Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Being Home


"We all know that the early years of our children’s lives are precious.  It is when they are most teachable, impressionable and open to true and erroneous teaching.  Our society in a rush to success encourages us as mothers to send our children from the home earlier and earlier, to involve them in more and more activities.  Too often we forget that the most important preparation for success is in the home under the nurturing care of the mother.  That preparation takes time, long stretches of time filled with the consistent, everyday activity of home life.

The time we have with our little ones is short and should be guarded carefully."
Kimberli Robison
(the entire article that quote was taken from is here)

I had so many lovely emails after the quick post I wrote about sending Patrick to preschool and how torn I was, and how I struggled with this rush that has suddenly appeared for all of us to send our little ones away for this activity and that experience.

So many mothers talked about the pressure they felt to send their little ones to preschool, or a special learning program, baby classes, mom's day out, you name it, because everyone else was doing it, or they felt that they their children might be missing something all these other children are getting.  I know the pressure is real, and I know that as I have had more and more experience (and more and more children?) over the years, I have gained that confidence to say "No way!" quickly and comfortably when I felt it wasn't right for us.  I wish I would have learned that sooner.

I also have to say this:  I know that being at home is sometimes lonely. Sometimes boring.  Sometimes monotonous.  There are so many things that can enrich our experiences and our child's also-trips to the zoo, to a friend's house, to the learning museum-and those are great things-but sometimes, and I see the discomfort with this so much more in this new generation of mothers-we just have to be a little lonely, a little bored, and find our way through these years.  

It's not so much all about us anymore, and what we want, and who we want to see.  We live in a time when I think we have been fed this belief that we deserve to be totally happy and fulfilled constantly.  Emotional entitlement, in a way.  I read article and article about how we need to take care of ourselves, and find out what makes us happy.  We deserve to be fulfilled, we are not our best for our children unless we are.  That might be true in a way, but I also don't think we have to be willing to sacrifice what is best for the loves of our lives, our children, before we subscribe to this belief that all this happiness, self-care, fulfillment is "out there" somewhere, with our children far away, and us gone from our homes when our children are tiny.  We can find it in our homes, if we are willing to look!  A quote hanging on my son's desk says, "The best way out is always through."  I take that to mean stop looking for ways around it all, and just stick your head in it, stick your heart in it, and work through it.  It's the only way to real true accomplishment, whether that involves the completion of a math project, or emotional growth and maturation in the most important role of our lives, that as mother.

Children crave routine I think, and also need our one-on-one attention, or just lots of days where they are not going here, there and everywhere.  When we allow ourselves to work through the long days, we found our way "around" these hurtles.  We find good books, a project that we can work on at home that involves are brains, our talents.  We sometimes find friendships right in our neighborhood.  

I think one of the things I've noticed most lately, that makes me laugh, is remembering that when I just had little ones, the day would be so long.  I would wake up and think, "What am I going to do all day?" And now, with older children, my days seem so speedy fast, and I crave those days when I "get to" not go anywhere, not do a thing.  I wake up thinking, "Please, please let this be a day that goes slow and boring."

And it also amazes me that when I look back at the journey from becoming a mother of one at 24, to being the mother of five by 38, something always fell into my lap to push me up and over the emotional speed bumps of being a mom-I was magically given the gift of growth to smooth out that speed bump-to find that happiness, fulfillment, challenge-whatever I was lamenting at the time.  The opportunities-whether that was a new encouraging friendship, a challenging project that came out of the blue where I was asked to write a chapter of a book, a little relief in the way of an easy baby, or an exciting break in the same old routine when I found myself pregnant once again.

I also see so many times where I wasn't "given" some sort of gift-I just worked through those feelings, and grew and settled and accepted that my life wouldn't be smooth, perfect, easy.  Now, looking back, I can see that if I didn't have patience, if I had looked elsewhere for a quick panacea to my doubts and insecurities and discomfort,  if I would have bought into the belief that I deserved something much more than just "being at home", I would have missed out on so much of what I had been looking for in the first place.  That is the gift of children in a nutshell-they give us back so much more than what we can ever give them, if we are willing to give the gift of every day.

