But even in the day to day, these parent-struggles can plague our lives, sucking the joy out of our ordinary. Because after all, life is lived & true joy is found in the ordinary. Our lives are not meant to be Disney all the time. We human beings are not built for that. We can't take it - would that we could ask Michael Jackson; he'd likely agree. God rest his poor, tortured soul.
No, life is to be savored in the plain-old. That's the biggest thing I've had to learn (& the thing our society values least) from being a stay @ home mom. I've also learned that maybe it's wise to rest knowing that if we've made clear conscience decisions with all the wisdom we can muster, & given the rest to God, all will be well, eventually.
Several years ago I chose to give up my career to be that SAHM. Mind you, I'm a Master's Level educated, fully licensed professional (my ego still requires I tell you that), so this was not an easy decision: am I doing the right thing for my children? for myself? What about my education? What about our family's best interests? I've second-guessed it several times, especially when the challenges of rearing 3 very active, bright, busy children, & 'building' our home were a bit too much to carry. When we were still such a young family, shortly after the big decision, I was privileged to catch a glimpse of the Big Picture. I'll share it with you:
7-30-03 "Big boy is @ my parents. Husband, little boy & baby are all asleep upstairs. The house is quiet. It's early, but not that early. That's just it. It's not all that early, & yet I can come down in my PJ's, leave my babies sleeping comfortably in their beds. No rush to get out the door; no urgency to meet a schedule which is unnatural to our family's rhythm. Just a quiet, restful family rhythm. I love days like this.
It has been raining, which is why they're sleeping a little later than usual. ...And so it begins - Husband asks for slacks to be ironed. He has a schedule - and I help him, of course. But no such schedule imposed on my little sleepy heads. They'll have a lifetime of schedules that the world will impose, and they can choose which ones they'll abide. But not now, not as babies, not when the world is so new, not when it's my job to let them just be who they are, & grow into who they're supposed to be.
There will be times when I'll spend money more freely, move about more freely doing my own thing. But that's not these days. These days are for them; and me. These days are to be sure they're solid, secure, healthy & balanced. These days are for babies snuggled in their beds, still sleeping at 7:30 on a rainy weekday morning. I love days like this."
...because, there is a Big Picture, friends. And what JOY is found there - in the ordinary-ness of it, the plain-oldness of it! We forget so easily that JOY, because we so seldom are out from ourselves long enough to catch those glimpses.
Many times since that piece was written, I questioned - again - my decisions. I believe that's normal. And I also believe that's where faith comes in.
Faith: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith: a gift from God, not of ourselves. Not sure we have enough? Pray. Ask for more. And let's be assured that the things (& people) who hold our hopes are in the hands of the One who holds us all.