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Slow down, mama

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Here I am again, sitting next to a bed while someone sleeps.

I have been doing this for nearly eight years.

I'm listening to the peaceful breathing and enjoying the ever fleeting silence with my bible, my notebooks and a pen. It's where I write, most often, while I sit and watch the littlest ones sleep.

It's a peaceful moment in the midst of a chaotic day. It's the moment my heart remembers why I stay home. Why I have given my life to raising these kids. Why I wish I'd started this sooner.

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I was a working mom for the first five years of motherhood. I loved everything about my job. I loved working and spending my days with adults. It was tough to juggle at times and there were difficult days when kids were sick and I had to find help. Some evenings I worked later and would rush home to dinner, baths and bedtime routines but those nights were necessary and we made it work.

When I was pregnant with our third child, we moved to a new town. Instead of searching for a new job, we decided it would be best if I stayed home for a while to help the children transition to a new area.

And that's when I realized all I had missed!

The moments like this one where a little boy naps quietly.

The moments where little children sit together and play with legos.

The unrushed morning breakfast.

The arguing over whose turn it is to sweep the floor after lunch.

The moments when I have to hide in my closet with a bag of m&m's so I don't go completely insane before their Daddy gets home.

The moments where they grow right before your eyes.

The small, everyday moments where life happens.

Of course I had a taste of these things on the weekends but how much had I missed?

I knew there was the chance I would miss the first steps or the first words but I didn't realize all of the little things they do each day that I find such great joy in! We had bedrooms full of brand new toys that no one was ever home to play with. My walls weren't covered in crayon because no one was bored on a rainy afternoon. Our dress clothes were not torn and faded from everyday wear because no one ever put them on!

Now everything shows the wear and tear of hours of playtime, curious toddlers, daily dress ups and lots of love.

Even Mommy.

I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. It wasn't on my list of personal achievements. We have had to make some sacrifices along the way for me to be home and there was a time when we would have told you we couldn't make it on one income. But we can. You can.

I know that it's not everyone's dream and for some it truly isn't an option. But if you have a desire in your heart to be home I would encourage you to try your best to make it work.

I will never get those first 5 years back.

I wonder what I missed with the first two because I never had the time to sit and watch them nap. I didn't even know what I was missing. I can't get those years back but it makes me so grateful for these years I have been given.

Slow down, Mama. It all passes so quickly.

#dohardthings #graceupongrace #upstreamparenting

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