66 comments :

  1. Thanks for your inspiring words & example of motherhood. I am amazed every time I read your blog at how much we have in common! I also have 5 children spaced out over 14 years. My oldest is a senior in high school - the youngest in preschool. I truly appreciate your willingness to share your life experiences. It is nice to know I am not alone in this crazy, precious life. Thank you!

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  2. Thank you, thank you. I am one of those annoying I-read-blogs-but-never-comment gals, but this post spoke to me in a very real and very timely way. I am at the front-end of my parenting and am just so grateful for true wisdom. I can't help but feel your words were meant for me.

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  3. Sarah, This is a very good post. I especially like the quote your son has. It's so very true---I always fight the hurdles, but when I dive right in, there's a shift and it's not so bad...or at least I'm more focused.

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  4. Keep sending this message. Even though I need to work for financial reasons, I am so lucky to always have been able to keep our children home between staggered work schedules with my husband and I. It wasn't easy, it was tremendously difficult, and I think we both, at times, felt very lonely. I actually took my husband's lead after my first child and enrolling her in everything on my mornings off (I worked part time for a few years) and by child #2, I pulled back and if we felt stir crazy, we went for a walk, or to the park, or to the bakery for a cookie, the library or even the grocery store. My last child I pulled back even more - I guarded his naps and kept him from the chaos as much as I could of his older sibling's sports activities. And he of all 3 of my kids, is the most content to play on his own, to entertain himself. Learning to be home, to be ok with routine, to find ways to entertain ourselves without an admission ticket or enrollment fee is a wonderful gift for our children, a better gift than 40 minutes at a mommy and me class accompanied by a rushed mom, interrupted meals and naps, and tons of stimulation. I often laugh because as a full time working mom, I often find I am HOME and WITH my kids even more then MANY of the SAHM I am acquainted with - go figure!!

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  5. Thank you for a wonderful post, you can truly lift me up and inspire me when I need it.

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  6. It is so hard to go against the grain sometimes. But I have found that it is ALWAYS worth it in the end. Thanks for the encouragement.
    have a happy day sarah

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  7. Thank you. I needed that today.

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  8. Thank you. I needed this big time today. I love your blog and read it all the time but never comment. Your posts on your miscarriages helped me when I lost baby number two last year. I now have my dear 4 year old and a 6 month old at home and do find days where I just want to be home all day. I enjoy most of it but hearing someone else say it is trying and lonely was good. Thank you!

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  9. Awesome. I REALLY struggled with finding fullfillment as a new mother. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom & once it happened I was dissapointed. My son is 2 1/2 (& we have another on the way in November!!) & I feel like I'm just now getting it. I don't need to be happy every second of every day....life just doesnt work that way. I'm not going to be fullfilled with every thing I do. I've also deepened my relationship with Christ which has also taught me a lot. Thank you so much for all your posts...they really help us "newbies" realize we aren't alone!!!

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  10. Thank you for this post! I came to terms with this three years ago when I quit my 100 mile a day commute to just be home. Since then, I've added another baby to my duo, and I couldn't be more content in my decision. I struggled in the beginning because I got LOTS of negative comments about not working from others. Finally, I decided that it was important to ME and MY FAMILY that I am here. I even started a blog called...Being Home :)
    Lisa

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  11. I agree, but it is hard to always be the one going against the grain of our modern culture. It takes so much energy EVERYDAY! Thanks for the reminder that it is worth it.

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  12. I so agree. In this day and age, we need to give both ourselves and at times our children PERMISSION to be a little bored, lonely and unfulfilled. We're supposed to be doing great things at.all.times and that just ain't realistic or reasonable. And it doesn't make for very good family life, either. Amen to this!

