Monday, June 22, 2015

The next chapter...

As I sit here sipping my coffee waiting on laundry to dry, I find myself in a new season of life. Currently it's a lot of just waiting... waiting on baby Joel to make his grand appearance when he is ready, and waiting on our next chapter.  The next chapter brings me so much excitement, and yet lots of butterflies all at the same time.  But to understand where our family is headed, you have to first understand where we've been...

I've spoke a lot about our family decision for me to stay at home with the kids on the blog before, so I won't dive into how we came to those decisions since many of you have already read all about it, but I will say that decision has come with sacrifice and with hard work.  Yes I do work as well.  For the last 2 1/2 years I have been blessed by some dear friends and was asked to watch their kids during the day while they worked.  It started out with one family and only one day a week, and eventually grew to this past year, 3 families (occasionally 4), 3 days a week.  (I set 2 days aside for prior commitments-MOPS and a women's Bible study.)  

Knowing that I can count on ONE hand the number of people who I would let watch my own kids, I'm incredibly honored that these families chose me to help them care for their kids.  Leeland and Hayden would ask each night at bedtime with excitement, "What day is tomorrow?  Whose coming over tomorrow!?" because let's be real, to them Mommy was not working, it was simply their friends coming to play.  There were a few days here and there that kids would be cranky, or not 100% well, or just having a hard day and it was to be expected when caring for a house full of preschoolers, but for the most part, the days were a breeze.  The kids bonded, the kids played their hearts out, the kids napped hard, and the kids grew together.  And if I'm being really honest, I grew as a Mom too.  I consider myself incredibly blessed by these families!

As we approach the next chapter in our lives as a family, I have had to back away from providing childcare.  It's been a scary step.  One that a lot of prayer went into, along with a lot of thought!  For one, I've had this routine and it's been comfortable for over 2 years.  Secondly, the families have been relying on me for childcare and knowing how hard childcare is to come by, I didn't want to leave them high and dry.  Third, my own kids have grown accustomed to seeing their friends and have loved spending so much time with them.  And fourth, childcare has been an income for our family and walking away from an extra income when money is tight isn't easy.  It takes faith!

Along with leaving the childcare business behind, I also had my very last Mothers of Preschoolers meeting last month.  I've been a part of "MOPS" for 3 years and have greatly enjoyed every single meeting!  Motherhood can be lonely... let's be honest!  We spend our days cooped up with preschoolers.  Sure the years are short, but the days are LONG.  Our patience is tested as we grow little people and because we're hard on ourselves, we spend many days simply thinking that we're treading water and getting nowhere..... and a few days drowning.  None of these thoughts are based on fact or warranted, but in the tough moments it's hard to be optimistic.  "MOPS" was such an incredible blessing!  A place with people who GET IT. They know treading water and they're right there in the pool with you.  A place where a Mom can get filled with encouragement, God's word, and delicious food all while the kids get loved on and get time to play with their friends.  I've met new people, and I've had friendships grow and I found a place of connection. Again, being a mom can be lonely and building those connections is SO vital!

But alas, we're approaching a new chapter.... I have a FIVE year old.  I don't see how it is possible, but it's truth.

Our next adventure begins in August.  We are growing as a family quite literally from 4 to 5, and we're beginning our first "real" year of full-time homeschooling.  (Hello Kindergarten!!) So much excitement lays ahead and we are sitting back and waiting on it to begin.