So, last week I posted about how being a stay at home mom is really difficult. I forgot to say that it's all SO worth it. It's worth it to be the one your child sees all the time, to be his or her rock and security. It's worth it to get to see them roll over for the first time, to take their first steps. It's worth it to be able to discipline them the way you want them to be disciplined, to teach them, to watch them learn and grow. It's beautiful, it's hard, it's incredible, you will shed so many tears... tears of joy, tears of frustration, tears of I-don't-know-what-in-the-world-this-child-needs-right-now. It's been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and yet the most fulfilling.
Okay, so all that aside. I'm going to give some advice. Yes.
Lord, You know that I am only speaking out of my own brokenness here. I am only wanting to communicate what I did wrong and maybe a few things I happened to get right. In no way am I speaking out of perfection. I struggle with this and I want other moms to know that it's okay to struggle... its good to struggle. Life in this world will never be perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect mommy and there is no such thing as the perfect child. We all mess it up and that is why we need the blood of Jesus to cover us and cleanse us.
So, yeah, I am just trying to speak from the little that I have learned in the past two and a half years as a mommy.
1. You are your own stinkin' boss. I have struggled a lot with time-wasting. When my husband was gone, it was easy to sit around and waste time. My baby certainly couldn't say anything, so it felt like I had no one holding me accountable for my actions during the day.
2. Turn off the TV. I went through a phase of watching different shows. I've watched Desperate Housewives (I know! It was TERRIBLE for my marriage), Gilmore Girls (just kind of a waste of time), Laguna Beach (strangely addicted to that one). You can see what I have to say about television here. I just have to say that I have wasted too much of my life in front of the TV. It has given me a false sense of community, skewed my perception of reality, given me a crummy attitude at times... I just had no self control when it came to turning the thing off.
3. Learn from your mistakes. When I first got married I had no idea how to grocery shop, meal plan, all that stuff. No i-dee-ah. It has been a four year process of the first grocery trip getting all "fun stuff" like Cheez-Its and Cocoa Puff and randomly buying cans of green beans because I had seen them in my mom's pantry and I knew I could put them with certain things. I look back and I was pretty naive. It was overwhelming to me to think that I had to fix a meal EVERY night. I had worked so hard the night before, did I really have to do it again?! But really, it has been a process of learning, growing, adapting, planning, listening to others and what they do, asking moms who are further down the road. It doesn't happen overnight that you suddenly become a homemaker. It's a process.
4. Go for a walk. Every morning if you have to. Make it as simple as you can and no pressure to go super fast and get your heart rate up and all that junk. I learned that I could go for walks in my Chacos. I could just put on some socks and slip on my tennis shoes (yes, I never tie my shoes except when I decide to run, I just slip them on and off). Seven or seven-thirty in the morning is the best time to walk for me. It's after my time with the Lord, the air is still cool and clean and I'm pretty much awake and alert by this time. I remember last summer when Levi was about 15-18 months he went through a phase of refusing to sit in the stroller. It was a battle, but in the end I won. I'm bigger and stronger and I will give you a cup of apple juice if you would just sit in the stroller so I can get some exercise. I want my children to have a love for the outdoors, I want to engrave it on their little souls.
I was going to write 5, but I think this is long enough for now. When I think of more mistakes I've made (ahem) lessons I've learned, I will post them.