Note: this post was written two years ago for another blog of mine. I feel like, now that I work full-time outside the home, the feelings that inspired me to write this are more present and relevant than ever.
I’m fairly new to my role as a stay-at-home mom; I’ve only been doing this since the beginning of the year.
To be brutally honest, I haven’t quite figured out if I’m cut out for this. I firmly believe that not everyone is, and that’s okay. Right now, I’m just thankful that I have the opportunity to find out if being a SAHM is for me.
One evening earlier this week, as I was standing at the stove stirring scrambled eggs, something occurred to me: how often have I used the phrase “just a minute” in the last few weeks?
A lot, I would guess. With a clingy toddler, it’s bound to happen. There are times, like tonight, when I can’t step away from what I’m doing. Whether it’s bathing his sister or rolling out bread dough, there are simply going to be times when I can’t drop what I’m doing for his non-emergent requests.
But there are also times, much more frequently, that I can. I can stop halfway through unloading the dishwasher to crawl around on the kitchen floor playing puppies; I can pause in chopping veggies to refill his cup of water; I can leave that text message or blog post half-composed while I help him search for his missing “elly-coptee”.
I didn’t become a stay-at-home mom to miss the little moments with my kids; I became a stay-at-home because those are the moments that are most important to me. I want to soak up this time when my children are little; I’ve already learned that babyhood is fleeting.
I’m now making an effort to be intentional about my responses to G. Every time he makes a request and I begin to respond with “just a minute,” I evaluate whether or not whatever I’m doing really can’t wait. If it can’t, I reassure him that I’ll be with him quickly, and I use that opportunity to encourage patience. If it can, I stop what I’m doing and see to his needs.
My goal isn’t to raise spoiled children who are impatient and entitled. Rather, I want to raise kids who know they are loved, they are valued, and they are worth more to me than anything else I might be doing.
While this will certainly take practice to learn, I’ve found that just thinking consciously about it is already making a difference. And I’m much more relaxed when my day is constantly filled with sweet reminders of why I do what I do.