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  13. Excellent post, Sarah. I especially like your observation that 'it isn't about us anymore.' We live in a society where there is this sense of entitlement that we're all supposed to be happy -- I often remark that kids today have this "entitlement" thing going on. Well, we all do -- where else would they have learned it?

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  14. Oh my goodness. What a timely thing for me to hear. You have no idea how much I appreciate YOUR years of faithfulness and service to your family, so you could be an encouragement to others-- like me, a 24 year old mother feeding her 13mo breakfast in the kitchen, and waiting for the next baby.

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  15. We were just talking about this in my Bible study the other day. About how society keeps telling this generation of moms that we need 'me time'. I think that is crazy...I mean the young childhood years go so quickly that I can't even believe it, so I am okay with sacrificing my time to be the best mom I can be. I will have plenty of empty nest years for myself. I've also fallen into the guilt trap for not having our kids in activities because we can't afford them, but then I read your blog and I am so encouraged by you and your style and I realize that maybe I'm giving them a gift by not doing activities. Thank you for always being so honest!

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  16. Sarah, this is such a gem. It's truth to me: as everyone is asking, are you putting him in a mothers day out, or preschool, or music class, I have to pull back and remember that this is the *only* time in both of our lives I will ever have him all to myself. I love coming here because you *always* help me see the bigger perspective. If I cross-stitched, I would stitch your last two sentences and give it to my daughters and every young mom I knew...:)

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  17. Thank you so much for your post. I absolutely love your thoughts on "emotional entitlement". It is definitely a plague of the generation. I've succumbed and fought back many times. I'm passing this post along to my mommy friends.

    btw- have you read "A Lantern in Her Hand" by Bess Streeter Aldrich? You might like it.

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  18. Your words are so good for young mothers like me. My oldest is almost 5 and we made the decision that putting him in 3/4 year old preschool was just unnecessary when we could all be together, learning at home. I've gotten so much slack for it though, and it's hard. Thank you for reminding me how precious this time is and that I'm doing that right thing.

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  19. Sarah many times I have clicked over to your blog and found words of truth that I desperately needed to read. I embrace stay at home motherhood and while I work part time, my goal is to be at home when my kids are not in school, and I think this decision is still so looked down upon, as if choosing this vs. a career is taking the easy way out or not being ambitious. Thank you for this well-said encouragement.

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  20. I 1,555 percent agree with you. and I absolutely love how you can write about exactly how I feel in such a wonderful way! Thanks for writing!

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  21. One more thought: as a young mother feeling disconnected, going out to mommy & me classes was great for ME - to meet other moms going through the same trials. There is a balance and finding other women to connect with is so wonderful for a young mom.

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  22. Your post moved me to tears... how is it that you can say exactly what I feel? How can you put into words what I try to mumble out to family and friends who wonder why I'm not back into teaching yet? Thank you for sharing your heart, tara

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  23. While I agree with you, as I choose to stay home with my kids...are you saying that all women should always make the choice to stay home, no matter what? I get that feeling...
    There are some women who can't and don't want to be (want their career too) at home with their kids...should they not have kids?
    I guess I feel like I read the last post about pre-school and several people commented about stinging remarks in certain places...will you explain that at some point?
    Because while I am a mom who chooses to stay home, I support all moms who choose differently...
    And yes most days I am bored to tears...but I know I am doing the right thing for my kids...but I am 40, had a career, traveled etc before I had them...I don't how I would feel if I became a mom at a younger age...

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  24. Thank you for a lovely post. As a mother of an almost-1-year-old (sniff! where did the time go??) your blog is a constant source of inspiration and challenge for me. I am a get-up-and-do-stuff kind of person, and I often struggle with the slower pace of life and less tangible daily accomplishments of life with a baby. I'm not sure exactly what it is I think I should be accomplishing, but somehow I still get that "I'm not doing enough" feeling! But I try to remember how precious this time is--there will be many hours, days, and years for me to "get stuff done" and only *this* time, right now, to be with my children every day and watch them grow. Your writing reminds me of that often, and makes a real difference as I count my blessings and remember to enjoy my everyday moments!

