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.


Linking up with Lovelinks #23, Stasha of The Good Life and thanking Deborah of MaNNaHaTTaMaMMa, for inspiring the theme of this week’s Monday Listicles

Also, living the Be Enough Me feeling this week!

Link up an enough-themed post in the Be Enough Me for Cancer campaign. For every 20 linked up posts, Bellflower Books will provide a memory book to a woman fighting breast cancer through Crickett’s Answer for Cancer, and help bring a smile to courageous women giving it their all, every single day.

Click here for the chance to win a slot in The Bloggess sidebar for a month sponsored by


  • northwestmommy
    September 13, 2011 1:49 am

    You changed a lot and your life is so fulfilling and a happy one. With home made pie!!
    Love your number 8.

  • Iza Trapani
    September 13, 2011 3:51 am

    What an eloquent post. You’re an amazing writer and I love your humor!

  • Jackie
    September 13, 2011 4:52 am

    I am impressed with all that you do! On top of your list, you failed to comment on your talent as a writer.

  • Karen @ Time Crafted
    September 13, 2011 4:55 am

    Love this, “Love is like the net that catches me when I make mistakes and fall, because it makes me want to get up again.” So beautifully said. :>

  • Kiddothings
    September 13, 2011 5:16 am

    What a wonderful read J! And such maturity and wisdom in your words. #10 seems like a paradox to the concept of change but it does ring true.
    I love what your family is doing with Harvest Centre. I’ve only just found out about it here.
    *sigh* If only my husband could bake. Let’s hope the iPhone is on it’s way!
    You know, you should think of writing as a career option – something you could do while mothering your 3 little Bunnies. And you do it wonderfully! 🙂

  • Ado
    September 13, 2011 8:09 am

    I *love* what you said – how in some ways you have to grow up a little, before they do. And that phrase – “by the seat of your pants parenting” (I do that well, practically all the time!) Those 2 things totally sum up like 90% of what my parenting experience has been. Loved this post.

  • TatterScoops
    September 13, 2011 1:57 pm

    Beautifully written post! A husband who can bake? You score a jackpot for sure 😀

  • Natalie
    September 14, 2011 2:25 am

    Yes from all that cleaning you do get rough hands…now I need to convince my husband that I need a iPhone! SAHM is a hard job, but sounds like you have mastered it! I need to take some lessons from you 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog…glad I found yours too!

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:01 pm

    Yes, I have so much to be thankful for! Thank YOU for hosting Monday Listicles. It’s such a fun meme with wonderful bloggers linking up. I really missed joining in the past few weeks.

    Hope to write more about Harvest Centre soon. The children and young people there need all the support they can get.

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:05 pm

    Thank you for your encouraging words! Blogging helps me snigger and chuckle at the daily happenings at home that sometimes make me want to pluck my eyelashes out with an eyebrow trimmer.

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:07 pm

    Thank you, Jackie! I appreciate every bit of encouragement, I really do.

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:08 pm

    Thank you, Karen! Sweet Man said I was being cheesy 😉 Look who taught me that, huh?

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:14 pm

    I can always depend on you for good ideas, Germaine. Thanks! Writing as a career seems a plausible option – it’s just setting aside the time and conserving some energy to do it.

    Glad you made some time to check out Harvest Centre. I hope to publicize it more here, still trying to figure out the best way to do it. They need lots of support!

    As for the iPhone, I’ve put it on Santa’s wish list ….

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:16 pm

    90%! We should get together over a hot cuppa – coffee or tea?

  • Mama J
    September 14, 2011 6:17 pm

    Thanks! I am unashamed to confess that I ate every single morsel of that pie – after letting my husband eat just one slice. He was gratified.

  • SL
    September 14, 2011 8:13 pm

    absolutely love the article! please do not stop writing!

  • Stacey
    September 14, 2011 9:23 pm

    That was so beautiful! I loved this. Being a SAHM was not something I saw myself doing either, but I have to say, after 12 years, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am grateful every day that I can be home with my children and I know they are grateful for it too. Really wonderful post!

  • Mama J
    September 15, 2011 2:33 am

    Oh I haven’t mastered it, no. The day that description can be applied to me is when I manage to do all that I do now, and still have more time to write, meet up with friends, volunteer more at Harvest, and train for a marathon! Oh yes, don’t forget – till the land.

  • Mama J
    September 15, 2011 2:34 am

    🙂 Thinking about you, your lovely island, and when you’ll be back.

  • Mama J
    September 15, 2011 2:36 am

    12 years! You are an inspiration! Your children are so blessed.

  • Elena Sonnino (@JustBeEnough)
    September 15, 2011 8:46 am

    This made my heart go pitter patter! Thank you so much for linking with JBE!

  • SL
    September 15, 2011 5:24 pm

    somehow your article came at the right time. will be back at the end of sept. see you soon!

  • Jamie Walker (@chosenchaos)
    September 16, 2011 1:57 am

    The GAIN one made me smile… the things we learn to do with just one hand, one arm, etc!!

  • Momma Teacher Lady
    September 16, 2011 9:10 am

    Change is a tricky thing. We want change sometimes – when everything feels stagnant. When we feel like we’ve had about all we can handle, change comes a-knocking. Good for you for doing your best to embrace it!

  • Mama J
    September 17, 2011 3:54 am

    You’re doing some good work there @ JBE.

  • Mama J
    September 17, 2011 3:55 am

    Good. I have some eating to catch up with!

  • Mama J
    September 17, 2011 3:56 am

    I really should start compiling a list, LOL.

  • Mama J
    September 17, 2011 3:59 am

    That’s a good point! Change is like gold in a stagnant situation.

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