Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mothering and all my plans

I had big plans for this "year off!"

I was going to get my children's book published. I was going to finish one of the three I have in draft mode.  I was going to blog regularly, take lots of pictures, get in really great shape, complete some Pinterest projects and mentor young ladies from college life.

Yeah, that didn't all happen.

But I did move, unpack, change diapers, shuttle girls, take pictures and savor my Mama moments with Harper, Baylor and Josie Joy. It's been fun. It is fun!

And then, with a phone call from a friend in the teaching community, I find myself questioning my role and ask myself, "Am I doing enough?" and, "Should I be working more?" Not that I don't work now. I do! But the allure of a paying job with benefits caught my eye and caused me to go into that confusing place that sings of: Am I doing the right thing? Is this a sign? What is God trying to tell me? Can I get everyone ready in the mornings? Will the kids be ok? Can I handle all of that? 

But the most important question for me is this one: Am I ready to give all "this" up? "This" being early morning talks with Harper, movies and cuddles with Baylor, and watching Josie morph weekly into her own little person.  Do I want to go back to work? or Did it just feel cool to be wanted? It really got me thinking about the decisions I make and why I make them.

It's a hard place to be because being a stay at home mom does require discipline. The pennies have to be counted and the reality of need versus want comes like a hard slap in the face. Stuff gets cut out but if I'm honest, I don't miss it. It is just stuff. (I'm kinda lying, I miss regular pedicures) And maybe because Josie is my last baby I want to savor the runny noses and tantrums and giggles and sleepy faces. I don't want to be frustrated when my girls get sick and I have to find someone else to take care of them. I don't want to miss the field trips and school programs. I like having the energy to read to them at night and fix healthy meals. I like being available if Nick needs me to run an errand.

I regularly struggle with superman syndrome - trying to do it all and do it all well.  Since Harper got sick I've lightened up on myself. Yeah, I can do it all. But, I don't have to get it all done right now. In my life, finding that balance is really what matters and then carefully taking each step so that I don't crash and burn. I've had to learn to say no to some great opportunities so that I can say yes to the ones that truly matter.

Even on days like this....

In the grand scheme of things the time I have at home with the girls is fleeting.  And so important. I can always go back to work. I can teach for twenty or thirty more years....after I raise my girls. And the decisions that work for me may not work for others. Even I few years ago I knew that it was vital for my mental health to rejoin the workforce. That is what lead me to Dubach and the five incredible years I experienced there. I had two babies while teaching at that school and lived in three different houses. I am ready to feel planted. Ready for my girls to get rooted and have memories of home.

The books, the exercise, the meals....it is also all just stuff. A friend once told me, "All that matters is the will of God and the souls of man." I've been blessed with three to look after and I can only hope I'm good at my job!


  1. Beautiful post, Mandy. I can relate so much to your thoughts and feelings. Thanks for sharing.

    Candace Nisbett McCallister

    1. Thanks Candace,

      I think all moms feel that way at times, just the spectrum shifts depending on the culture around them. Thanks for reading!

  2. You ARE doing a good job! Make sure you nurture that writing bug in between diaper changes, fits, and making meals because GIRL you gotta gift :) Love ya friend!

    1. Hi Hannah, Thanks so much! I am going to try to nurture the bug! And thanks for the encouragement. I told a young friend recently the one phrase that never gets old is, "You are a great mom!" Don't you agree?!

  3. Mandy, you are leaving a legacy. Someone told me once that they had never heard anyone say at the end of their life that they wish they had spent LESS time with their children. This thought has resonated in my mind. Being a mom is hard work! You are building PEOPLE! And you are doing a wonderful job! Your girls are precious!

    1. Thanks Allison! I'm glad I have a community of friends doing the same and taking it so seriously. I'm really inspired by your home school efforts...truly. My sister in Houston is pulling my niece next year (the start of her sophomore year) and enrolling her in a home school co-op. I'd love to have those resources! Keep up the good work!


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