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  25. Thank you thank you thank you for writing these sorts of articles! I am a SAHM to a 3yo and 5mo. I too, find myself thinking we need to go and do something everyday and I keep telling myself to just stay home, slow down, and relish this time. Because I know one day I would give ANYTHING to do that and will miss these "boring" days :)

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  26. Amen! Thank you for writing what too many women are afraid to say, or do. I completely agree with this. I really think you should write a book, honestly! Thank you for your frequent posts that inspire me to be a better mother and keep me fueled throughout my week. It's not easy raisin' babies, we all need a little something along the way, and this blog is it for me! :)

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  27. i LOVE this. and, i agree with you!! especially about the slow days of younger kids and fast days of bigger kids. isn't that funny the things we learn to appreciate? (i have seven kids age 12-5 monthes.) i also completely agree about learning to say NO WAY! learning to follow your mother's intuition... how i wish i had learned that SOONER!!!
    thanks for your sweet, real, mothering blog.

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  28. Thank you! I became a mom at 24, too, and while I only have one thus far, we are certainly hoping for more. I hope I can have the perspective and joy you show down the line!

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  29. You echoed my sentiments exactly. I have heard more than one friend say to me "If I could change one thing, I would wait to put my kids in activities until they are older". I know I wanted my daughter to have other kids to play with (she's our only child)so we went to all the MOMS club events we could, the park, you name it. I wouldn't do that again if I had another one.

    Even with all the running around we did I feel like we tried to be home by noon each day for lunch and a nap (in the toddler years, as a baby I did stay home more so she had a morning nap). People thought I was crazy and wondered why I wouldn't come to afternoon events.

    Thanks for a great post!

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  30. Such true words. Thanks for sharing and being the lone voice to what so many of us are thinking....

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  31. Such a beautiful post, Sarah. Many have trouble being home. Some of my friends knew they "wouldn't know what to do with themselves all day" - even before they had a child. But days were filled and we all grew. Yes, with teens now life seems faster than ever. A perfect day to me is dinner together and everyone home for the afternoon and evening. There's no rush to do homework...just a relaxed environment and time to play. I turned to handcrafts when my kids were little because it was something I had always loved to do. But being home has also enabled me to help others - to volunteer at school, help siblings or neighbors with child care, be with my dad as he was sick and dying,....

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  32. Perfectly said! It took me 2 years of being a SAHM before I realized that happiness is NOT in being at all the mom's groups or kids' playgroups. Happiness is making a fort of blankets and couch cushions in the living room. By the way, my day doesn't officially start until I have read your blog...you are the only grown up I get all day until my husband comes home. :)

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  33. Thank you for another thought provoking post. Truthfully, I struggle with balance in my family, and the constant feeling of guilt/anxiety as to whether I have provided enough of "Me" for each of my 3 boys. My youngest is now 3 and goes to preschool 2 days week in the AM. I vacillate between wanting my boys to be exposed to new experiences by going and doing outside things and then wanting to keep them home all day. For me, being home can get maddeningly overwhelming, just the sheer monotony of it.

    I thank you for your thoughts and your blog always inspires me to do better in my life as a mom and to think differently about my purpose in my family.

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  34. Well said althought I agree with some points you make. Your blogs are alwasy so good! thanks for your words of wisdom!

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  35. "Emotional entitlement"....how true!

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  36. I loved this post as I've been thinking about these very things. When I had my first child I was completely shell shocked (sickness and intense colic didn't help). I remember thinking that the school age years couldn't come fast enough because I NEEDED more time to myself. Time to fulfill my own needs and wants.

    That seems so funny to me now as 11 years and 4 boys later I get a pit in my stomach thinking of sending my last to school.

    Somewhere along the way I have completely lost myself in motherhood. I know the world around us doesn't encourage this type of mothering...how sad to have lost yourself while caring for a home full of children.

