Dear Just a Mom...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Before I had kids I had many plans. In fact my plans didn't even include kids, not for a really long time anyway. However, suddenly my life changed forever the day I found out I was pregnant. Surprise! By my choice I chose to postpone some of those plans. Even so, my dream job turned out to be the very one I have, and the plans I made have been incorporated into this quiet life. Those plans just happened on a smaller scale, and they happened with the people I love the most. I don't regret this choice for one single moment. 

Let's face it. Deciding to live a simple life as a homeschool or stay at home mom will meet (if it already hasn't) a whole lot of resistance. It won't necessarily come in the form of people telling you that you shouldn't follow that leading of your heart. Instead it will come from the never-enoughs. They would have you believe that being just a mom simply isn't enough. You know the ones. They serve on boards, run programs, have titles, write books, are at every service opportunity, and (cough) have way cleaner houses than you (I mean me.) Their well meaning messages will sound like this: Dream big. Change the world. Have it all. Make a name. Do your part. Save the planet, the country, the you-name-it. You simply just aren't doing enough, or so they say. The problem with this message isn't the message itself. All of those causes are good and noble things, and if that is the season you are in by all means tackle the thing. The problem with that message is that it speaks out against another kind of choice to live a simple and more slow paced life that is true to your season.

 You don't have to have a title, or to see your name in print, or to be a speaker in the next big thing to impact your world. You really don't have to have it all right now. You do have to grow in love, kindness, patience, forgiveness, and gentleness in order to change the lives of those who fall under your care or who are in your sphere of influence. Sometimes that is far more difficult than doing the big things anyway. Joy and peace can only overflow when you have left enough margin in your life to experience and appreciate the little faces before you or the ones you sit across the table from each day.

There's a children's book on our shelf called The Very Last First Time. It's about the first time a girl got to do an important task on her own without her mother's help. It was the very last first time the mother would see her daughter have that experience. I don't know about you, but my very last first times are running pretty short. They are more like a count down to the very last time of just about everything. My oldest will be entering high school next year. I have 4 more birthday cakes, 4 more Christmas mornings, 4 more first days of school and 5 more last days of school. Time that felt so slow when my boys were little is flying by as they say. 

So for what it's worth, it's ok to be happy with this simple life. Thankfulness is the antecedent to contentment if you didn't already know it. Don't buy the message that says you are just a mom if you choose this simple life. If you're like me you know your time will come. In the meantime you will fine tune your skills in the quiet of mornings, naptimes or evenings. I promise you there is a whole world to get to know while you tackle this great task of motherhood and educating your children. If you are a person of wonder you will never be bored. There is always something new to learn, a skill to hone, a gift to practice. Write if you're a writer. Cook if you're a cook. Study if you're a teacher. Keep your foot in the door of your dreams. They don't have to die just because you have chosen another path for now. This time will pass, and there will be many days to come to enjoy your new season when the house is quiet again.

 My husband is a hospice chaplain. Every week he sees how life's choices play out in the end for people from all walks of life. Guess what those folks never, ever, say? They never say they wish they had done more. They never say they wish they had gotten more degrees, or had traveled the world or had a bigger house. Without fail they say they wish they had spent more time with their family. In the end none of the greatest accomplishments will stand at your bedside anyway. No one will stand by the bed and call you doctor, pastor, professor, author, speaker, or any of that. If you have lived your life well the people that will stand at the foot of your bed when you breathe your last will be your family. And guess what? They won't call you by your title or accomplishments. They won't wish you had done more. They will call you mom. Just, mom.

Hear me friend.  Keep doing what you love.  It's more than enough for now.  I promise.

6 comments:

  1. This. I seriously burst into tears at the end and am fighting them back as I type. I love and appreciate this in so many ways that I know you know. ♥♥♥

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    1. You're the sweetest! I am so glad you understand how I feel about all this too :)

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  2. Love. Love. Love. You said it so eloquently and so perfectly:-)

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  3. Beauty FULL!! I hold dearly The Very Last First Time. It's probably one of my favorite FIAR books. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I sat down and read it to myself before writing this. It's a favorite of mine too :)

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