I will be the first to admit that Mom life has not come naturally to me. I am a big time introvert and the idea of having three little people depending on me to take care of them and teach them feels really foreign.
This morning, as I was folding the laundry, I listened to the Coffee and Crumbs podcast (Season 3 episode 61) this quote jumped out at me…
I literally stopped mid-fold and scrambled for a pen to write it down. The concept is not new to me, but the wording let it sink deep into my soul and the truth of it forced me to pause.
Ever since I became a Mom, 12 years ago, I have looked forward to the day when my kids were in school full time. I looked forward to either going back to school for my Master’s degree, going back to work full time, or just having time to pursue interests I have set aside for the time being. When my middle child was beginning her final year of preschool, I felt relieved that I only had one more year with a little one at home during the day (gotta love half day preschool). One month into that last year of preschool, I found out I was (surprisingly) pregnant with my third child. I love her to pieces, but I am not ashamed to say that I sobbed sad and angry tears for the first four months of that pregnancy. Not because she was unwanted - it was never about that - but because I was mourning the loss of freedom I was feeling. The loss of dreams I had planned to pursue. The day before a pregnancy test showed up positive, I had received a certificate in the mail telling me that I had passed my exam to become a Group Fitness Instructor. That dream being fulfilled had been a decade in the making! Not surprisingly, postpartum depression set in pretty mean following her birth. Add to the mix, my husband was miserable at his job and within 8 months we were in the process of changing companies, selling a house and moving to a new city. Not the highlight year it should have been.
I started my third child in preschool shortly after she turned two - neither of her siblings started that young. I have loved the few hours of alone time I get each week and I have been looking forward to having her in preschool every day next year - the year before she goes to Kindergarten. But, a few months ago, this stirring started inside me. A deep urge to be home. And not just home alone, but home with my family. It has felt really strange to me how strong this stirring has been. Who me? The girl who thinks the best gift ever would be a weekend alone in my own home? And now all of a sudden I just want to keep all three of my kids home with me at all times, 24-7, no breaks, whining, begging for snacks, arguing with each other? What in the world?!
At this point you are probably expecting me to say that I will be homeschooling all three of my kids. Sorry to disappoint;) What this feeling has done, however, is cause me to really evaluate what my priorities are and figure out what exactly I want life to look like the next few years. God did not place this desire on my heart just because. I know there is a reason. I have had a few projects that I have deeply invested my energy into the past year. Big grand plans to help change the world. But, what I haven’t been investing my energy in, is spending more quality time with my children. Sure, I spend a lot of time with them - running to the gym, the homework grind, driving to soccer, carpool for school - it’s a whole lot of time. None of it really nurturing them though. And I think this is why the desire to be home with them has been so loud. And I am listening.
I’m also not saying that homeschool is off the table, because it actually is on my mind a lot lately. Especially for my girls. And perhaps someday, possibly soon, I will land on the decision to pull one or both of them out of public school. Today that feels like a really overwhelming and enormous undertaking. But, I also know that if that is the path God has planned, He will provide me with what I need to tackle it and have it be a blessing in our lives.
That’s probably a lot more rambling than you were planning to hear from me today. But, I think my point in sharing is to get you to pause and consider whether or not the Good thing you are doing is really the Best thing in this season of life. Maybe your ‘things’ can work well together, but then again, maybe they won’t.