I want to write a little bit about my blogs and the topics I choose to write about. Sometimes I wake up and a dream or an issue that is nagging at my heart sparks a post, sometimes a revelation of Christ will inspire my to write (those are my favorite), sometimes I want to write about homeschooling and homemaking because it’s my job and I love it, and sometimes I read and article online or in a magazine and just need to voice my opinion about it. I also like to review curriculums, but those tend to come off sounding snobby- I don’t do that too often unless it’s something I love. Today I read a comment from one of my older posts and feel like I want to expound on being a stay at home mom.
The neat thing about a blog is that I feel free when I write. I feel great afterwards especially if friends and strangers can relate. I don’t take my writing too seriously, it’s only a blog. Because of this I don’t get offended if others disagree with me. I actually enjoy the online conversation sharing both sides of a point of view. I have friends who are full-time working moms, school teachers, and who don’t eat or live organically. I would say that my closest friends fall into these categories.
For those who don’t know me personally, which is almost all of the “followers”, or as I like to call, my blogging buddies… anyway, for all of you, I want to share why I do what I do and maybe that will help to explain why I write the way I write.
I became a homemaker before I even had a home. At 22 I moved home and lived with my parents as I sought the Lord and joined a local church. In that time I was given space to learn to cook and bake. I once made lemon bars that had pieces of scrambled egg in them. I made some real doozies. I learned to clean a home. My parents lived in a large home and I was given the responsiblity of cleaning lady. I didn’t have to pay rent so I was free to volunteer at organizations downtown and spend my time meeting homeless folks and AIDS patients. It was a very special time in my life. I learned to care for a home and for others. I went from my parent’s home to my husband’s home. My parent’s were involved in my decision making and were very watchful and protective over me in that whole process.
A year or so later I needed to get a job to supplement our income. We were living paycheck to paycheck and eating spaghetti every single night, sometimes with no meat in it. Just pasta and sauce. We lived on love, for a time. My husband was promoted and we moved to Jacksonville. I didn’t have to work anymore and I got pregnant again so it was perfect timing. My oldest turned 4 and it was time to put him in preschool- that was always the plan. Instead, I decided to homeschool preschool him. I intended to send him to public school for kindergarten because I was not “qualified” to homeschool past preschool, in my mind. Finally, Kindergarten time was upon us. I could not send him out to the bus stop. We were heavily involved in our church and I was writing curriculum for them which was being used at campuses around the world, literally. I brought the kids with me and they played with the pastor’s kids while I worked. I was the right hand woman to the children’s director and I learned a lot from her. I came in on weekday mornings and planned the schedule for the classrooms. So my confidence that I could teach him grew. It was official, our kids would stay home with me. I stopped working at the church and have been home ever since. The experience I gained in that environment was what I needed in order to begin homeschooling. I am so thankful for Autumn, the woman who helped me gain that confidence.
Being a stay at home mother is a dream come true for me even with all 3 of my kids being unplanned, yet totally wanted. I was a troubled kid and I didn’t want to live past my teenage years. I rave the benefits of being a stay at home mom and homeschooling because it is a gift. Had I gone to college and worked hard to be something else, and then I accomplished that goal and had kids along the way and threw them into the mix, maybe I would rave the benefits of working and raising a family. But that is not my story.
My kids are not my salvation. Christ is my salvation. Homemaking is not my identity. My identity is in Christ. There’s no confusion, I am clear about that. With that being said, my life is a gift and I am passionate about what I do, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I am confident that it is the Christ in me who convicts me to stay on this course.
If I see an article or hear a comment that opposes the benefits of what I do, I like to write about it. Writing helps me to organize my thoughts. I don’t write about the joy of working and being a mom, or the benefits of public school for my kids because I am not familiar with them. It doesn’t mean I don’t think there aren’t any. I write what I know and I write about my life.
