If you'd told me I was going to be a career-woman I probably would have lol'd. I was raised from the homeschooled all 12 years thing, to the daughter of a pastor, to the I-married-a-youth-pastor. So where does working outside the home and having two kids fit into the equation? Heck, I even know how to can tomatoes...something I'm trying desperately to forget.
It's intriguing to explore the nuances of being a WOHM (Work Outside the Home Mom) and how it fits into the mold of being the Mom God created me to be. Since there's not a lot of resources out there for us WOHM's, it's nice to know that after almost six years, I see that it CAN be done, and in a God-honoring way where my husband and I are still a team and yet I bring home the bacon. (Which doesn't equate to us living on a pig farm...yet).
So here's a few critical things I've learned about myself in this foray into the workforce of directing people, hitting the 9-5 grind and still coming home to balance family, housekeeping, child rearing, church ministry and that ever-distant concept of ... writing a novel?!
1. Oprah is nuts. Yes I deserve "me" time. Yes, it would benefit my family. But no, there's no way possible to make that happen. So yes, Oprah is nuts.
2. I can't cook--so it's an obvious disqualifier for me being a SAHM
3. I am not a self-contained liberal advocate who thinks her husband is a wuss or that I am somehow superior.
4. Being a mom becomes more precious because of my limited time.
5. House chores are suddenly put into perspective on the low scale of importance.
6. Sometimes you just have to realize not every one is going to agree with you being a WOHM.
7. Sometimes you just have to know that the Lord takes people down very unique roads and it's awesome to see how He works.
8. Coffee is a necessity for every mom -- Acronym notwithstanding.
9. I will never--ever be geared mentally, physically or emotionally for more than 2 kids.
10. ...and that's OK
11. I will often be an outsider in the world of Moms...and that's ok too.
Unlike SAHM's, makeup is daily occurrence, as are showers, dress clothes, and heels. But like SAHM's, pajama pants are still the preferred source of comfort and kids bouncing off the walls still make me smile...and cringe. We have a lot in common...and a lot of differences. But this I know to be true...we all, at the end of the day, kiss our children's temples and pray a prayer of grace and blessing. In that, we are united.
So how does ANY mom keep their sanity? I say it's CHOOSING TO BE INTENTIONAL. I've learned this the hard way but it's true. Things don't fall into place into people's laps and your life doesn't turn out like a Disney movie.
Being Intentional means:
1. You plan ahead down to the minute. Hard for us non-planners. Ask my sister, Halee!! LOL I'm so not a planner. Or my sister Laurie, who buys me planners for my birthday. Yep. Not a planner. But I map out my days hour by hour. Work, home, how many chores I can accomplish in 1 hour a day, what specific fun thing I will choose to do with my kids before bedtime, and intentional snuggles in the morning may mean not griping when the kiddos come into bed at 5:30 AM.
2. You realize it's okay not to be the center of your children's world. It's healthy actually. But then that also means you do need to be intentional in BEING in your children's world. Because all of a sudden you can look at the clock and realize it's bedtime and your kids have been playing on their bikes outside on their own for...forever.
3. Take time for bedtime. I'll be honest. I hate bedtime sometimes. The five times per child getting out of bed once in. Yes, yes, I know what Super Nanny would say. I get strict discipline. But outside of procrastinating, they're also finding reassurance, learning how not to be afraid, and getting extra loves. And they do obey. Just sometimes, one good night kiss isn't enough. I should know. I would still sit on my Daddy's lap if I could.
4. Take time to pinky swear. Sometimes team work is required. Kokomo Jo (5 1/2) and I realized a few weeks ago we're very similar. We don't get mad easy but when we do, we get MAD. And then we talk over everyone. We don't listen. We're like bulls loosed in the roadways of Mexico to skewer any one wearing red. So in a long conversation, my overly mature daughter decided we needed to pinky swear that if we saw the other doing this, we'd say "STOP. BREATHE. LISTEN." Oddly, pinky swearing works. Last night I was going to lose it. So was she. Just a tad stressed. Bedtime had overreached the 5 times up boundary and had proceeded into the "get to bed or I'm going to blow a gasket" level. Kokomo Jo came downstairs and said, "momma, remember how we pinky sweared?" She held out her pinky. So did I. We giggled. But we remembered. She went to bed. I cooled down. She didn't get up again. We snuggled this morning. The line of being the authority needs to be retained as a parent, but it's good to work through your weaknesses with your kiddos sometimes too. They don't see you as perfect, but they learn to work with you, forgive you, and even sometimes, lift you up.
So that's my parenting column for the blog this year. :) My PhD in living life has been hard earned and I'm still waiting for the diploma.
What's been or is your biggest parenting struggle?
"The Cowgirl's Lasso", Coming 2016, Barbour Publishing
Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Director of Development & Associate Relations and specializes in sarcasm :)
- Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency
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