Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SAHM (Stay At Home Mom for those not in the abbrevation know)

I was sitting in Starbucks earlier with my laptop hoping to write a blog entry since it has been a few days. I was pondering the joys of a morning at a coffee house, laptop and book in hand, enjoying my standard hazelnut mocha. Normally I am rushing in and out very quickly with all three boys in tow. The baristas know the boys well by now and are very sweet letting the boys watch them make drinks from the side of the bar. Actually when I go in without the boys, one of them always asks where the boys are. Well today, the boys were with one of their amazing babysitters. I am teaching a bit of the Bible study at my church this fall and really had a lot of work to do since I teach next week but thought would procrastinate by blogging. Unfortunately I could not figure out how to get on their wifi because my Starbucks Gold card (very confusing because it is actually a black card) which entitles me to 2 free hours of wifi does not have the number I needed to use as my access code on the card. So here I am at home typing this blog.

What I had wanted to write was a blog about how blessed I am to be able to stay home with my boys. This is not to start a debate about working moms v. stay at home moms. I have no interest in getting into that argument because you cannot win it. Debate is to inform and to learn but what I have found is the working v. stay at home mom debate is to justify and validate one's better choice over the other. And the reality is that most of us are doing the best we can.

I am blessed to be able to stay home for a lot of reasons. We chose very early in our marriage to live on one income. To adjust our standard of living to what money my husband earned and not on what we wanted our standard of living to be. My income became the down payment for our first house, buying a new car or paying for a trip or new furniture. We used it to get out of the debt I brought to the marriage (thankfully my husband saw it as merger costs being the sweet geeky accountant that he is) and to begin to build up our emergency fund. By the time we had kids we were living within our means and had already established ourselves in the world of home ownership. I am also blessed to be able to stay home because my husband does have a nice paying career that allows me to not only stay home but also to buy the cute new shoes for my son when I want, to pay for a season of hockey and also the babysitter to come watch the kids so I can hang out in Starbucks for the morning. And he is happy to be do it. It was really important to him that one of us stayed home and looking at our paychecks, mine as a teacher, and his in finance, it was a pretty easy decision. Because one of us staying home was a priority for him, he has never acted like the kids are all mine because I chose to stay home or like I was also his maid or cook. I do a lot of the cleaning and cooking because I am home but we both believe my purpose in staying home is to be a mom. If it was to be the housekeeper, I would go back in a heart beat and hire someone to do that work.

But beyond the logistics, I am blessed to be home with my kids because it relieves a lot of the stress over who is picking up the kids, what to do when one of them is sick, or how to let our kids have a normal life full of playdates and sports practices if we were both working. I get to be at their practices watching them learn to ice skate or walk on the balance beam. I get to help in their classrooms and see them at school where they are so different than they are at home. I get to hang out with them on a lazy morning, watching Phinneas and Ferb or playing outside on bikes and scooters. I get to watch them pop wheelies or miss the golf ball with one heck of a swing that rotates their whole body around in a circle. I get to hug them when they fall and give them kisses whenever I want.

I also get to be there when they tantrum or say something mean to the neighbor kid next door. Not nearly as fun but I am glad I get to be there to help them deal with the situation. To help them grow and to learn to be loving and kind to others. I am the one who has to put Little One in the cart at Target because he thinks throwing footballs across the aisles is fun. And pretend I am not bothered by his screaming as we take our items to checkout. I love being able to help mold my little guys, hoping that someday they will become great men of honor and compassion, integrity and love, wisdom and humility. I like knowing that God who began a good work in them will continue it. (Philippians 1:6) And that they are a part of the work God is doing in my life.

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