    NOT SO!

    By losing myself in this amazing work I have found a new self...a hard working, sacrificing, loving, tender, devoted self. A self refined by meaningful work. And there is nothing (nothing) more FULFILLING than recognizing how much my time spent in these home trenches has shaped and benefited these souls I'm raising.

    My children have brought me pure joy. A joy I would have never known unless I stopped worrying about myself, put my head down and got to work.

    And so, I too think of days past when there was nothing on the schedule but to stay at home, letting the days slowly pass, while I mothered. As long as I live those will be the days that I daydream about...the days I long to revisit.

    Wouldn't it have been interesting if I could have told myself - that young, first time mom - just how much she was going to end up loving this experience? I'm actually glad it doesn't work that way because the journey - the good and the bad - is what has made it so special.

    Well, for someone who really doesn't comment I sure had a lot to say!

    The end. :)

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  37. This has been amazing to read. So much of what I believe in here....and also so much I have learned. I have baby #3 on the way in november and I have a lot of the boring and long days as a mom. Actually I am having one today where my house is a complete mess, the kids have extra energy and I have an 8 month pregnant belly making me slow....thanks for the post!!!!It really helped me look at the broader perspective!

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  38. I love that quote at the top. I read another of her articles that was so powerful! It's called "A Dangerous Woman." You can read it at this link: http://ldsmag.com/component/zine/article/5736?ac=1

    So good!

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  39. I love your blog. So many times after I finish reading I say to myself, "I just love her!" You say so many things that I feel too. I love your style and your courage. My whole family knows how much I love your blog so when my younger sister called today and said, "You were quoted on Clover Lane!" I could hardly believe it. I would stand with you any day. I'm so glad I could today. Keep speaking from your heart like you do. I think we all need to hear voices like yours.

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  40. I also agree that this feeling of appreciation sometimes comes with time. Now that I have 2 "older" kids---12 and 10---and 2 "little ones"---6 and 3, I have a different perspective on time. I savor every moment I have with all of my kids, whereas when I was entrenched in "Babyhood," I felt more of a need for a break or for "me" time. Now I may find 5 minutes and that is usually enough. I was struggling with some outside influence to sign up my 6 year old for an after school activity, and now have made my decision. The crazy times will come, and better to savor the quiet times while you can.

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  41. Beautiful Sarah! Thanks for sharing your wisdom w/ us newbie moms. I often think of the quote you have at the top of your blog and remind myself often to "slow down" and enjoy these precious moments with my little man.

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  42. "we just have to be a little lonely, a little bored, and find our way through these years. "

    Just what I needed to hear. I'm a mom of two...my 2 1/2 year old daughter and my 4 month old son. I often find myself feeling lonely and/or bored and It's something that I really try to work through like you said. It's not that there isn't a TON of work to do around the home..there's plenty...but sometimes the baby just wants to be held or rocked and there's nothing for it but to sit around for 2 hours while your toddler doodles and your infant nurses.

    Thank you for reminding me that there's nothing wrong with this (I always feel like I should be constantly "doing" something) and for helping me be the best mom I can be. On the really hard days, I just think ahead to 10 years from now when my (hopefully) big family is gathered around the dinner table laughing and telling stories...that image makes all the loneliness and boredom totally worth it.

    p.s. reading your blog sure does help with the "lonely" part too...thank you for that :)

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  44. So. Wise!
    Thanks for such a post, full of hard-won wisdom that you are willing to share with others!
    Joni

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  45. Love this Sarah. It's so true. All of it!!!

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  46. Oh man, I love this so much. You have an amazing way of articulating so many of my core beliefs. I read this and thought, Yeah, THIS is what I believe! Deep down. Still, I struggle daily trying to tune in to my instincts versus what I'm "supposed" to do with these four sweet little girls of mine.

