Making a Difference in my Home

*Trigger Warning*

If you are a mother who struggles with not being at home because of work, or emotional issues (like anxiety or depression) some of what I write here may be triggering for you.  Please skip this post, if you think that might be the case.  I only share, because my experience has been dramatic from being the “primary breadwinner” to being at home most of the time.

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The atmosphere has changed in our home recently, and truth be told, it is because my attitude has changed.

Here are 3 external ways I know the atmosphere has changed in our home:

  1. Obvious decrease in yelling (both kids and parents)
  2. My husband told me, “the kids are not usually this calm.”
  3. The house is much tidier.

Here are 3 internal ways I know the atmosphere has changed in our home.

  1.  I have so much motivation. I’m normally quite a motivated person.  If you saw the list of business ideas I have written down in my planners, you would call me a crazy person and remind me that I have 3 kids.  So, motivation isn’t necessarily different, but the focus of my motivation is different.  I am still avoiding the spider-filled trips to do laundry as much as possible, but I am not avoiding daily household tasks.  I’m still helping my kids to learn how to do them, and I still get annoyed at things I think others should put away.  I’m not a brand-new person with a desire to be a maid, but I’m embracing (not grudging) my current role as “keeper of the home.”
  2. I have so much more peace. This kinda feels like everything to me.  Since I went back to work in February of 2011 when our first baby was 8 weeks old, I have not felt much peace.  I’ve felt duty, determination, guilt, anxiety, hopelessness, shame, desperation in regards to my role as mom and homemaker.  Now, remember that I am a motivated person who loves praise.  Today, I thought about how nice it was not to feel anxious about all the business tasks I hadn’t done yet.  I thought, “what I am doing here with these children and in this home has eternal value”.  I have a long list of blogging tasks, business tasks, videos to make; and I feel PEACE about only getting 1-2 of those tasks done a day.  PEACE, how refreshing you are.
  3. I feel like it’s very easy to see what my true priorities are. Putting that sentence into words was a bit ironic for me.  You see, I am a Franklin Covey girl.  That’s right, a company that technically speaking, no longer exists.  I worked there when FC was at the height of it’s game.  I knew how to use a planner, sell a planner, teach planning, teach goal setting, write mission statements and I still do.  Honey, I know all about how important defining your priorities are.  I could probably give you examples in my sleep.   Somehow, in the past 4 years, I have STRUGGLED to define my priorities, to write a mission statement, to know who I am and what my calling is.  I’ve been really lost.  Suddenly, almost in the blink of an eye, everything just “fits” and “makes sense.”

You may be asking, what changed?

It wasn’t a motivation sermon or a grand spiritual moment.  It was that I woke up one day and my husband had a new job offer.  He accepted and started THE NEXT DAY.  It was quite the juggling act on Monday, let me tell you! Rather, I won’t.  Suffice it to say it involved LOTS of driving and very little sleep.

On Sunday, Amazon called and asked my husband to take a 2nd shift position (6:30pm -5am) effective Tuesday with training on Monday.  In an instant, our lives changed significantly.  Monday, I must have spent an hour writing out ideas of how we could homeschool during the day while my husband slept.  At the end of my planning session, I gave up.  I have no idea how to make this work. I asked my husband to pray for me, because I couldn’t figure it out.

Tuesday came, our day to go to play group, but I had a terrible sinus headache and we didn’t go.  Wednesday rolled around and we just did it.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, laundry, homeschooling, quality time and BED TIME.  Let’s hit that last one again.  You may be the mom who has been doing bed time by herself for years, but this is new territory for me.  3 kids, same circadian rhythms, and one parent.  Not a desirable job, bedtime.  But I am doing it!

My living room is clean, my dishes are almost done, I’m on top of laundry, the bathroom has been deep-cleaned, the fridge has been cleaned out, bone broth is brewing in the crock pot and I am ready to make soups tomorrow with all my amazing CSA produce.

It’s not perfect, and neither am I

I barely see my husband, I have to come up with a new plan for my massage clients, I have still yelled at the kids, the kids miss my husband, and some things are just going to have to wait (true love waits? lol!!).

Yet, I think the fit is right

Now this is an Amazon job, which probably means January 1 will bring another job search.  I’m still taking this as a lesson for my momma soul:  my family really does need me. 

That’s a big deal, I’m not suicidal, but I have thought that my life insurance money may actually be more valuable than a stressed-out me shouting about something insignificant because I’m just spread out too thinly.  I’ve felt almost daily that I am completely failing as a wife and mother and business woman.

I haven’t felt futile at all this week.  I’ve felt certain tasks (dishes, laundry, reminding people to put things back in the fridge) are a bit futile.  But I can see I am integral to this family.

Not just for me

My husband is so creative, and is clearly the fun parent.  He’s been the primary care-giver since I returned to work.  He has his own business and has worked part-time for others, but the “child care” has mainly been on him.  I was SO NERVOUS about him working at Amazon.  I won’t go into the details, but he actually likes the work.

I can feel a difference with me being the “primary” and I’m not sure how to explain it yet, but it’s real and it has been GOOD for us all.

Some of it seems “not so good”

I’m wondering what it says about me that I feel better being the one “holding down the fort”.  I wonder if that makes me a control freak or if I’m just thriving in my skill set.

I’m wondering if things going more smoothly means that my husband and I don’t agree on things enough as parents.

I’m wondering A LOT of things like this, and I think it needs reflection and probably some reflection will lead to some much-needed repentance.

In the end, I think that this change has been God-ordained and GOOD.  I’m still nervous about job security, afraid of messing up my kids, concerned about money, but I feel so much PEACE, MOTIVATION and CLARITY about my priorities, and to find they truly are AT HOME. 

I feel like I am finally, making a POSTIVE difference in my home.

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