Monday, November 21, 2011

thanks giving: the gift of staying home

I believe that when have thankful hearts, we find contentment.  
I believe that intentions grow best in a soil of gratitude.  
I believe that giving thanks if one of the best gifts we've got to give.  
I believe that being grateful for any small joy is the quickest cure for a crummy mood.

So, for a week I'll use this space to give thanks for all the many blessings in my life, small and large.  Please join me if you, too, want to spend a week in gratitude.

Being a, mostly, stay at home mama tops my thankful list these days.  It is a gift that I was not expecting, nor did I ever think I would appreciate so much.  For the first 6 months of my pregnancy with Sly, I thought for sure I'd be paying a babysitter so that I could work.  I thought, I'd have to work.  Then as the birth came nearer, I knew that I did not want to leave my child with anyone other than Papa Bear.  I didn't want anyone taking care of Sly that did not love him as much as Papa Bear or I do.  Once he was born it was clear:  I'd be at home with him as long as I could.   A large pay cut taken for a more difficult job, but my reward is great joy, less worry, and the ability to be consistent with my child.  

A part of my gratitude for this gift to stay at home means I have MAJOR respect for Mama's that truly do have to work.  I know some Mama's want to work, and enjoy the balance of life away from their baby for a bit each day.  But, I believe many of us Mama's really want to be at home with our kids.  And because I have the gift, I honor those who don't have it even more.  

My thankfulness would be incomplete with out raising a grateful hand to my ancestors that planned ahead for their grandchildren and children.  The angels are watching over us, (and you too!) and prayers are being answered.  I will never forget the words shared from the heart of a friend just before Sly was born: "Ask for what you really want", she said.  And I do.  And I will.  And it is heard by the universe, then received by me with the deepest gratitude.

So, I have the joy of staying home with my kid!  I don't have to pump more than one day a week and can nurse on demand, I get to see even the tinsiest ways that Sly develops each day, I get to take care of my home and cook nutritious meals for the whole family.  I never valued this job, a homemaker, before.  My old self thought stay at home moms to be lazy or frivolous.  My own mom had to work, and when she wasn't at work, she was still trying to do all the things that I am doing through out my day (the "second shift" of many mothers).  And our society just doesn't value the work of moms as moms.  My mind has changed, though.  This is quite possibly the most important job, to raise a child and create a home, a ground for the family to thrive and become.  Truly nourishing the individual serves the whole of society. 

I see this opportunity of a homemaker and mother as a gift, multifaceted and colorful as it is.  I could list the whole slew of emotions that these jobs pull up in my heart, but mostly I am utterly thankful.  

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