A Day in the Life

I set the alarm for 6, but push a ten-minute snooze at least once or twice. I lay there deciding whether or not to get up or sleep until the one-year-old next door wakes me. I know I'll regret it if I choose the latter. My day is always better when I get a head start on Henrik Sebastian.

I wait impatiently for the coffee and then take it to my morning spot on the loveseat next to the end table. I collect my journal, Bible, and whatever side book I have; right now it's a study our church is doing for 50 days. My pen is never where I left it from the morning before.

I end my couch time with a short little 'to do' list to help me prioritize what I have to and want to accomplish that day. And then I hear the one-year-old, hopefully talking cutely and not crying. Our day always starts better when it's talking.

I get him changed, feed him breakfast, clean up his breakfast and by that time will need to change him again because the boy's digestion is like clockwork. Hopefully then I can get him settled into playing with something and make myself a smoothie. Yogurt, banana, kale, almond milk, and then either peanut butter or fruit and chia seeds. I drink it quickly to avoid the one-year-old seeing me and wanting his second breakfast. It's amazing how my shakes are always so interesting to him, even if he's just had one.

Hopefully by this point I've at least washed my face and brushed my teeth. I throw on some semblance of an outfit and we're on to whatever the day has. If it's Tuesday, Bible study at the church, where I pray Henrik will decide it's okay to stay with the babysitters and other kids. Any other day we might just be home for the morning and go on a walk or play in the back yard. Maybe to a  friends house for a "play date". Or maybe I'll be sticking him in front of a Baby Einstein by 8:30 so I can get some chores done or (gasp) blog. :) This week on Thursday we walked to the library for the toddler story/song time. I felt like I had entered some weird alternate reality, which I suppose is the world of stay-at-home-moms. I can't say I loved it.

I'm still trying to find my place in this new world of not having a career, per say.

I find myself trying to justify staying at home when I talk to people who I think perceive it to be a menial life. I find myself comfortably announcing my staying at home when I talk to others who do the same or who I know would encourage that sort of lifestyle choice. At the end of the day I find myself wondering what I even really think. I know what I assume others think and how I play to that (which, by the way, I don't like that I do that), but what do I really think of my new life?

I know that I strongly dislike the common theme I've come across from moms that raising their kids is the one important mission they've been called to right now and they can't possibly be expected to serve elsewhere. I'm not disagreeing that motherhood is a very noble mission, I just tend to think we're called to more than serving our own cute little family.

But I'm not sure how to live that out yet.

I'm being approved to volunteer in a sort of private foster care model to supervise and assist those caring for vulnerable children. Maybe that will be my other mission? Maybe we should be a host family ourselves for those children?

Some days I wonder about just getting a job a day or two a week at a bakery or coffee shop, just to get out of the house, but still spend the majority of the time with Henrik. And that's the thing, Henrik. I love that kid so much. I love being there for all the cute and hilarious things he does. I love being able to monitor what exactly he eats and drinks and plays with. I don't regret this time with him and overall love my life a lot, I just know I'm going to need other outlets.

I'm not sure how to end this, only to say if you're still reading, thanks. :)

16 comments:

leah said...

love to hear your thoughts on life sweet friend. i'm glad i'm not the only one who is trying to figure out this crazy life.

...and i laughed at the loosing your pen comment. this is me EVERY morning. :)

Heather Hoerr said...

Totally relate to your internal struggle Em! Which is why I found myself back at work part-time. And no matter what you choose, there are internal battles. I overall am really happy about my decision to work a little, but there are definitely days I plop down at my computer and think "what am I doing here? why am I not with the boys?!"
But I agree that I like having some sort of mission, or something to do outside of just being mom... otherwise my world gets really small and I don't love that. I guess I'm always striving for the balance of spending as much time as possible with my kids, while also making them realize that the world doesn't revolve around them and mom has other things to do too! ok I'm rambling... I'll pray for your decisions with all this!
And I was still reading at the end. ;)

Heather Hoerr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather Hoerr said...

that was me that deleted my comment.. posted twice.

Britni said...

hmmm. Maybe we can work out with Ed an e/o week thing with the FC Manager position here ;)

Jill said...

Love your honesty! It's so refreshing. And I totally agree with the truth that God has more for our families to do than just to focus on our own little families.

Thanks for posting!

Jenny Gutwein said...

Oh, Emily.. Still have this conversation with myself playing in my head constantly. We are all unique and it takes a lot of prayer and conversation with the family to figure out our own path. I think the struggle is healthy and although painful is probably a good sign of working toward balance and beautiful experiences continually. You know my heart for foster care/vulnerable ones in general.. I think Henrick would really benefit from seeing your heart for this in whichever way you choose.

Jenny Gutwein said...

Ps: not to sound like Henrick could not see your love for others at the coffee shop, too :)!

T and M said...

Ok, so i chuckled at the thought of library story time being an alternate reality-so true! I appreciate how you put words to the sometimes restless balance that so many moms (me mostly) are trying to pin down. I am sure your family is & will benefit from how you are taking the time to pray thru this intentionally. Hey, was that your word for the year? ( :

Devin B. Wieland said...

I've enjoyed our mornings this week. We should keep that going...

Devin B. Wieland said...

Also, I'm really hopeful we can find the right balance and make sure you get to engage all parts of your brain thoughout the week!

Betsy said...

OF COURSE I'm still reading. Love your thoughts and don't think a one of them is crazy. It is a surreal world to be in - with its own norms and mores, to be exact - this world of (particularly) stay-at-home motherhood. I hate that I play to expectations and talk about possibly pursuing my MFA or the writing I'm doing when faced with "worker Mom" who I think looks down on me. I have to say I think you'd do great in a bakery or coffee shop. Love you, Em.

Sarah said...

Wow, great thoughts. Love your honesty and your struggle - it's so true!

Based on your hubby's comment, looks like you've got great support whatever the end decision looks like!

Molly said...

Good thoughts & good comments...I agree with already-pointed-out fact that the struggle is healthy. It's also good to remember that your situation may change - and not by your own doing! Sometimes we find ourselves suddenly in a different situation that allows us to balance better or feel unbalanced in the opposite direction. All in all, you'll know when you look back that this was right - for this moment, and I'm so thankful we can trust God for the moments to come. :)

Sara Huber said...

Very interested to hear more about your volunteer options with the private foster care org!
And I am so with you about how much better the day goes when I wake before the peanut!!!

Christen Leigh said...

I can totally imagine why this would be struggle! Thankful you guys are where you are at and praying you feel direction if you are supposed to do something different. :)