I read a little devotional the other day that greatly encouraged me about staying home. I don't mean about my job as a wife, mother, and "homemaker" who stays at home, but rather, it was about staying home and not being involved in everything while you have little ones at home. This year I have had overwhelming feelings of guilt because of how much I am NOT involved in.
Last year I was involved in all sorts of things. Amazing how only adding one more child totally changed everything! Sometimes I feel guilty that I'm not doing a lot. I'm not teaching the English class on Wednesday nights this year. I'm not in an inductive Bible study this year. I'm not helping out at school doing things. I'm not babysitting for other families. I stay home almost all of the time.
Being involved in things is good, but at this stage of life, it just makes things so much more difficult.
Seth is a great kid, but let's be honest, he is no saint. He's two. Disciplining (which does not=punishment) and being consistent is difficult if you're not home, when others are always watching what you're doing, and when the "rules" keep changing based on where you are. And Kate is a phenomenal sleeper. No complaints. But having some consistency in naps makes for a much happier and better sleeping baby. (Take Easter for example...church totally messes up her morning nap every week, and this Sunday she decided she had enough and let everyone know!)
So I have to ask myself if it's worth it? Sometimes, yes. All the time, no. And kids need to learn to be flexible, but I can't expect them to be flexible all the time. That's not good for them either.
"The season of young children is a time to refrain. Refrain from most outside activities, even church activities. Now is a time to be faithful in discipline...it's the springtime of mothering. Redeem the time, don't waste it."
Sono Harris (mother of Joshua Harris)
We get out here and there. We do things sometimes. But for the most part, I am home. It's good for the kids. It's good for me. It's good for Kevin because that means I'm home to cook. :) I also feel that because I am home, I am able to keep up with cooking, cleaning, and the never ending task of laundry. (Having to hang all clothes out to dry saves money but it does make for a much longer process!) And I also like to use my home to have others over. I find joy in making a meal for someone, and well, I really appreciate the company too. :) We thank the Lord just about every single day for this house we are able to live in this year because we now have room to have people over.
This devotional was just encouraging to me because the woman sharing said that this is our job now...to be moms (and wives, and everything else). Being home and there for your kids is of utmost importance. And many other moms have told me that same thing. They're only young once!
And this is in no way a post meant to make those who choose to work or have to work outside the home feel bad. This has nothing to do with that. The Lord gives each of us different personalities, and I know many people have to have both spouses working. So please don't read into it more than me being encouraged not to feel guilty that I am not involved in many things, especially all of those good things in the name of "ministry" that I feel guilty for not being involved in right now. There is a time and a season for these things!