It was early December, last year, that I lost my mind and resigned from my job, jumping blindly in to a gig that has consumed me, taught me, challenged me, permitted me and in a way saved me. It wasn’t the wrong path I was headed down, just a path fueled by the wrong part of my body – my brain. Stepping out of the working world and in to a world that revolves around raising my children has taught my brain to co-exist with my heart. Life has started to raise me.
My daughter is a very inquisitive and compassionate four year old and is starting to notice how many layers there are to life. She is starting to dabble in the grey. It’s a beautiful and frightening thing to witness. The mere minutes it takes to sit down and have a conversation with her about whatever is tugging at her brain that moment is what I have come to understand is the good stuff. Checking stuff off my lists may ease my anxiety but it doesn’t fill my heart. Those conversations have become my reality check lists.
My little guy is working his way towards figuring out the basics. His curiosity and determined personality keeps him exploring and moving most of the day now. I’ve learned to never trust that a quiet one year old is a safe, behaving child. At his quietest moments, my little guy has been found sitting under an entire bag of opened sugar, sharing a jar of peanut butter with the dog, tasting chap stick, snacking on dog food, testing gravity at the top of the stairs, challenging death with a sharp object in his mouth, filling the toilet bowl with toys and that was just last week. Silence is the enemy unless they are sleeping.
I’m so blessed, however, to have a Momma’s boy that at random times just wants to sit on my lap and lie his head on my chest. Maybe he’ll look at me and start singing a song or have a discussion in that incredibly adorable, foreign language that only toddlers speak. Those sweet, quiet, still moments were forced on me. I had to learn to just STOP and have them. Those moments when I’m snuggling with my kids has taught me that God is love. It’s the first time in my life I have ever been able to define God in any way.
Nap time has become sacred time. Especially since I started writing. It’s the only time in the day I get to turn everything off – my listening ears, my kissing boo boo lips, my hands that seem to always be sanitizing or holding something, my I see everything eyes including the moments of which I wish I didn’t, my poopy diaper detector a.k.a. my nose and my mouth that just tries to keep up with questions and never ending “NO’s”. Chores will still be there but my string of sanity may not if I don’t put myself first at some point in the day.
I’ve learned to let go in the realm of hard times. In every avenue of my life this past year, as a woman, wife and Mom, I have come out wiser on the other side of a struggle. Financial hardship has forced me to pay more attention to what I have and make the best of it. I have had to better understand the difference between a want and a need. I’ve learned to trade convenience for creativity. I’ve learned to build more on the basics. I’ve grown to appreciate the things that take more time instead of speed up the process of living.
I have recognized that I do have the ability to play and laugh like a child. In my adult life, that has been absent until now. Being in the trenches of stay at home Mom-ville lends itself to self reflection. It has put forth opportunities to forgive my flaws and grow in areas I didn’t know needed attention. This past year, because of all that has challenged me, I am more confident in my own skin.
I wish I had an end of the year performance review coming up to be nervous about. A stamp of approval with a visual list of things to work on is not something that comes with this job. However, as this year comes to an end, my two new bosses seem to be pretty happy with my performance. And NOTHING beats that!