About nine months ago, I made a major career change. After working eight years as a teacher, I decided it would be in the best interest of our family to make a move.
Now, I have a trifecta of bosses who are quite demanding. The Senior Executive demands that he be driven everywhere he needs to go, and my other work responsibilities must be arranged around his schedule. My Corporate Boss is, to put it politely, a dramatic food-aholic. And so, before my head has really even had time to process that I am at the office, he is insisting that I bring him breakfast. Often, before I have even made it back to my desk to begin my daily work, he is already calling and asking that I make a run for a morning snack. All of this is made increasingly more difficult in light of the fact that our Associate Manager, who (in his defense) is new to the company, has the sort of relationship with me that he feels it is appropriate to call me sometimes 6 or 7 times a night. Often, he has no idea for what reason he is calling. He just calls. This makes consistent sleep difficult as I do my best to cater to his capriciousness through the night. And because office hours start significantly earlier than I was used to as a teacher, I often find myself (ashamedly) somewhat irritable.
Being a stay at home mom is hard.
There. I said it.
I will admit that when I worked in the “real” world, I often looked at moms who stayed home and thought they surely had it made. How easy they must have it! Oh mommas, I am sorry. I am so sorry. How wrong of me to judge you so!
(Side Note: MOMMAS. No matter which route you are taking, props to you. Both are so hard. And we are all in this thing together. Just trying to make it out as sane old ladies with well-adjusted humans to show for our time spent in the crazy. I’m with you girl. Just hang in there, you are doing an awesome job!)
After having done both- staying at home and working with kids, I think I can fairly say that both have their advantages. I never have to tally vacation days anymore, I can attend any function necessary, and I get to be there for all the little moments of life. I am, however, on constant call 24-7. My hair rarely gets curled, and my eye shadow sits neatly waiting for special days. Adult conversations are hard to come by, and I have logged enough hours of slapstick silly sitcoms in the last several months to last many folks a lifetime.
To be frank, I have struggled to adjust to this new life. It is much harder than I imagined it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I am insanely grateful for the opportunity. But I have found it difficult some days to count the tangible victories of the day. It is sometimes hard to find the day-to-day value in the work I am doing.
And then there is a whisper, Be faithful in the small things.
It’s not a glamorous life, this stay at home business. There are many days I barely make it to the coffee pot, and many days I want to hide in the closet for about 36 seconds just to have a moment. But I am trying to be faithful in the small things.
And last night, as the youngest boss called yet again, I rushed to his crib. I picked him up and hushed his cries. And right before I put him down, he grabbed my thumb and held on tight. I held on another moment or so before putting him back to sleep. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This is it. Today, as I am holding him, is the last day he will ever be this small. Tomorrow, he will already be bigger. And soon, he will be a toddler. Far too quickly, a man. And then my baby boy will be gone. So right then and there, I decided it’s time to change my perspective.
I can focus on the lack of sleep, or I can focus on the late night cuddles.
I can focus on the cereal on the floor that needs sweeping yet again, or I can focus on the giggles shared over breakfast.
I can focus on the 700th question, or I can focus on the moment I was declared a very best friend.
I can focus on the redundancy of the car trips, or I can focus on the creative conversations that never seem to be lacking as we drive along.
I can focus on the fifth time fussing that it’s time to go to sleep, or I can focus on the fact that they won’t want to share a bed for too many more years.
I can focus on the constant neediness, or I can focus on the fact that they won’t need me at all soon.
I can focus on all the burdens of the day, or I can focus on the blessings of the day– and oh there are so many little blessings that I am allowing to fly under the radar…
The bottom line is that this “little thing” I am doing now, it’s going to be a really big thing one day. These little boys are going to grow into men with families of their very own. And every move I make today propels them toward their future. It’s time to focus on the little things…