I recently toured my husband's new office space. What a lucky guy - the building is gorgeous, the offices are big enough, colors are nice, and on and on. And while he talks about having to get adjusted to "where his printer is" and "how far away the copier is", I think he's doing just fine.
So while he was showing me around, I had some serious flashbacks to all the offices that I have worked in prior to the one in which I am currently employed, 17 Cherry Tree Lane*. All of a sudden, I began questioning my choice to stay at home. It was incredibly bittersweet.
Sometimes I desperately miss the working world. The responsiblity. The sense of accomplishment. Setting and surpassing goals. Perseverance. Writing. Helping clients meet goals. Creative thinking. Strategic thinking. Many aspects of that world are no longer part of my life.
Or are they?
They're still here. Just in a different form.
For example. The responsiblity. Boy, do I have that now. I have two little lives that look to me for everything. And the sense of accomplishment that I might not always do it perfect, but I'm really good at being everything for them right now, with direction from the good and perfect Father, of course.
Teaching manners and each of the fruits of the Spirit requires much perseverance. Plus, I need to exemplify them in my own life, without fail. I never want to be a "do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do" mother.
Never in my life have I had to be more creative and strategic than I have when working with these two. I mean, how can you not be strategic when you plan two daily routines, train them to eat and nap at the same times and then bathe, read and put to bed, often on your own?
When it comes to disciplining my two year old son, I've had to call upon every creative bone in my body. Resorting to thumping him when he's out of line, to telling him that "Mr. Grocery Store" or "Mr. Walmart" is going to find us when it's acting up in public. Discipline and consistency is tough. It's one of the hardest parts of the job.
Which brings me back to the posh office spaces of my husband. He has someone to come vacuum his office, dust his bookshelves, scrub whichever toilet he uses. I do not. He has a choice of assistants to help him finish his tasks, compile his projects and see to it that calls are returned. I do not.
But he doesn't have the real pleasure of watching two children learn something new every day. He doesn't get to take them for a lunch picnic in the park, watch them run to catch falling leaves, and swing on their bellies. He walks into a household that isn't necessarily spic-n-span like his new office is, but there's laughter and joyful sounds the second he walks in. And if not, tears are easily settled with loving reassurance and often a princess or spiderman bandaid, whether or not blood is involved.
Would I trade this for a sleek office, staplers and sticky notes, a convenient commute or personal account?
Not in a minute. But I really enjoyed the tour. It provided me with the hard, cold reality that life isn't always greener. I'm perfectly content in the grass I'm laying in now.
* Just in case you're not in the Disney loop, 17 Cherry Tree Lane is the address in Mary Poppins, one of our favorites.