    I often think of one of my favorite articles on motherhood, that said we are going to lose our lives to SOMETHING, whether it be a career or goals, or other peoples' expectations of our lives. If we weren't parents, it's not like our lives would be easy street.

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  47. LOVE this and love when you talk about this topic of "slowing down". I am one who will do this but often feel like I am not part of the "in-crowd" bc we aren't involved in every activity under the sun. And YES I am lonely from time to time, but I also see the benefits that my kids receive from not being over booked and stressed out. There is plenty of time for that as they get older and more involved.

    Thank you, Sarah.
    Amy W, from Chicago

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  48. I thought you made some wonderful points in both this post and the one on preschool. I am a working mother by choice...for financial reasons, and quite frankly because I really enjoy my job as a public school teacher. I spent a couple of years at home with each of my 2 younger children children (who are now 6, 3, and 1 1/2) but after much reflection, I returned the workforce and I couldn't be happier--often over tired, and worn thin, but my FAMLY is HAPPY. I find the balance of me working during the school year, but spending summers at home with the kids works well for OUR family. My daughters are in a small, in-home daycare and thriving, and my son (who never attended preschool by the way) LOVES school. We make it a priority to eat dinner together and we guard our family time closely b/c we aren't with our children for the whole day. We probably could make some significant life changes so that I could stay at home, but I sincerely believe that our current situation is a good fit for us. I think every family has to reflect on their own situation and make choices that best suit their family's needs.

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  49. My kids were all ready for part time preschool at age 3. They were bored at home, so a Tues/Thurs class was great for them. I like the socialization they get, and the chance at learning other people have rules, too...just like Mommy!

    I know everyone is different, and for a long time I couldn't figure out why Moms weren't racing to get their 3 year olds in preschool. Then I realized that not everyone is as desperate for 2 hours of peace and quiet as I seem to be!!! My kids are clingy and once they start preschool, they are much better.

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  50. Love this!!! I am sending my 3 year-old son to a 2 time/week 2 hour preschool this year and have been thinking all of these things! Thanks for this post!

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  51. I have to tell you that the quote above your son's desk pretty much got me through the day. I looked it up and found a wonderful little video with that quote ... http://www.bestwayout.com/#.ToIi7wxP4yg.facebook

    It really helped. Busy moms need encouragement. Thank you for your words.

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  53. Hello Sarah,
    You always have such nice words to say about your children and role as a mother. Thank you for that. As one previous commenter said, I noticed some stinging remarks from the comments in your preschool post. I think some readers may feel that some of your deep convictions may be a judgement on them (if they don't stay home, etc). I know you are a faithful person, so I highly doubt you are passing judgement. And I gather you really don't want any drama/debate (and rightly so --who does!)I think it is so, so important to remember that God has a plan for all of us mothers. I agree that it's absolutely not about being happy and fulfilled all the time, but I would take it one step further to say that it's even more so about follwing God's path... whether that be at home, school, work, etc. I really hope that your readers will not feel judged because judgement on the love of your children and whether or not you are doing the right thing for them is probably the most stinging type of judgement there can be. Your children know when they are loved. They just know. Of this I am sure. And I applaud all mothers who make sacrafices in every way for the love of their children. Who do things not for selfishness, but for the goodness of thier families, and God's family. Keep up your beautiful words! Thanks!
    Theresa

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  54. P.S.
    I know you're Catholic (I am as well) and one of my favorite saints is St. Gianna. I don't know if you've heard of her, but she was a mother of four and also a physician. She was canonized not that many years ago and her children are still alive. She is a great inspiration to me as a mother. I love reading about the lives of saints, and she has an amazing story. If you have a moment, visit her website (www.saintgianna.org). You may gain more insight on what I was trying to say about serving God as a mother (and how it's really not about whether you stay home, work, etc). If you click on "family life" then click on "significant dates" there is much to read about what she felt about raising her children. Such beautiful words! :)

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  55. This is why I love reading your blog! A reminder that we are not 'entitled' to anything in this life and that life isn't always about us.

