We fit in a lot on our weekends at home the last few weeks: movie nights, game nights, golf, chess playing, church, pedicures, reading together, wildlife rescue centers, painting dates with friends, and family time. Not to mention laundry, cleaning, and a lot of dance and piano practicing.
I am not trying to win any medals for being super mom, or even trying to prove anything to myself (ok maybe just a little). Mostly, I am trying to make the few moments I have with my kids each week really count!
I have written a lot about living with intention since losing Ben. And I have never needed to live life more intentionally than I have this year.
If you had asked me a year ago if I would go back to work full-time outside of the home again before my kids were grown, I would have given you a resounding no. In fact three months ago, I would have still said NO!
Teaching graduate classes online has been such a blessing the last few years. In addition to giving us extra to travel, I could drop them off and pick them up from school every day since we stopped homeschooling. But in the fall, I felt God calling me to agree to long-term sub a 6th grade class for a few weeks. Nine months later, I find I am still there.
This was not a part of my plan. And it was something I embarked on with a little trepidation. I even prayed with the kids over whether it was a good choice for us. Especially in this season of life that we are in.
While they miss me being in the carline and dropping into their classrooms, they have not had to be in daycare for a single day. Instead, they are picked up and brought home by my best friend each day.
But they get home an hour before I do which means that those long afternoons together have gotten a little shorter, and our time together has become more precious.
So as a result we have entered a season of a lot less scheduled activities and a lot more fly by the seat of our pants. And you know what? It has been good for all of us. Mostly because it has caused me to be more intentional with my time.
I have learned to navigate teaching my graduate school classes in record time. Now, I limit my grading to one block of time a week or a couple evenings after they are in bed. I have learned to let having a clean house go for a little while in exchange for togetherness. We have groceries delivered (thanks Covid) and Doordash too! And while they probably still think I say no a lot, I have tried to let myself say yes to a lot more!
In many ways, I think that my going back to work has been a blessing for us as a family. Because I realize now that I had become complacent and scheduled. Despite being home all the time, I took the time I had with my kids for granted. I don’t think I fully appreciated it. Now, with less time, I find myself spending more intentional, quality time with them.
A few weeks in Bible study I was reminded of the importance of taking the Sabbath to rest. And why we need to reflect on the good in our lives. I realized that one of those goods was being able to spend time with the children that God has blessed me with!
And now we are on the downward slope of 4 final weeks of working outside the home this school year. Then it will finally be the long-awaited summer break. Those weeks may be filled with takeout and dirty floors, but happy children; and a mom who enjoys every moment with them.
I’m learning to make the most of my time. And most importantly, I have learned that when I trust God with the outcome, my days are way more blessed than I could have expected. And the return is tenfold from what I could even imagine.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
-Matthew 6:31-34 NIV