Sometimes I am afraid to write about just how much I enjoy taking care of a home and of my kids full-time because I don’t want anyone who doesn’t do those things to think I am ignorant. I don’t believe my way is the right way for everyone and I don’t want to give off that vibe. However, I do want to write about the joys of this lifestyle because there are moms who enjoy reading those blogs and I like meeting them. I also don’t want to make it seem like this life- at home- is easy. I have worked outside of the home, and had the responsibility of being a mother and a wife. While it was hard-working, in my case being a homeschool mom is much, much harder. I work late into the night putting together unit studies(because it’s what works best). I am constantly having to train up and scold, and praise, and help my kids and I barely get time to shower. It’s like living with little cavemen. There are many days I do not leave the home or talk to another adult human being other than my husband. I don’t have a time in which I can relax and think “ah, done until tomorrow.” I am never off the clock. Because we are home all day and eat all of our meals here, my home is much dirtier than when I worked and I have much more housework to do. I work constantly, including a family business in which we sell and deal books. I write every spare moment I get because I would like to write professionally in the future and I’m honing my skills. I plan on studying to become a Holistic Health Practitioner and I will work alongside doctors when someone I know and love has an illness. It’s important that I don’t get lost in being a wife or a mother and I remember that I am a being with needs as well.
There will be Moms who argue that being a stay at home mom does not validate them. It validates me because I am sacrificing my time, money, and practically my life so that my children will be straight arrows into the future. They are the fruit of my labor. My husband enjoys having me at home and although he supports whatever I want to do, he likes me taking care of the kids instead of sending them to school. The results of my earthly work will go on in my children. The sacrifices I make today will be seen in the humans they turn out to be. My boys are true home-bodies. They are very grateful to be homeschooled and we talk often about how they are doing. I want to make sure that they are good in this environment. If I ignored their particular needs, and sent them to school, it would affect the people they become. People don’t become tough because they are picked on and bullied, I write this because it is actually an argument anti-homeschoolers use. People don’t learn to socialize in school teachers often told me to stop talking because I wasn’t there to socialize. My children would not learn in school because they each need special attention. I find that the Lord validates my decision and validates me because I am taking care of this task before I move on to others.
Homemaking is a job for those who are organized, self motivated, and can avoid the trap of laziness. I have fallen into that trap before. I call it the “me time” trap. My home was not being cleaned regularly, I was not doing my best with the kids, and I was doing work I enjoyed more than the work which was boring. I justified it by calling it “me-time” and I needed it to be a better mom. Only, I was mistaking laziness for me-time. Homemaking is hard work. Creating an atmosphere that is cozy and welcoming and creating an environment in which we are healthy and always growing and learning is hard work. Letting all things fall under the headship of Christ and making sure nothing stands before Him, is hard work. There are those out there who prefer to let the house go in order to spend time with the family. I bust my tushie so that I can have both. I believe, and this is just my belief, that the job of housekeeping should not be completely ignored. There’s enough time to clean and be fully involved in everything else too.
Working moms have their own balancing act and they can produce the same results as the ones I’m about to share, but it’s not my journey right now. I find that being a full-time homeschooling mom is who I am. Sometimes I want to give up. My job requires a constant supply of grace. While I have my own interests and I will always work to better myself, I was trained to be a full-time mom, it is a real job, it is my life right now and comes before all my other activities. When done right, it’s hard. It is who I am in Christ. It requires me to keep the home clean and sanitary on a daily basis, it requires me to cook each day and stay responsible for our health, it requires me to plan our homeschool and carry that plan out. The toughest part of my job is raising my kids to be kind, generous, and to be respectful and have manners. It’s constant. When done well, with Christ as my source for each day, being a stay at home mom produces a well running home and happy kids. When I forget Him, the job produces a dirty and unsanitary home, kids who are disrespectful and who hate school, and a mom who takes way too much “me time” instead of “me and the Lord” time.
Christ in me doesn’t strive for excellence. He is Love and He is already excellence. For some, home-making is a temporary task and for others it is just what they fell into. For our family, it is a cherished position, in which I pour my heart into. I consider it an art and sometimes a lost art. When I see an article or anything else which talks about home-makers and clearly the author has never been one because it’s just so negative and false, I need to write. I need to comment. It’s my bog and it’s my voice to the world right now. I am aware that some folks are not meant to homeschool or be home-makers- we NEED women in the workforce! I am all for it! Only, it’s not my passion and I am not embarrassed at the fact that it is who I am in Christ. It is not just something I do. My children DO validate who I am and Christ is okay with that. I didn’t have them to validate me because I had each one by accident, but the Lord has made them so precious to me that it wouldn’t make a difference had I planned them.
This is who I am and those who know me best love me anyway even if they don’t agree. I hope you are able to see my side of the coin. If any working mamas reading this would like to share your journey, I would love to read about it. If you write about your life, your joys, your struggles, and your passions, send me a link.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!