Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Someone Else

Today, in the midst of my exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed by the never ending tasks for a mom of little ones, I was reminded of what a blessing it is to be home with my children. I realize not everyone has that choice and that many of you who work are able to have a spouse or grandparent to watch your child, which is a blessing. These are just some letters to my kids, in thankfullness for being able to be with them. If you do work, I'm sure a lot of these thoughts have rambled through your head throughout the day as you hope your sitter is taking the best possible care of your kids when you aren't able to be with them.

My dear little boy,

As I lay on the ground, tickling you, watching your eyes dance with delight as you clutch your ever-present fistful of monster trucks and racecars, I can't help but wonder, If someone else was watching you today, would they marvel at your giggles? Would they take the time to answer your pleas for tickling? Would you be begging them for a hug and if you did, would they comply fifty times a day? What if I had missed you "reading" your favorite book and singing "Skid-a-ma-rinky-dink-a-dink" in your funny little way of talking without pronouncing your R's? Would the sitter have the instinct to see what you were up to when there was a minute of silence? Would they be as diligent or as worried about you getting into the street or drowning? Would a sitter realize how adorable you are?

My darling baby boy,

If you were not in my arms today, would you be tenderly cuddled? Would anyone kiss your triple chin or share a hundred smiles with you? Would you be endlessly entertained by older siblings who adore you or stuck in a room full of only infants? Would you miss the adoring gaze of a mommy who is utterly in love with you? Would anyone have the time to sing you your favorite songs or play peek-a-boo? Would anyone notice you grabbing your toes or that you rolled over? Would you miss your mama's milk and looking into my eyes as you drink your bottle?

My precious little lady,

If you were in another's care all day, would you be afraid to be yourself or would you be chattering about your day like you do with me? Would anyone understand the little quirks you have and how you like things "just so?" I loved your beautiful smiles as you took pride in making pretty pictures with paints today and the way you always help with your brothers! Would anyone notice the funny way you throw birthday parties every day, all day, with your brother and sing in a lovely, little voice? Would someone care enough to see that you got assistance wiping in the bathroom, or see that you ate your lunch before being allowed to have a treat? Would your caretaker review your verses with you, know who's prayer day it was, play princesses with you or be able to fix your hair? Would anyone notice if other kids were teaching you naughty things or hurting you or vice versa? Would anyone take the time to teach you right and wrong and train you in character?

Some folks wonder if I'm throwing away my dreams and goals to be at home. What they don't realize is that my wildest dreams came true in all of you. Even if someone else took care of your little needs throughout the day, my heart would be crying to do those things for you and I would miss you infinitely. And no matter how wonderful or sweet a person might be who would take care of you, no one loves you like I do.


Thia said...

I have a nice notebook for each child and I try to write in them every so often. What we've been doing as a family, what they've been up to. I love the idea of writing them notes along what you just wrote!

Lesley said...

Oh my, Lindsey, this is so what my heart is saying too, about being at home. What a great idea and your letters are so well written and expressive.
When people think I'm wasting my time or my degree, I am baffled because I can't imagine a better way to be spending my time. Sam's mom is always telling my kids, "you guys are so lucky to have your mommy home with you each day." I didn't really think much about it until recently and your post makes me think about it again too. It's true, though! Can you imagine all the kids that wish they had their moms home with them?I couldn't even imagine someone else having my kids all day, every day. (however, having Grandma watch them every once in awhile is totally okay and very nice!:)

I liked what you said about Justus smiling -- I get about 100 smiles from Christian a day too and I'd be so sad just to miss that!

Also, sorry it took me so long to get to this, but about your question about homeschool curriculum -- I am leaning towards using A Beka but it's not written in stone yet. Sam used that growing up and he and his mom thought it was excellent curriculum. Someone the other day just told me about another one though called "Christ light" or something and I'm going to check into that. I hope to start ordering curriculum online soon, though because I want to start getting serious with it by this fall with Aubrie. We've just been doing informal stuff with her and using random pre-school books and stuff so I'm looking forward to having an organized daily schedule and knowing what I'm doing each day. How about you? What are you going to use?

Sorry for the long commment, I should have just e-mailed you! :)

Randall and Rachel Beita said...

Wow! This made me cry. It is such a blessing to be with my little one. Do I teasure it, every moment like I should?

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing such sweet and tender letters to your children! I was thinking along these lines today when I was cuddle-tickling Kardelen and we went back and forth telling each other "I love you." I thought, any amount of sacrifice we need to make so I can be at home is worth it, if we can share precious times like this.

Sarah Halter said...

I know I mentioned in my other comment that I really appreciated this post, but I came back to read it again and couldn't help commenting. This is exactly what I'm looking forward to when our baby comes this summer. I've been somewhat torn because I'm currently working part time doing urban ministry, and I know that it's an important part of God's calling on my life. It's not just an ordinary job that I'm leaving. But I wouldn't miss my kids growing up for anything.

I worked as a nanny the first year we were married, and as much as I loved those kids and wanted the best for them, it's not the same as a parent's love and care. Way better than day care, but still not the same. I already knew that I wanted to be home with my kids when I had them, but if I hadn't been sure, that experience would definitely have made up my mind.

Keep up the good work! Your kids are so blessed to have you.

Anonymous said...

(I'm posting anonymously to ensure that I don't hurt the feelings of anyone I know.)

I have a BSW and was a nanny for 9 years, 6 of them for one family. You may think I'm about to say I disagree with your post, but it's quite the opposite!

You COMPLETELY summed up my reasons for my fervent desire to be a stay-at-home mother! I read it to my husband with the comment, "This is MY HEART!"

I could never understand how people allowed ME to waken, love, feed, care for, transport, play with, and put to bed THEIR children day after day. I did and still do truly love those kids (12 in all!), but I'm sure it's not the same as having all that time together AND being their mother!

It is for this reason that my husband and I have postponed having a baby--we're in language school as missionaries and would've had to put our little one in day care for hours each day. I wasn't willing to, and just a few days ago, my dh said, "Wow. I'm so glad we don't have to leave our baby there. I don't think I could do it." (We were walking by the daycare area, hearing babies & toddlers crying.) Me neither, honey, me neither!

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