Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Kids...they make me laugh, they make me cry, and sometimes they make me crazy

I have been a stay-at-home parent to my children for the past seven years and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to do so.  I'm also grateful that I went back to work right after Enthusiastic Explorer Boy (E2B) was born because I don't ask myself "what if" as it relates to my professional career.  I went back to work part-time and, while I was glad to be working, the experience also helped me feel more confident in my eventual decision to leave the paid working world for a time.  That being said, staying at home isn't for everyone and I think that what is best for mom (generalizing here, sorry dads!) is best for her child(ren).  If a parent wants to be at home and they are working, then they are going to be unhappy.  Likewise, if a parent really wants to be at work and they are at home, then they run the risk of resenting their kids.  As one dear friend says, she is a better mom because she works out of the home (and she is a great mom).

And the thing about being a stay-at-home mother is that - in one respect - it is like any other job.  There are days when I love my job and days when I feel like I should be polishing up my resume and looking for a new one.  As I said in the title of this post - sometimes my kids make me laugh, sometimes they make me cry, and sometimes they make me crazy.  They also make me proud, surprise me, frustrate me, keep me on my toes, amaze me, open the world to me, and teach me.  The magic of my children is often found in small, quiet moments and I wanted to share a few that have jumped out to me in the last couple of days with my son.

From E2B's letter of appreciation to Running Man and me (a requirement from his karate school for each belt test):

Dear Mommy and Da thank you so so so so much for being you.  I like the way you help me.  I love you so so so so so so much no matter what!  How did you learn all this stuff that you teach me?!  Love, E2B

During his previous belt test the school's Grandmaster asked the children how long they spent writing their letters of appreciation to their parents and praised those students who reported spending 10 minutes or more on the task.  E2B had me time him and, as much as I know he loves us, I'm pretty sure all of the extra "so's" are more about filling his own self-imposed time limit than anything else.  I'm cool with that and I'll be sure to keep this letter to remind him how much he loves us and appreciates us when he's a teenager.  And, oh yes, how very much we know because parents seem to know very little by the time their kids hit the teen years (or so I've been warned by friends with older children).

From E2B's homework assignment to write four sentences using four of his spelling words:

What a delight that I can play that game now.
I'm just amused here by his use of the phrase "what a delight".  I think he has been spending time with some older Southern ladies....bless his heart!

I do not know what righteous means.
I'm not sure that I could spell righteous now without the benefit of spell check.  This is from a first grade spelling list!

Lightning comes from the sky.
Partially/sometimes true...I elected not to muddy up the waters of his spelling homework with information about cloud-to-ground and ground-to-cloud lightning.  He's going to have a field day with that soon, though.

I have one right thigh.
Right you are, my boy!

From a birthday card E2B made for a friend:

The heart doubles as a baby and the peace sign an old man...notice neither of these symbols has hair :)

This was under E2B's signature.  When I asked about it, he explained that it means "Love and peace will be with you always, no matter if you're old, young, or in the middle."  Wow!  Color me one very proud mama!

"It's not only children who grow.  Parents do too.  As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours.  I can't tell my children to reach for the sun.  All I can do is reach for it, myself."  ~Joyce Maynard


  1. Great post Britt! I wholeheartedly agree with your first paragraphs about mothers choosing to work or stay at home. I'm so fortunate to be able to do both part time and can't imagine doing either full time at this juncture with my boys! E2B is quite the man!!! It's been way too long since we've seen you all. I think a spring time BBQ should be in the works! Thanks for sharing!!!
    Yo Heather :-)

  2. Great post, and couldnt be more apt as I am on maternity leave and due back to work in 2 months and im dreading it, would much rather be at home with my boy but needs must and bills to be paid :o( Scarlett x

  3. Love this post! You are SUCH a wonderful mother!!

  4. Wow, love how you put this here. I am one of those mothers that had to work outside the home. I don't think I would have resented my children, but definitely my husband! ;)

    My husband, on the other hand, a "manly" farm boy is more domestic and suitable for staying home. He readily admits to this talent!

    I love your "moments"-what a boy!

    And, you are so right, time is short and they grow so fast.