I came back here this morning to delete the post below; I fear it may be misleading. I'm not thinking of going back to work, nor am I doubting my value as a mother at home. I just feel like I'm not living up to my potential as a human being. Am I truly doing all that I can with all that God has given me? Not just for myself, but for others? The answer is no. No, I'm not.
While the stay at home lifestyle has many blessings, it also has many pitfalls: lack of structure, little ambition for reward, no recognition for increasing levels of achievement. It's all intrinsic motivation. It's easy to get into a comfortable slump.
It's up to us to challenge ourselves out of it.
I'm sad that you deleted the post. I understood what you meant perfectly, and I was glad that you expressed it.
I have days like that. They come and go. You may not realize it, but your blog is such a valuable thing to so many of us. You often think (and blog) of things I've never thought of. I learn a lot here. So you do more than you know. Pick that chin up and press on, dear Meredith!
Ah! I see that you DIDN'T delete it after all. I'm glad.
Well now, the stay at home life has no structure - whose fault is that - you have more chance and freedom to restructure your home than the average executivehas to restructure his job. We women are restless and unsatisfied a lot of the time and child care is hard work and its dirty work and it is BORING - doesnt mean to say its unimportant or unrewarding -you are in it for the long haul- dont let down days throw you - if you feel the same for months and months make a change !!
Meredith, you have one of the beautifullest houses I know of online--or at least you're one of the few people I know online who has the courage to let us all see it! Just to give you a small example of the encouragement you've been: all your greenery arrangements gave me an idea for our Christmas Day table. I had a lot of small white candles (a little bigger than birthday cake candles) and a bit of red ribbon; I tied pairs of the candles together with the ribbon, and then snipped some bits of piney stuff from a small evergreen bush outside our front door, and stuck one sprig into each ribbon. I put red paper napkins on each person's plate, and laid the candle bundles on top of each one. Everyone said they looked so beautiful and creative...;-) They were really nothing compared to the beautiful things you have made, but around here that was considered something extra. Normally my husband's allergies (and my ineptness with green stuff) mean that we don't bring fresh Christmas greens indoors, but these tiny sprigs didn't bother him at all, and even he commented on how nice the table looked.
And I don't think I would have thought of giving the bush a bit of a haircut if you hadn't posted about using the available foliage during the past month.
So please be encouraged; just doing the things you are doing is an example to many, and I try to point people over here whenever I can.
Meredith, for the record you make a huge difference, even to me, a stranger. I love your ideas and tips and you make me want to be more frugal!!!! So see, there are people out there you touch and don't even know it!
Mommy-ness and wife-ness can get hum drum at times because we don't always see the fruit of our labors. But trust me...trust me...I've never met ONE person who stayed home who later in life said: "gee, wish I'd have worked my life away and not been home." In fact, I hear many folks say the exact opposite, wishing they'd worked less and kept the home more.
Keep the faith, hang in there....you're doing maaah-velous!
It sounds like you are struggling with some of the same questions all stay-at-home moms seem to struggle with at times.
I just wanted to stop by and wish you and your family the happiest and most blessed of new years!
Pro 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.
That sounds pretty rewarding to me! Be encouraged. :)
I echo Lindsey's wise words. As a SAHM for 33 years, I've felt all the things you're feeling, but as I near the end of the parenting journey and get closer to the empty nest (still a few years away) I can honestly say that I've never been sorry for a day that I made the choices I did. Would I have liked to experience some of the other choices in life? Yes, but not enough to give up the choices I DID make...and I've found plenty ways to stay "in the game" while being my kids' mother. Hang in there, Meredith...you're doing something NO one else can do :-)
Merideth, I blogged some of my thoughts here: http://gbdhomeschooling.blogspot.com/2007/01/regrets-merideth-at-like-merchant-ships.html
Last night at a very rare occasion, all night card game with 12 other adults and assorted kids to ring in the new year (it was SOOO fun! a variation of Rook)one of my children's youth leaders asked me: "What do you do for hobbies?" It was a simple, non-loaded question, just because she wanted to get to know me.
I found myself dumbfounded and my answer was: "I used to sew ... home decor. But I don't like to craft. and, um, I used to ride and show horses ... " Meredith, that was 30 years ago! I was embarrassed to admit I spend a lot of non-mothering hours reading blogs and dreaming.
One thing I added to the family schedule this year and it is just for me. I sing in choir at church and I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!! My family loves to see me happy with this. They are very supportive, hubs and kids (ages 9 and 13) pitch in to help it happen.
The point is: I think it IS important to have something for yourself, IF your family is not neglected and supportive of your thing. The Bible makes it clear that management of the home and family comes first, (and second and third)...but I think God gives us the gift, too, of pure pleasure, when we are pleasing Him.
Thanks for all the encouragement.
I read your post and thought I should chew on it awhile. I used to have these feelings too, until I met a wonderful Titus 2 woman who told me that anyone could do my job outside the home. People could replace me in the office, or at the bank, or at the school, and even at church. Then she went on to explain that no one could replace me in my home as a mother and wife. I look at all the wonderful things you do with your son..painting, building volcanos, baking, building legos, reading and so on. I doubt anyone could love your son and daughter and give them the attention and love you do. I also know your husband benefits also. Your are frugal and a wise steward of his earnings. Please don't look at other people, fulfill the plan that God has for you right now at home. Kim
Ah, Meredith, I completely understand. I feel the same way all the time. I wish I could give you advice, but all I can do is echo what other posters have said:
Your value as a mother and wife is so precious. Also, your value as a blogger is incredible. I have learned so much just reading your posts ... thanks, and I think you deserve a raise. :) Or at least a gold star.
Happy New Year, and I hope it is one full of blessings.
Meredith.......I understand how you feel. I understand the lack of structure; that is why I had to make structure for myself. I still struggle with maintaining that structure.........and then I throw it all in the wind and say "who needs structure?" lol.
I understand....we have the most rewarding job on earth; however, our rewards most likely won't be found on earth. You are a wonderful motivation to so many of us online............who wouldn't get the oppurtunity to know you otherwise. Thank you for giving us that oppurtunity and sharing all that you do!
Love in Christ,
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