Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reflections on a Year at Home

One year ago today was my last day of work at my job as a Systems Analyst.  A few days later we finished packing up all our stuff and moved a few hours away into our house on the gravelly road.  I've been thinking a lot about the reasons we moved, what the transition was like, remembering the stress of life before, and through it all seeing the hands of God working.

While the move away from the suburbs and my transition to staying home full time was something we had talked about and later planned for quite a while, the timing was completely in God's hands.  We saw what would be our new house for the first time almost two years ago.  Closed on it more than a year and half ago.  Closed on the sale of our old home in the suburbs 4 months later.  We'd worried about how long we'd have two mortgages, manage two properties, deal with a home on the market with a toddler (read: keeping the house clean and being away from home from supper time until bedtime several times a week).  God had it all under control.  Looking back, the timing worked out just right.  We had a summer to work on improvements on the new place.  Several occurrences at my son's daycare during that time (thankfully all little things) reminded us that he needed something else.  I had more than enough time to finish up what I could at work to have some closure (documentation anyone?).  We were ready for a change.

I love this new sign.  My mom sent it to me the other week with a note of encouragement.  The sign reminds me of how I felt about being a stay at home mom.  I really wasn't sure I could do it.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I think I was just scared of change.  Scared of the unstructured-ness of staying home.  Scared of .... well all sorts of things.  I really approached staying home in a "I think I can" sort of way.  My husband on the other hand was confident in my ability, sure it would work out great.  Often, I tend to be a "I think I can" person, willing to try my best but tentative.  "I think I can major in computer science, but I'll take extra math and business just in case".  "I think I can go back to work after the baby is born, but if it doesn't work out then maybe I'll stay home".  "I think I can stay home full time, but..."  So often I would forget to celebrate the "I knew I could" and take the confidence gained from the experience.

Well, I knew I could.

Do I miss working?  I hear this question a lot.  Yes and no.  I  miss my friends at work.  I miss adult conversations that were part of my work day.  I miss the validation and sense of accomplishment from a project well done (so few "mommy projects" are ever done).  I don't miss the stress, the 2 hrs of commuting, the stress, changing project requirements, the stress, only getting 6.5 hrs of sleep, and the frustrations that had become common place in my job.

I am confident I am where I need to be right now.  Before I know it, my son will be spending the "best" of his day at school.  Right now I am so thankful to be spending it with him.  I don't want to miss this time.  So we'll read books, play silly games, explore outside, play pretend, and leave the dishes in the sink, the dust to collect, and the laundry waiting to be put away on the sofa.  I'm no longer paid with a paycheck, but the extra hugs, giggles and smiles are well worth it.

While the blog isn't a year old yet (a few more months), thank you for being part of the journey of Life on the Gravelly Road.  Being able to have an outlet, something to "do" to help me stay accountable during my days, and to record special memories of this time has been such a blessing.

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