Thursday, January 12, 2012
The truth about being home
For those of you who don't know, I am on maternity leave for about the next month from teaching. My deep-seated desire, though, ever since my daughter was born three years ago is to be home. There was a lot of emotion tied to that desire three years ago, and since then, praise God, I am a lot less crazy about it than I was. That's all I'll say about that for now.
The short answer about how things are going at home is that I love being home. It is everything that I feel like is profitable for me to be doing. I am training my daughter, Charlotte. Not only that, but I am nurturing her, correcting her English and laughing at the funny things she says just like my mom did for me. I am feeding her, watching what she watches, guiding her activities and weathering her meltdowns. Then there's Jonah. I can care for him on his schedule, sleep (sort of, if he sleeps when Charlotte sleeps) if it's been a hard night and help Charlotte learn how to interact with him.
But it's hard. It's similar but very different from teaching. And the thing is, I knew this going in - I knew that it wasn't going to be easy. It's exhausting all the time, and has points of being frustrating, aimless and repetitive. It's much more physically demanding than teaching, with both more and less at stake all the time. I lift more, I climb more stairs, I vaccuum and clean and haul laundry, sometimes while holding an 11 pound infant or 40 pound 3 year-old. I feel like it matters more ultimately; these are the children that I have been entrusted with for good, not just for English class. Like I said at the beginning, it's complicated.
I love that Charlotte wants to be me. Not in an egotistical way, and there is a sense of pressure in the role model I am for her - I just genuinely love that she copies everything I do in her own way. She carries around a baby in the afternoon when Jonah is fussy and I'm carrying him around. You've seen all the stuff she keeps in her (retired) Vera purse that is just an old one I don't use anymore. The purse has to be Vera because that's what I carry. She always carries her keys and her phone, along with lip balm and hand sanitizer. She wants to help with dinner, and everytime she finds one of Jonah's blankets (even put away), she folds it. She turns on his CD player EVERY TIME she walks into his room. She shushes her babies and fusses at them for being "disobedient." I feel like she is learning ten times more from me just being around me than anything I am intentionally trying to teach her, and though I am far from perfect, I know I am better than daycare because I am her MOM.
My earnest prayer is that this desire of mine can be fulfilled soon. God knows our obstacles and can surmount them. However, since Adam and I just watched Facing the Giants again this past week, if God doesn't surmount our obstacles and I teach into retirement, I will still love Him. I just wanted to share how maternity leave is going. Soli Deo Gloria, friends.