I never thought I could be a stay at home mom. I wasn't even sure what they did all day, but I did know that I didn't want to be stuck at home that much! Heck, I didn't even like kids much. It sounded like some sort of torture to be home with diapers and laundry and bills and daytime television.
That, of course, was before I had my own children. I went back to work after my first baby. I loved my job, but hated that someone else had my baby all day. After my second baby, I quickly went to working part time, and after the third, I quit teaching all together to stay home with the kids. It was a hard decision, but I was completely at peace with it. That's when you know it's right. I had visions of finally getting my house clean and organized, and keeping it that way. The bills would always be caught up, the checkbook balanced, the meals would be works of art from cookbooks, and I would always be dressed with my hair fixed before the kids woke up in the morning. During the day I would sit on my clean floor and play puzzles and read books to the kids. During nap time I would knit a scarf or read a book. If you are, or ever have been a stay at home mom, you're laughing now.
None of that happened. I can't keep the house clean, the laundry is never caught up, and my to-do list never seems to get any shorter. I LOVE my job! I love that I am with my kids all day and can't imagine doing anything else. Besides the fact that I have four mess-makers, why can't I get everything done?
I really thought I was just doing it all wrong until my aunt, also a mother of four, made the comment that I really wasn't a stay at home mom. I am an 'On-The-Go' mom! Ah Ha! That's the problem. In order to have a clean house and cook big elaborate meals, you must actually be IN the house! I'm rarely at home! Sure, the first few years of your child's life are based around the house. But soon enough, your little ones are heading off to Vacation Bible School, T-ball practice, ballet class, or piano lessons. Then come the invitations to friends' birthday parties, choir practice, and now the sports have practices AND games/meets. Whoa, now add in summer camps and school field trips and 4-H and more sports...
That's just one kid. I have four. And that's just the kids' schedule. I'm proud to say that I still have a life too! I have dog shows and...., and..... well I just seem to have dog shows. But that keeps me VERY busy! I compete two or three weekends a month, and several of those are out of town stays. I feel like I'm always packing or unpacking. As a family we have church, family get-togethers, weekend camping trips, and a week-long vacation. My calendar is filled with notations. It's rare to ever see a day without something written on it. Our six lives are filled with adventures and commitments. Sure we could cut some out. We could sit home and play puzzles on the floor, but this is the life we have chosen and love.
That's not to say that I don't get to sit down and play with the kids. I love to read them books and cuddle each one on the couch. But it's much more likely that I will spend time chatting with one of my older girls about life on the drive to a dog show. I'll laugh and hold hands with Drew on a hike during a camping trip. Macy will fall asleep in my arms on a boat in the middle of a lake on vacation. My most vivid memories may not be made at home, but rather in those moments when we are away from our house.
I may be technically a 'Stay At Home Mom' by name, but good luck finding me there!