I will not

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I am hitting the two month mark since leaving my job (mostly) and coming home. It has been wonderful so far. In many ways, I feel like I am reinventing my role as mother. I have always been my children’s mom, but spending all day, every-day with them and being completely responsible for their activities and education definitely puts a different spin on the role. This choice is not for everyone. I was a working mom for 8 years, and would not go back and change it as I am not sure I could appreciate what I am doing now. I also know 8 years ago, I was not in a place to handle being at home full-time. We live in a beautiful era that allows women in this country a choice. We no longer are required to stay-at-home if we are married with children. Thanks to some great women in America’s past, we have the ability to run our own companies, become engineers, astronauts, judges, or any number of other jobs that were once considered only possible for men. I am grateful to pioneering women who refused the status quo and trailblazed their way into new industrial territory.

Recently, I have received some rather harsh criticism for my decision to leave the workforce. I have been admonished for buying in to old traditions and forfeiting what women before me fought so hard for. This does not make me angry, but it makes me sad that they have missed the point. In this country, thanks to those women (and some countercultural men), I get to choose. I don’t HAVE to work, and I don’t HAVE to stay home. I do have to follow God and His plan for me, however, and  so I did. I will NOT regret that decision. Ever.

There are a few other things that over the past two months I’ve decided I will not do:

    • I will not regret the choice to be at home and school my children. Even if it doesn’t work out like I’ve planned in my head. My kids will have seen I chose them. I chose time with them. There will be time for me to run my own Fortune 500, find a cure for cancer, and solve global warming once they are out on their own. Maybe we’ll work on it in homeschool.
    • I will not apologize for my kids being kids. I’ve noticed myself doing this a lot. Do you? You go into a store and your child touches something, or speaks too loudly, or cries, and you find yourself apologizing for their behavior to employees, to the other customers, and to the universe in general for you children acting like children. This is ridiculous and I’m done. I will continue to try to show my children how to behave in certain situations, but I’m done apologizing to strangers. Most of those people either have, have had, or once were children themselves. They get it, and if they don’t…well not much I can do for them. (Addendum: my kid breaks something, we’ll both apologize)
    • I will not apologize for “the mess” Women, we are all guilty of it. You have people over to the house, and even after you’ve spent the better part of 6 hours cleaning and are still buzzing from Clorox fumes, you say to your guests the minute they walk in : “Sorry about the mess”. First of all, this only makes your guests look for messes (and in this house they are bound to find them), it also makes for an awkward moment if they are neat freaks and DO find your place a mess–and really, who wants to deal with that kind of truth. Second, there are five people and a furball in this house. Life happens here all day, life is messy. If my house is spotless, worry, it might mean I’ve sold my kids to a circus.
    • I will not continue to justify my choices. I feel like this is all I’ve done for two straight months. I will happily answer anyone’s question, but no more accusations in a question’s wrapping. No one HAS to understand, or even agree. If our family decides to move to 2 bedroom farm in the middle of Idaho and then give Michelle Dugger a run for her reproductive money, that’s our call.((Maybe went to far there, my husband just went sheet white))
    • I will not have more than 2 cups of coffee a day. Unlimited access to my  coffee maker is a dangerous thing people.
    • I will not grocery shop with 3 kids in tow. Nothing good comes of this.
    • I will not become a crafty mom. I refuse. Just because I bought a glue gun and can happily spend half a day in Hobby Lobby does not mean I am crafty. You can’t make me.
    • I will not compare myself to other women. This will be the hardest of course. As a homeschool mom, there are no set rules or common core standards to follow. I have to learn from other moms who are walking this road, but I must be careful not to compare my road to theirs. They might be crafty moms, after all, and I’d have to refer to the previous dictate.
    • I will not feel bad for doing nothing but sitting in the hammock for an hour today. God’s beauty is all around, but it’s easy to miss if you don’t sit still for a few minutes. Rest is good.
    • I will not feel bad about the pooch. I am all for eating healthy and exercise, but I am not going to look like I did at 20. I’ve used this body to bring three lives into this world. Pooch happens, it makes me more woman not less.

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  • I will not worry about the cookie. Sometimes you just need to go ahead and have a cookie.
  • I will not always ramble like this in my posts. That’s probably not true.

I’m not really too worried about this list. I’ve never been great at sticking to resolutions, but these are the things on my mind tonight. What’s on yours?
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2 thoughts on “I will not

  1. Excellent post! I applaud you for making difficult choices and sticking to them.

    We need to stop caring what people say and think, and care about keeping our families together and doing the right thing!

    I’m 57… and I still appreciate coming home to a mom, not an empty house. Of course now the mom is my daughter, who moved in when her husband left her for someone else. I support the family and she homeschools… and takes care of us!

    Blessings!

  2. Jenny says:

    Being at home with the boys, especially present even more so this past year, is absolutely the most rewarding and satisfying experience of my life up to date. To know that I am responsible for their growth as individuals, each minute of each day is a beautiful thing. I am blessed and privileged. I have really enjoyed reading your posts and witnessing your transition. You and John have made a difficult but empowering decision for you family, and most importantly your children. Whatever criticism you receive must be from narrow minded individuals with the false pretense that your career somehow supercedes the well being of your little ones, but that’s just my opinion. No child will suffer from too much time with mommy! To see you stop and smell the camp flowers (literally!) makes my heart smile. Love you, dear friend.

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