[If you’re not a stay-at-home mom, I promise, there are nuggets in here for you too because I believe that these 6 practices will help anyone through difficult, lonely days.]
I am a people person. I love to be busy and active. I like to get up, get dressed for work and talk to other adults during the day.
I don’t just like these things.
I thrive on them.
So, when we decided I would stay at home with our kids, though precious little children shared my day, it wasn’t the same as working with people who could carry on a conversation with me.
Let’s face it. Though children are blessings and wonderful, they are demanding–even when they aren’t. They require every ounce of energy and thought you’ve got to give. You must follow their schedule (even if you are a talented parent who can put your kids on a schedule.)
In defense, I’ve discovered that each of us have our better parent seasons. Some love the baby/toddler stage. I knew I’d be a better mom when mine were teenagers. (And I was.)
I recently attended a 30 year high school class reunion, and someone asked me why I didn’t go back to work. I explained our reasoning, but the question made me dig deeper and ask myself again, “Why didn’t I go back to work? I wanted to. I missed it.”
I stayed home because we could afford it financially. My husband was in the Army. We moved often. Childcare would’ve eaten up the majority of any paycheck I would’ve brought home.
But mostly, I stayed home because I felt that was what God wanted me to do. It was my calling for that season in my life.
I am not saying that all moms should be stay-at-home moms. But if you can financially afford it, and you feel called to it…I encourage you to do so even if something in you is screaming, “I C-A-N-T!”
[tweetability]Our callings will not always be easy, but blessing is to be found in the middle of God’s will for us.[/tweetability]
Why do we think that if something is difficult, it isn’t God’s will? I search harder for God in the desperate, lonely days. Do you? Discontentment leaves me restless. I don’t like that feeling because I believe God has me in each place for a reason. I don’t want to miss what He has for me to do.
a state of happiness and satisfaction.
These practices helped me find satisfaction in my days.
- Turn off T.V. Turn on good music. Worship daily.
I turned the T.V. off at 9:00 in the morning. I played Christian up-beat music almost all day long. I sang out loud. Danced in the kitchen. And raised my hands even when I did not feel like it.
- Make time for Bible study/reading daily.
During nap time, if I wasn’t taking a nap too, I lit a candle, opened my Bible, and spent time with Him. My kids got up too early for me to study in the morning. Lonely days, stay-at-home mom days, gives you more time with Jesus. Time in His Presence changes us.
- Pray to love where God has you.
I asked God to help me love the season I was in and to love/trust Him more everyday. I prayed to love my children and laugh with them. I even prayed for energy to think of creative ways to discipline.
- Join a group that meets weekly.
I joined one weekday morning group with other stay-at-home moms. (Mine was a Bible study.) We looked forward to the outing and the fellowship.
- Everyday be a blessing to at least one person outside of your family.
My days as a stay-at-home mom have been sweeter and more fulfilling when I’ve used my free time to bless someone else outside of my family–visiting an elderly neighbor, preparing a meal for someone just out of the hospital, helping at a food pantry or local homeless shelter. Blessing someone can be as simple as making a phone call.
- Be thankful for your situation.
I’ve known for many years how important thanksgiving is. I know it has magical qualities. But I also know that you can have the most incredible life in the world, but if you aren’t content in it, you will be miserable. I know, because I was that person. I was constantly (sometimes unaware) comparing myself to working women and I felt less than. But one day I thought, “Why don’t you just be thankful for your days?” Of all of the suggestions I’m giving, this one is the most important, and I’m still learning about its power and residual effects.
Lonely days will come whether at age 25 or 95. Callings aren’t always easy…think of what Jesus did. Being a stay-at-home mom is a piece of cake compared to crucifixion. (Smile.)
What has helped you through difficult seasons in your life?
Have a GREAT weekend!