for now, i'm really looking forward to having the time to run our household more efficiently. working [nearly] full time leaves very little time for necessary things like cooking meals, cleaning, and laundry. let alone projects around the house, books i want to read, activities i want to do with bennett... so many things fall by the wayside, especially since i've been pregnant this time around. i rush home from work (after picking up bennett and a stop at the grocery store, more often than not), then scramble to get something on the table for dinner. by the time we make it through dinner, a little playtime, bath, and bedtime, i'm spent and ready for bed myself.
joe's work schedule has been completely insane for a while now and he's had to travel quite a bit more in the last month or so than usual. it's a great thing that he's busy and i'm thankful that his job is going to be able to single-handedly support our family and allow me to stay home with our kids. but it definitely adds stress for both of us and has made things that much more chaotic recently. joe feels disconnected from us at home and is exhausted from running from one place to another and traveling here and there. i feel overloaded by trying to do everything on my own at home- getting myself and ben ready and out the door each morning, working all day, picking up ben and getting dinner on the table, bath and bedtime routine, up in the night if ben cries, etc. etc. being a "single mom" is no easy feat.
laundry gets done a single load at a time and it's a miracle if it actually gets folded. lately it seems like a win if we at least have clean clothes to pull out of the dryer for the day.
dishes sit clean in the dishwasher until we finally get around to doing the dirty dishes that have collected in the sink and all over the counters for an embarrassing amount of time.
our house is decorated for the holidays more with half-emptied storage bins of christmas decorations than with the decorations themselves. not to mention the fall decorations that are sitting ready to be put away in a corner somewhere.
mail, receipts, coupons, etc. are strewn all over the counters.
it's not pretty. obviously. it stresses me out to just write all that, but honestly, that's been our reality for a while. there just simply isn't enough time and energy in the day. but the accumulation of half-completed projects, unfolded laundry, and expired coupons only add more stress and exhaustion to all of our lives. it seems like we're just treading water and somehow managing to make it through on most days.
i'm sure everyone has seasons of life like this and ultimately a messy house isn't the end of the world.
but i'm just really looking forward to actually having the time to accomplish things that will reduce the stress in our household. i have no doubt that it will be challenging to get things done as a stay at home mom; i'm positive it's no cake walk. but, there's no question that being home during the day will allow me to slow life down a bit. i'll be able to [calmly] get dinner together during bennett's afternoon nap instead of trying to throw something together while he's hungry, crabby, and pulling at my leg. i'll be able to do a load of laundry and have it dry (and, gasp, maybe even folded?) before i'm collapsing into bed for the night. rather than letting things get out of control and then having to binge-clean for a whole saturday (or just not doing it at all), i can maintain.
i'll have time to do a little at a time and keep things (hopefully) from getting completely crazy.
i wasn't in church 2 weekends ago, but i did listen to the message online. it's interesting how God manages to find a way to meet you right where you're at... naturally, the message was about stress. jason strand, the pastor, emphasized slowing down and finding ways to create margin and space in our lives. he also said that likely the areas causing us the most stress are where we have an opportunity to trust God more. finally, he said that stress is inevitable and that we need to look for God in our stress. in fact, His grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in our times of weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
for so many reasons this message really hit home for me. i really want to be intentional, especially as i make this transition from the working world to being a stay-at-home-mom, about creating margin in our lives and looking for God in my stress. God knows what i need when i need it and if i seek Him first, he will take care of the rest.