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  56. I meant to comment earlier and didn't get to. Connor (my youngest, exactly as old as Patrick) just started school as well. I was so hesitant. I kept thinking he's my last, he's a boy, he'll be fine (by the way, I don't know if I commented before but I am due with number 5 in November). HE was ready, even if I wasn't. Being the littlest he wanted to be like the others so off he is going to the same wonderful woman who taught all of the others.He has practically grown up visiting this school because his two older sisters just finished two years each. Even though it is only three hours two days a week...it was HARD to do this.

    He is the oldest in his class of 14..how's that? There are 3 or four two year olds that don't even turn three for another 3 or four months. Why??? they are on the three year plan. Everyone seems to think it is for the greater good developmentally or I don't know just maybe they do want some me time to shop alone. Who knows. All I know is the countdown is on in there precious little lives. I gave up working and a business when I started having kids too. We aren't poor but could certainly use the extra cash and better health insurance. I am fortunate enough to have skills that if I wanted to make money from home I could..but I KNOW that my number one priority would suffer and that is my kids. I want to drink up every second possible that God has blessed me with as a mother. There WILL be life after them I know that. But it will never be as precious as it is now.

    So yet again the countdown is on for me..8 weeks till d day then one wk old, four wks old, three months old. I feel so blessed with the wisdom to appriciate just how fast it will all go by.

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  57. Nutshell - cracked open.
    I agree with EVERYTHING.
    Speak it please. :)

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  58. Amazing and inspiring. I wholeheartedly agree. So comforting to know I'm not alone in thinking this way. x

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  59. I love this post.

    And you are so right about something always coming along - I think it's God's way of reminding us that we are doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing. I COMPLETELY lost it Wednesday night - I was ready to be DONE with bed rest and wanted to have my baby NOW. I was like a two year old having a tantrum. Well, Thursday morning at 8 a.m., one of my dear friends showed up at my door with Starbucks and stayed for two hours to visit. Literally as she was walking out, my mom called, followed immediately by a phone call from another friend. Before I even hung up the phone, there was a knock at the door and another friend showed up with lunch. She stayed for three hours, and before I knew it, the kids were home and crawling into bed to make me feel better. I felt COMPLETELY fine by the end of the day - it was exactly what I needed to be lifted up.

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  60. I needed to hear this post. I have three boys and at times being home is very lonely. Yet I agree it is rewarding and very soon they will spend most of their day away from me at school!

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  61. I love this post. And let me just tell you I look forward to your blog daily! It's my morning coffee reading. I wish I had a friend/neighbor just like you. I was a 3rd grade teacher when I had my first son and I knew I was going to stay home. So many people tell me I'm lucky but I wasn't lucky. It was a choice. I was the steady income and the insurance. My husband was an independant contractor but we saved for 5 years and our first home had a very small mortgage. We lived simply and even had some credit card debt but I wouldn't change any of it. As the years passed my wonderful husband grew his business and there was no need for me to go back to teaching. I was doing the most important "job" of my life...being a Mom. Now my children are 12 and 8 and I can't tell you the number of times people flipantly ask me "When are you going back to work?" Although it's truly none of anyone's business I always feel the need to explain myself. Finally one day I decided that simply...my job isn't done. My kids still need me. They need me after school and to be a room mom and home when they are sick. We have some of our best talks when I am driving to dance or choir or taekwondo. Why would I want to miss that? It would be nice to sit down and have a cup of coffee with someone who feels the same way. Someone who views Mothering as a top notch career...regardless of it's lack of income or benefits. I do substitute when I can but if one of my kiddos is sick or a chaperone is needed...that's my first priority. Thank you for sharing your life with a bunch of strangers and thank you for giving stay at home mothers a beautiful, articulate voice!

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  62. thanks so much for sharing this. it's so great. i thought you'd like this quote which your post reminded me of:

    "A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently." julie beck

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