Some days are hard. Today happens to be one of them. What I do know is this: counting my blessings diffuses the hard stuff every time. As I await a surgery date that could happen any day, I was taking a mental inventory of all the things on my to do list that needed attention. I remembered this blog post that needed to be written. I checked the topic for this month and knowing God has a sense of humor, and knowing that He knows exactly what I need, it was called “Remember the Good Things.” A most therapeutic exercise for me today!
The prompt went on to suggest writing a memorial building account of something that I would want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. When I really thought about it, I realized that what I really would want them to know is how fortunate I feel that I was able to be a stay at home mom, right to the end of their high school years. When my husband and I met, I had a full-time job that I enjoyed. When I found out that I was expecting with my oldest son, now 19, we were living in a one bedroom apartment, downtown Vancouver. Nineteen years ago, our rent was $1100/month. The price of day care for a baby was $900/month. When I went at a daycare that was close to where I worked, my heart broke. There were nine babies cared for by two workers who seemed stressed and overworked, in a small cement structure. My friends were able to afford nannies but we could not.
My husband was offered a job in Vanderhoof, a small town in Northern BC, when my son was nine months old. I was still on maternity leave. We flew to Vanderhoof and had a look around. Now, you must understand that eight years previously, I had moved from Toronto to Vancouver thinking I as moving to a small town. Vanderhoof was a town of 4000 people and the only coffee shop at the time was A&W! When we went there, however, I immediately saw my future. A house with a backyard, and I could stay home with my baby.
As a new Christian, I immediately sought out a church and was blessed with an instant support system. We had muffins and pie arrive at our door as welcome gifts. This was completely foreign to me. I met many women who stayed at home with their children and quickly realized that this was the norm in this small town. I had married in my 30’s so most of the women my age had older children. The moms who did have younger children were several years younger them me. From all of them I learnt how to successfully parent little ones, cook from scratch and take pride in my role as a stay at home mother and wife. I threw myself into my role and it became my life calling. Surprisingly to me it was the best job I have ever had, however the most challenging.
Two job transfers later for my husband, I am still at home. My oldest is in university and I still homeschool my younger two, ages 17 and 15. This city girl has raised country kids, with two dogs, a cat, a bunny and two horses.
For our family, having mom stay at home was a good thing. I know I am the heartbeat of this home. Certainly, there are days where the grass feels greener on the other side, but ultimately I know this was God’s plan for us. I lived a lot of life before God brought me my family. I consider it a great privilege and blessing to be happy and content to serve Him in this way.