm that what we were doing was the right thing for our family.  
Since retiring there have been times where I have struggled with if and where am I adding value because that was my mindset at work.  And then I look at my Winston and realized that his life is where I am adding value.  That by simply being available and ready to build a block tower for the thirty-third time was where I am adding value.  That raising a human to have manners, to be courteous and to have a heart for God is where I am adding value.  That my mornings with the Lord are where I am adding value.  This is a precious time for me to be filled with His Goodness and Truth.  A time where I can come to him confessing the many times I fail and thanking Him for the provisions He gives.   I look at Benjamin and see that my staying at home and managing things here is a comfort to him.  We have home cooked family dinners around the table together to talk about our day.  I have energy to fully engage in conversations with Benjamin about his day, our schedules for the week along with our hopes, fears and future.  By simply being available, intentional and present with my family I add value.  
I have the privilege of having my Buddy with me to go on grocery adventures, to take to the zoo, to run errands with me, to play on the back patio with.  He is the best little side-kick I could have every hoped for.  He is smart and funny!  He is quick witted and observant.  He is passionate and kind.  Winston truly loves his people {and the dogs!} with a fierce love.  He is polite and a charmer.  Winston is a great encourager to others and loves to dance when he hears a song he likes!  He has a big imagination and I love that I get to play a part in it!  I am thankful each day that I get to see his personality develop.  

Not all moments of every day are sunshine and rainbows.  We have our hard days, our tiring day.  And even though there are struggles and times of disciplining and moments where I lose my Mom-cool, and times when I am exhausted and feel a little mushy-brained, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  
Winston attends a preschool program two days a week.  He loves his friends and his teachers!  It makes my heart smile when he sings new songs that he has learned and tells me about the letter of the day!  This allows me to do things around the house and meet Benjamin for lunch every once in a while!  Even though the school year is nearing to an end my heart skips a beat each day I get to see his face light up when he sees me walk into the classroom!

In the evenings when the men are playing together I use that time to clean up the dishes and take a few minutes to breathe.  I either fold laundry, read for a few minutes or take a bath.  Or some nights I join in on the fun or we go for a bike ride!  We have a good balance and I am thankful to Benjamin for that.  
When I look over the past year there are so many things, big and little, that I am thankful that I have been able to experience with Winston.  Zoo days, park time, swimming lessons, first day of school, water table fun, shopping, cuddling while we read book after book, baking and just being goofy!  
So that's it - a tidbit the journey of my first year of being a stay at home mom.  Everyone's story is different; there are ladies who kill at being working moms.  No matter what your story, I love that we have a God who created us uniquely and individually.  Romans 8:28 is such a comfort and an encouragement to me and I hope it is to you:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

No matter what being a Mom looks like to you or how you execute it in your own awesome way, be encouraged to know that He is on your side!  

6 comments :

  1. Thank you for this encouragement!! As hubby and I discuss timing and doing this for ourselves, it's so beautiful to see how God has worked in your heart to have a bigger perspective. Your little is not a burden or a distraction or a hindrance to you but a joy and a human and a soul to love. I hope I have half the faith you have when we get to that point! :) Many hugs and would love to catch up if we are ever in the same place at the same time!

    ~Sarah (Sumner) Delwood

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  2. I absolutely love this post! I don't have kids yet, but it will hopefully happen soon. When we do, I want to work from home (I'm currently a teacher in a public school) in my new floral design business and be a mommy. It seems uncommon in my group of friends and the people I know to stay at home, but I feel for me and my family it will be important. I've always thought that. Now that it is closer to that time of needing to make a decision, we are definitely leaning on faith in God to financially bless us so that it can be possible for me to stay home. :) Thanks for sharing your story! I'm so encouraged.

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  3. This made me cry! That last part got me. "No matter what being a Mom looks like to you or how you execute it in your own awesome way, be encouraged to know that He is on your side!" I love being a nanny and I work for a family who loves our Savior as much as I do, but its not the same as just being Liam's Mommy. I need to work on my patience and know that as hard as it is for me to wait, that God sees and knows my future and my dreams will happen in His time.
    Kimberly Haddock
    The Blue Tangerine

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  4. You and your little family are too precious! It sounds like you've really embraced the challenge of being a stay-at-home mom with true grace and making memories to last a lifetime. :)

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  5. Oh how I love this! Such a sweet family. And Winston is one blessed little guy!

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  6. I needed this! Thanks! I'm quitting teaching to be a SAHM but I'm a Type A and workaholic and am nervous about "adding value", too, or living up to my potential as that was a huge part of what I taught my students.

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