The other day I got the chance to lay on the floor and snuggle up with Alec. I can't even begin to explain the emotion and happiness that washes over me in these moments. We are laying so close. Nose to nose. I can't even make out all his features and it looks like he has only one eye. But I know them all. Each tiny, perfect feature. I know the feel of his cheek when I press my lips against it. I know how soft his little nose is and how beautiful those tiny little teeth shine when he smiles. And those eyes. Those crazy big blue eyes. If he was close to me now, I'd have to stop to grab him and love him up all over again.
When we talked about having children, there was no question that I would stay home to care for them. This is a personal choice. It was my choice. We knew that financially, it could make a harsh difference, but so would day care costs, etc. So, we dropped down to one car payment and cut back where we could. Jim's parents have always been wonderful and supportive in this decision. In fact, since Emily was born, we have always had a second car. Whenever they bought a new car, instead of trading it in, they gave it to us. Their generosity has made life with three children much easier.
There is not a car, a bigger house a toy (not even a NEW camper) that I would sacrifice the gift of being home with my children for. This is reinforced each time I have those little moments with them. Again, this is a personal choice. I do not agree, at all, with the Working Mom vs. SAHM battles. There are pros and cons to each. And nobody has identical situations. All any parent needs to be sure of is that they are truly doing what is best for their child. I've seen it work both ways.
The truth is, I needed this time. There are so many things that I have learned about myself. No job or education could have ever prepared me for the changes I would go through all these 10.5 years. This is the best experience I have ever had. And I am in a better place than ever. There is no where else I'd rather be right now (other than 100lbs or more lighter (0: ).
I can never express how thankful I am for my husband who wakes 5+ days a week to go out and work for his family. For us. And does it without a single grumble. I have never, not once, heard him say, "I don't feel like going to work today". Yet, I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the times I grumbled and would say, "I don't wanna get out of bed now!". He works hard. He works for us. Sometimes, too hard. But he is the breadwinner, our provider and I can't imagine the burden he must feel. His commitment is solid. He does it all for us.
It is not always a party to be the Stay at Home Mama. It truly is the 24/7 J.O.B. There is no time clock, no guaranteed lunch, no peaceful ride to and from work. No scheduled breaks. Poop and vomit are a give-in as well as spilled milk and boo-boos. No conversation EVER goes uninterrupted and you can always count on it being unfinished. The bathroom could be called my Break Room, however, the toilet seat has a secret, well hidden button that goes off every time I lower myself down to it. I know this. It never fails, someone cries, the phone or doorbell rings or someone just busts in. Sometimes, this happens all at once. There are times I feel I am never alone. And never will be.
And I don't want to be. Sure, I need some quiet time...and it always comes. In those stolen moments when everyone else is resting and Alec is playing on the floor. Or when Emily is reading in her bed long after her bedtime. I go in and chat with her or just kiss her and she gives me that sleepy smile and sigh. Or when Ethan comes to me early in the morning and kisses me when he thinks I am asleep and I grab him to pull him in for a nuzzle as he giggles. Despite all those other imperfect moments, it's all good. Because I am there to answer to bathroom door, to clean up the poop and vomit, to kiss the boo-boos and make my babies smile again. To hear what the interruptions are about, even when it's because someone broke the blue crayon...This, all of it, is exactly what I needed. To be needed with great reward. I am exactly where I need to be.