Since we started attending non-denominational churches I have heard people talk about Godly convictions. God putting convictions on their heart. Etc etc etc.. And I never thought I knew what they were talking about.
Until today. Today it hit me that being a stay-at-home-mom is my Godly conviction.
This week has been awful. Oliver is just not himself. Taking him out of the house is a nightmare. Yesterday we went to Fort Wayne and we were barely in the cake store when he starts screaming and trying to hit me. Who is this child?! The workers at the cake store know us and they were even feeling sorry for me, I could tell. The beginning of the week was worse; I think he was teething. I took him to the chiropractor on Tuesday and things eased up a little. I didn't feel like I need to give him Tylenol to make it through the day now, lol. Some parts of the day are wonderful and others make me cry. Literally.
The toddler bed thing has been...interesting. Its soooo hard to get Oliver just to lay down and not kick everything. (Including my face.) But he finally settles down and sleeps about half the night there. Naptimes are a totally other experience. I think its bad because he can see everything (unlike at night) so all he wants to do is turn his pillow over and over, play with his blankets and stuffed animals...so every day this week we have started off trying to get him to lay in his bed and then me laying down with him. I'm just beside myself on how to help him. I feel like I'm at a roadblock. When I try to keep him from kicking me and everything else during his naps he just laughs. I know he obviously isnt laughing *at* me, but its just so frustrating. I don't know how to reach thru this to him.
Anyway, back to this Godly conviction. I never understood how moms could go back to work. well, not so much that. I never understood how moms could put their children in daycare especially, or at a baby-sitter, unless they were in a situation where they absolutely *had* to work...and I'm not talking about working so they can go on vacations, buy designer purses, etc. Sometimes it would be nice to interact with adults on a regular basis; to have real conversations; to feel like I was more than an extension of a 22-month-old.
Needless to say there are times when I don't enjoy being home all day, every day. Sometimes its hard for me to express how hard my days can be. Like no one gets it. Like even if someone was in my shoes for a few days, they wouldnt get it because they would know that their time was limited to dealing with the everyday struggles. My time seems to be never-ending.
But then Oliver gives me a kiss; I watch him as he sleeps...and I know that I am exactly where I need to be. No matter how many screaming fits I put up with in a day; no matter how many days I dont shower.
God has impressed it upon my heart that as a mother, I need to be home with my child. At times, that makes it hard for me to reach out at all, but then God seems to know that I need help and is able to push me along. Today Pastor Jeff called me just to see how I was doing. He told me that I *need* a break and it is not just a luxury. I told him its hard for me not to get in the mindset that he is my child, my responsibility and no one else's. He said something I'll never forget. He said, "No, its all of our responsibility. When you get to feeling like that, we want to be there to help you. We love you." He had to be able to tell I was crying after that, but thats ok. That was a wonderful call to get.
I always wondered, what if God put a calling on my heart that I really didn't want to follow? That I didn't think was for me? Would I be able to follow it? I can now say YES.
I never thought I'd be a stay-at-home-mom. I was (and still am) proud of my honors degree in history. I had ever intention to get my PhD and teach college. Sure, kids would come in the mix somewhere. A couple kids, probably..definitely no more than 3. Even when I was pregnant with Oliver, I thought I would be ok going to work after he was a few months old.
The minute he was placed in my arms after he was born, my entire life changed forever. I knew I never wanted to leave him. I had no doubt that I would be a stay-at-home-mom for a long, long time. And that Oliver would just be the first of many children we would have.
My parents are wonderful. I appreciate them now more than ever. But I was not raised in a house where God was part of everyday conversations. Church was a weekly event, for awhile, but I did not have faith. I had religion. I want Oliver to be raised with faith. And if I'm not home to do that, I don't know that it will be done. I want to know my children inside and out. I want to know how they react to situations and teach them that while they will answer to me and their daddy, they will also ultimately answer to the Lord. I want to build their character and not leave that job up to someone else.
This conviction is so strong that it feels outside of myself. I don't think it would have been something I would have chosen. (3 years ago I would not have thought this is where my life would be.) And yet now I wouldn't change a thing. I rely on God's grace and mercy to get me through the days where I cant see beyond the four walls I'm surrounded by.
So even when I think about how much easier our finances would be with a second income, or I wish that someone else had to deal with the meltdowns instead of me all day every day, I know that I'm not going anywhere.
Like I said, I'm exactly where I need to be.