Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prepping for time at home....

I am one HUGE step closer to wrapping up my long-awaited Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. We just took comprehensive exams and I found out - I (along with my entire graduating class) PASSED!!!!!  It was a thrilling victory and I'm happy to be one step closer to graduating. That being said......

I am very nervous about what's coming. I will soon be a mom to 3 kiddos! I had anticipated getting my degree and quickly finding a job to begin my new career....God had VERY different plans. I graduate in May and a few short months later, we'll welcome #3.  We're thrilled, and thankful for God's provision and for the further evidence of his plan in our lives.

That being said, this new plan has me re-evaluating a lot about my current attitude about staying home. I don't know why, but when I attempted staying home once before, it was not the joy-filled occasion I had dreamed that it would be. Being on one income meant we were financially a lot less able to do many of the fun and creative activities that I had dreamed we would be doing.

I found out that given so much freedom, I was a lot lazier than I had previously imagined myself to be. I occupied my time with a lot of crafty endeavors and really enjoyed having time to complete them, but I also found myself frustrated when my children needed my time an attention.....this was not how I wanted things to be.  I tried to include them in activities, but then was frustrated by the mess and lack of structure.....which again....was due to my own poor planning and poor attitude.

Don't get me wrong - we did A LOT of fun activities together, but the problem I really ran into was that our fun activities lasted only a few hours each day...and the day was much longer than that.  I began to feel isolated and lonely.  The pressure of planning fun and exciting activities every day - that would keep the kids out of the sweltering heat - and that would give them lasting memories and education....was so much pressure.  I felt like I didn't have the energy and stamina to provide hours of entertainment to my children...and I felt like they were nearly unable to occupy themselves.

Admitting this is not easy friends. I really dislike this part of my sinful attitude.  At times,  I really began to resent our long days together.  I also resented the work that came along with staying at home.  Finding joy while preparing every constantly, while everyone around me made messes...My attitude was wrong and so my time at home was not what it should have been. I don't want to let that happen again. I don't want to be lazy and self-absorbed this time.

I am planning on being a little more organized this time around. I want to develop a summer curriculum, an organized plan for dealing with our day to day. I'm hoping the structure I provide will allow me the freedom from the daily planning pressure and I hope it will also give the kids a sense of security about what to expect throughout the day.

Do any of you have any great suggestions for things that work for you? How do you manage your time at home? What does your day to day look like? How do you entertain your kids and maintain time for yourself? Tips appreciated!!! ;)