A friend commented on my first post that we moms feel this pressure to be doing, going, rushing on to the next thing. I thought I’d take a day and talk about how wonderful it is when we don’t do that!
As a social person, I enjoy play dates and women’s Bible studies as much as anyone. When we’re stuck at home for weeks with a stomach bug, or when I’ve missed church with a new baby, I can get cabin fever for sure. However, it is super easy to get pulled into a hectic schedule, and my kids and house start to suffer when we’re always on the go. I think it’s easy for me to fall into thinking that because I have the flexible schedule of a stay-at-home mom, I should fill it. The truth is because I’m a stay-at-home mom, I have the freedom not to fill my days to the brim with frantic activity.
On days we stay home all day, I can make a more elaborate breakfast like waffles instead of our quick standby of oatmeal and yogurt. I can bake homemade bread. I can let the kids page through my recipe binders and help me plan the week’s menu. The kids get a chance to spend hours making a blanket fort in the living room, or building a huge block city for the matchbox cars, or making mudpies in the backyard. When I’m home all day, I have the chance to clean up the kitchen completely and catch up on the laundry. And when my kids ask me to sit down and read a chapter of Betsy-Tacy to them, I have time to read two without worrying about clean dishes for lunch. When we’ve spent the whole morning at home, I can actually use naptime for fun things like checking my email, composing blog posts, or even pulling out a sewing project instead of catching up on all the little tasks I didn’t do while we were out all morning. If we’ve been home all day, the house may be super messy, but we actually have time to clean up before Daddy comes home rather than rushing to beat him home for dinner and hope that I remembered to turn the crock pot on before we left. I never regret a home day; I often wonder what I was thinking when I book up our morning and afternoon with extra activities!
Home days do not mean we’re being anti-social. When the kids are all playing in the backyard, I call my mom or a friend as I’m wiping down counters and folding laundry. Having our weekends open means that I’ve been able to have a newly-married friend come and spend the day with us and see what homemaking and marriage might look like in a few more years. Not running around to multiple late afternoon kid activities means that we’re still free to have people over for dinner during the week. Home days allow me to sit down and write an encouraging note to a friend struggling with post-partum depression; to prepare my house for hospitality; to rest and re-energize for a time of fellowship with our small group. And the sweetest times of family life are often experienced on home days, when we’ve read a whole pile of good books together, or played a family game, or decided to make scones and have a tea party “just because.”
Our family’s summer schedule is already starting to get booked up with fun plans: swimming lessons, VBS, visits from friends, and the like. But I’m planning on scheduling plenty of home days throughout the summer, too!