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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home is Where My Heart is

But, That Doesn't Mean Yours Should be Too

Somewhere Over the Suburbs

In the last two weeks, two people have commented about how they would go "stark raving mad" if they had to stay home all day. Both used those exact same words. One time, yes, I did take notice, but twice? And in such a short time period?

It got me thinking.

Isn't it wonderful that we're all wired differently?

I could have gotten all defensive and tried to educate them on the beauty of staying at home and how I'd been where they are and done that and didn't like it so much. Honestly, though, I know they meant nothing bad towards me by saying it. What I decided to do, and what's working for me in many areas of my life, is to change the one thing that I can control.

My reaction.

I'm learning, through lots of grit and sheer willpower that I can only control me and that I really need to realize that most people mean well. And those that are trying to get a rise out of me by baiting me by tempting me with "this means war" words are more miffed by my nonreaction than if I would go all postal on them.

I'm in a really happy place in my life. I'm at peace with my choices. I honestly can putter around my house, content to take care of it and find little projects to occupy my time. When I worked outside the home, yes, I cleaned and cooked in the minimal minutes I had when I wasn't working, but it wasn't the same. I was unhappy and hardly had the time to even notice that I was.

Who am I to judge someone else, though, that's making their way in the world the way they want to?

You have to do what makes you happy. I can't walk in your business black pumps, nor can you fill my Keen walking shoes.

I make our house a home and I delight in it. What others see as a prison sentence soothes me. I look forward to those blank days on the calendar when I can just be at home. I might rearrange and redecorate. I might make meals for the freezer. I may sew or paint or clear out some clutter. I may have the washing machine, the dryer, and the dishwasher humming, my iPod buzzin' in my ears as I get out the Thankgiving decorations.

I write. I work on volunteer projects. I make plans. I balance the budget. I find the replacement part for the little dohickey that screws the attachements on my Kitchen Aid mixer. I match socks. I talk on the phone. I schedule appointments. I menu plan and figure out ways to save money. I figure out solutions to those things that could drive someone spread a little bit thinner insane.
I manage the house and in return, I get weekends again.

It feeds my soul.

I've been on the other side of the Mommy Wars. You know, the I work harder/faster/better/longer than you struggle that has plagued women since the burning of the bras. If we'd just let go of it and just say, "I'm happy with what I'm doing." And let that just stand alone.

Perhaps it's that we're not.

So, if you're not doing what makes you happiest? Why not? What would you want to do with your days if you could do anything? What would you have to do/sacrifice/change in your life that could get you to your happy place? I honestly think it's possible, but you've got to really change your mindset.

This isn't to say that I don't have days when I curse at the laundry and I shake my fist at the empty milk carton in the refrigerator. I have my moments when I would rather pull out my own fingernails than empty the dishwasher for the third time in a day, but, overall, I'm happy and content with my life at home. It took me a while to get here, but I'm happy that this has been my evolution as a mom, woman, and wife.

It works for me. It's brought my son back to what he was before owning a business put him second. It allows me, on the days when my disease doesn't let me function, to just focus on healing. It helps my husband pursue the career he loves without worrying about what's going on at home. Yes, we have traditional roles, but I'm anything but a traditional stay at home mother.

I challenge you to find that place that makes you happiest and if you're not there, figure out how to get there. It might not be as hard as you think it is.

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Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!