It seems to me, one thing certain about life is change. Change propels us forward – whether we like it or not.
In the past 5 years, a lot has changed for me. I’d dare say the first word I think about when I think about change is:
1. Uncertainty. You can never simply tell. Things change. People change. For the longest time I always said I’d never be a stay-at-home mother, but here I am. Mothering by the seat of my pants. The children are growing, and in some ways I have to grow up a little more – before they do.
In the midst of uncertainty, is the ever-present pressure of …
2. Decision. Who knows what change will bring? How can I know? And yet, I must decide.
Sweet holy sauce, I can think of a million possibilities. That makes me chew on my lips. Because decisions involve …
3. Risk. Change and risk walk together, no? When I chose to become a hands-on parent, I knew we’d struggle on a single income. There is a risk our children will never get the opportunities that some others will. Good education is costly, food is costly, don’t even get me started.
I figure, though, that you can’t put a price on a stay home parent. My kids looked at me blankly when I suggested I might go back to work, once. They began shaking their heads slowly, then violently, and I had to say something different very quickly to quieten the howls.
4. Loss. With any kind of change, there is loss. I miss my high-pressure job – somewhat. Kidding! Mostly, I miss having adult colleagues. Here I am, trying to find some company in blog land, something I once thought (very foolishly) a nebulous thing.
And guess what?
5. Gain. I’ve found some great company. When I can’t blog, I wonder about the people I “follow” and yet have never met in the flesh. And as far as being SAHM goes, I can now cook and teach a science lesson at the same time, vacuum while nursing my baby in a sling, and not break a sweat whenever I go out alone with 3 little ones aged 5 and under. I impress my hitherto anti-SAHM self. (Girl’s gotta have a healthy sense of self-respect.)
Also, I love how our homeschooling family is closely knitted together. I love that last week we went on a baking spree and made mini muffins, chocolate crackles and raisin bread. I gorged myself on 10 chocolate crackles in a row and felt happy because I can still fit into my 8 year old Levi’s jeans as a result of tandem nursing all these years.
There is no loss without some great gain.
6. Perspective. I’ve always felt that change – uncertainty, risks and decision-making – can be uncomfortable. But it can make moments of predictability so much sweeter. The Bunnies are the easiest to be with whenever there’s an afternoon nap, and as often as I’ve grumbled about the routine, I’ve welcomed the time of quiet as an opportunity to rest. I don’t get much, but any bit helps when there are 3 little ones about.
Speaking of 3 little ones, there is a lot more to upkeep around the house.
7. Rough hands. You do get these, after so much cleaning. The good part? Sweet Man recently felt my callouses and must have felt poorly, because he remarked next, “You deserve the new iPhone 5. For working so hard.” Now, for a gal who doesn’t have a camera that doesn’t drive her mad let alone a phone with internet access, hearing that is like having my secret drawer stashed to the brim with my favourite dark chocolate.
(Whether I will actually be getting an iPhone is anybody’s guess. I can’t look beyond this Sunday when the 2 trees in my back garden will finally be felled and I can put on my farming clothes to till the land. As if I had the time! But one can dream of organic vegetables …..)
8. Hope. Okay, so I am the baking, cleaning, homeschooling (and hopefully organic farming) Marm. But that isn’t all I am. And life as a family doesn’t remain static. There is always so much movement and change.
Over the past few years, we’ve invested our time in Harvest Centre. Lugging along 3 little ones is no cupcake, I can tell you. But loving and learning with others, seeing our lives blend together, is teaching our family how to be grateful for every little bit we have, and to find meaning in discomfort. It is also amazing to see hope in the midst of desperate situations and how it is a strong force for change.
9. Love. It’s hard to change without love. Love is like the net that catches me when I make mistakes and fall, because it makes me want to get up again. Looking back, I think Sweet Man taught me that best.
When a man – your husband – makes you apple pie on a downer-day, you know you’ve struck the jack pot.
10. Certainty. Someone once said that the only thing certain about life is uncertainty, death and taxes. I don’t really feel that way. I feel certainty that comes with the love that is around me and in me. There is certainty in truth.
Some things like these never change. They give me a kind of steadfastness.
And they make changes all the easier to live with.
Also, living the Be Enough Me feeling this week!