Doubt

For the first time this week I doubted whether I could be a stay at home mom. I have wanted nothing more for the last several years than to be home with my children. I was ready to walk out the door and go back to work.
I felt so guilty when Kerry got home from work because I so doubted myself. I struggle a bit with thinking I have to “master” this stay at home mom thing. I am a goal oriented person, I like to excel at what I do, I like to master things. So in the last month I have approached being at home the same way I do any thing else. With a plan, a list, an idea of how it *should* be when I’m done.
I forgot to factor in one thing…my “team” isn’t always on board. In fact, my team of children sometimes doesn’t even care what is on my list or that I want to be the best at home mom ever.
Monday was a particularly trying day. No one listened to me, the boys fought, and it seemed like every time I turned around I was brushing my teeth while eating Oreos. I vacuumed the floor only to have a child 5 minutes later roll over a rogue shredded wheat with his car, smushing it into my newly vacuumed carpet. I swept the floor only to have the bird seed get dumped just after I hung up the dust pan. I folded laundry only to have a new pile magically appear after direction was given to clean out from underneath the beds.
So I began to wonder if it was my system that was broken (I would say partly yes and we’re working on it). I questioned my ability to do “job” after job only to have it undone again. I seriously thought I might go nuts if I had to turn circles all day long doing the same thing over and over again. I tend to like projects…do something, get it done and it stays done. It’s just not so when you’re working at home.
I did have small successes though, I didn’t yell. Not once. Not when the dog walked through mud and drug it in on my clean floor (don’t ask how the mud got there, we haven’t had rain in Pueblo for over a week). I didn’t yell when 2 minutes after I corrected for disobedience, it happened again, with the same thing. I didn’t yell when the 3 year old “helped” by taking off the diaper of the 1 year old and didn’t tell me or put a new one on and instead laughed hysterically when said 1 year old peed all over the floor. I also didn’t yell when the dog bowl was used for a swimming pool, in my kitchen. I prayed moment by moment. I made a choice to lower my voice, to be calm when all I really wanted to do was call my husband and work and say “I’m outta here” (for a little while at least).
As I navigated through the trials of the day, I kept thinking “and we’re not even doing school yet, there’s no way I can pull this off”. ┬áBut that’s what the enemy wants us to do isn’t it? Doubt? He wants us to doubt ourselves so much that we are disobedient to what we’ve been called to do. I had to remind myself how hard it was to go to work every morning, driving away from my family and missing them. I had to remind myself that here, at home, is where I am called to be. Loving, training, teaching.
I still have a lot to learn, I am still working on my “system” when I’m home, but I have learned that this may be something I never master, because there is always a new lesson to learn. My goal has now become to be the mother and wife I have been created to be. My goal isn’t to be the “expert” stay at home mom, it is to be obedient, to be pliable, to learn as much as I teach and to focus on my reward in Heaven. To work so that when I die and see my God, He will say “Well done good and faithful servant”, even if no one here on earth ever does.

4 thoughts on “Doubt”

  1. Erin,
    Love your writting. Yes, so true. I find it refreshing when mothers get together and can share experiences that are similar to yours. Then its like I’m not the only one who faces these situations. Keep up the good work. You are a good mother and you can do homeschool;0) Love ya, Patty

  2. Even the best moms need a break. You are good parents and have good normal kids. There are bad days at work outside the home. God will reward you for answering His call.

  3. I so agree with Grandma Irene! Your writing is so honest and such a good reminder, even to those of us who are older. It is so encouraging to read the words of someone who has the same goals as I had when my children were young. Now at least one generation later, it feels great to know just what to do more often than not with my grandchildren. I feel so comfortable with them. Even though, the last I saw Brent Julie and the Boys was before Evan was born and now he is ten month’s old. I feel confident and comfortable with my grand children. What is it other than the love of God in my heart for children and years of experience with all kinds of children as a teacher. I find it all comes back. Without calling on God we are bound to fail at anything we do. He covers our mistakes! Wow, I am so thankful for his loaning me both my own children and those of others.
    I think my best trait as a teacher was individualization to fit the needs of the child to their personality and talents. I was also able to motivate children to be the best they can be at being themselves. (It’s taken me longer to figure out how to do that for myself.)

  4. Thanks Erin for your post. You are exactly right, the devil does want us to doubt ourselves…and I have had a big dose of that today (after talking with Eva). Thanks for being my inspiration!!!

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