“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different….” – C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian
Often in being a stay at home mother, the statement above is so true. Especially when you are in the middle of the preschool years. I mean, of course no day is the same- one day someone flushes the metal model airplanes down the toilet, the next day the child manages to cut holes in the sofa, red fingernail polish is dumped in the carpet, Sharpie pens are used to autograph the coffee table, and the list goes on. However, the sameness comes from the fact that you have to repeat yourself 452 times a day, answer 1000 questions per day that many would consider useless, and each day you wake up to feed, bathe, dress, change diapers, and clean up countless messes. All seems to be an endless merry go round. But then you look back and everything is different.
As Cheyenne has finished her senior year and is preparing to start college full-time, it has caused me to do a lot of looking back and seeing how everything is different. Different in a good way. No child can stay a child forever and I certainly don’t want a 36 year old living in my basement ( I don’t have a basement, but you get the idea) but yet, the family is changing – entering a new era in our journey.
The thing that sticks out to me is this- I have no regrets. Choosing to stay home was an easy decision, I never wanted to do anything but get married and have babies. Staying a stay-a-home mom was not easy. It is hard. Living on one income is not easy, but God always provided and I am grateful to Tony for allowing me the privilege of being home with our kids. He worked A LOT of overtime to make that happen.
Not to toot my own horn, but I am an intelligent person. So, I would find myself doing these same mundane chores that would have to be done the next day like every day thinking “I am smart and could be doing something way more important than cleaning Koo-laid up for the 100th time answering questions like “I spilled milk in the kitchen, do you want me to clean it up?” I would like to say I was Christ-like in my answer, but I replied, “No don’t worry about it, we have fairies that run around at night cleaning up the house.” The next thought I had was “Whoever said there was no such thing as stupid questions never had children.” However, looking back those things were the most important things. It is in the little things each day that we show the love of Christ to our children. We model God to our kids in the way we live at home when no one is looking.
I stayed the course (not without a lot of encouragement & help from my husband). Now, 19 years later I look back and I am so glad I did. I have no regrets. I was the one at the field days at school, I was there when they said their first words, I saw their first steps, if they were sick at school I was the one who picked them up. I was there. Thank God, I was there. When we decided to home-school, I was now there every minute guiding and choosing what my children were taught. I do know how blessed I have been and am to have the opportunity to get to be at home. I loved waking up in the morning and not having to be anywhere so I got to lay in the bed and look into the face of my baby smiling at me with a toothless grin and lots of slobber.
I couldn’t be more happy and proud of the person that Cheyenne is. I am glad that for better or for worse (lets face it, it wasn’t all roses) when she thinks back over her childhood, I was present. Parenting is a journey, a long journey and if we want our children to have the best start and the skills to be successful, we have to begin with the end in mind.