My decision to leave the workplace and stay home

My decision to leave the workplace and stay home…

was a hard one! But it was the plan all along. Ever since we decided we wanted another child, and God answered with our little Liam, we had planned for me to leave the workplace and home school him…as soon as the debts were paid off.

Every single day, from the time he was born…until my final day in the workplace, almost 5 years later, was very difficult!

I missed him. I worried that the other children would pick on him and teach him bad habits. I worried that he would be unkind to other children. I was tired and short tempered and SO excited to see him every day after work. But we only had about 4 or 5 waking hours together on week days…

And for a while 3 of those hours were in the car, because we moved over an hour outside of the city when Liam was 3-1/2.

I was conflicted and unsure if I was making the “right” decision. Even though I am old enough to know that some things are neither right nor wrong in the broadest sense.

I was not sure if I would be a “good enough” mother, if I would have enough patience or if I would get bored being at home. If my child would be better off with less of me, or more of me. If our family would be better off with more money, or more of me. Would we ever…get…all…the…debt…paid…off?!

And then we did, it was all paid off and it was time to go for it, or be at peace with working.

I was not at peace with working.

I felt that I was stretched too thin to give my family my best, as long as I was working- even part time ( I did that for the last few months just to see if that would be a good fit).

So I left the work place, the 9 to 5… and stayed home… full time.

I still loose my temper from time to time. I still get overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities and I still doubt myself. But I don’t regret the time that I have had with this precious little boy.

I love the extra time that I get to ..just..think, to crochet, to clean..my..house…!

I have time to meal plan and scrimp and save,.. and..frett;P

I have time to get all the laundry clean and put away before my husband gets home from his looong commute. And time enough to cook nice meals.

I was just getting used to it.

…and then my husband was given a job offer only 3 miles from our very rural home.

A job that would mean being way beyond frugal…It will mean that we will have to sell things that we make and maybe pick up odd jobs here and there to make ends meet.

And I am scared!

But …I am also excited to spend more time with my husband. This new job will mean 3 hours more time at home for him …per…day!

So ..it’s okay. And I can be excited and scared all at the same time.

 

All great adventures start that way I suppose!

 

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Father’s Day and Dodging a Bullet

Father’s Day and Dodging a Bullet

This past weekend I was blessed with a wonderful Father’s Day! It has been much more difficult to get the whole family together since most of them have grown, left the nest and started out on their own lives. This Sunday though it was an absolute pleasure to welcome four of the six home for a day of talking, laughing, playing games and a visit to our “petting zoo.”

There were a few moments when the kids were together laughing and talking and I just stood back to savor the precious sounds in our new home. Other times I couldn’t help but to butt in and join the fun. It was really fun to watch our littlest try to keep up with the activity and conversation of his bigger siblings.

For dinner each of us crafted our own pizza and enjoyed devouring the results.  We followed up our meal with some homemade chocolate cookies and a game of Apples To Apples. It was a great time to have such fun around our dining room table again.

Once the festivities died down I wanted to take advantage of the setting sun (and temperature) so I hopped on my tractor to do some quick mowing. I ran the tractor along the fence line when all of a sudden the tractor died abruptly. I got it started again, but could not get it to go forward with the mower engaged. A quick inspection revealed that I had apparently failed to clean up a small bundle of wire I had used the previous weekend while putting up some fence. The mower blade had sucked it up and wrapped it tight around the shaft. I took a few quick tugs, but it didn’t appear it was going to be an easy fix. I gave up for the night in order to get back to the kids who were preparing to leave.

I returned my attention to the mower last night with some measure of anxiety since I had learned that the blades on a brush hog are tightened to such a degree that I knew I would be unable to remove them with my limited tools. I was armed only with a hacksaw, wire cutters and some pliers. Thankfully it took just a few strokes with the hacksaw and the tight bundle released itself. The pliers made an easy job of removing the remaining wire and the blade was free and clear.

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Why we are making this transistion

© SmollaI have honestly been surprised at how many people are actually happy and supportive of our decision to leave city life behind. However, for every four or so people who love the idea there is one who asks, “Why in the world would you do that to your family?” ; “How are you gonna make that work?” — or something to that effect. I do have to be realistic and admit that I have asked myself these same things, but doing so has really helped to shape our decision-making into an even firmer picture.

Here are a few of the reasons (not in any particular order other than what pops into my head first):

Family

Modern life is nothing short of chaotic. Corporate employment, the demands of public education, and organized sports used for the purpose of giving kids “something to do” are among the short list of activities pulling families apart.

Even when we incorporate family dinner at the table to discuss family and activity issues, the minute the food is done everyone scatters to their next event.

The conceptual design of modern life has so many ways to escape from what is real that reality itself almost becomes a myth. The idea of something being real become so abstract that people seem to have to make uninformed decisions on what is real and what is not. These concepts become rooted in a societal soup that is so contrived and manipulated it is no wonder that families don’t know their members (and perhaps even themselves) very well.

A return to a rural farm is what we believe will help bring a family back in touch with each other. We will have to work together and communicate about concepts and ideas that are truly important and based upon things that are tangible, not peripheral and inconsequential.

 Food

Unless one buys their food from a local farmer’s market, the question about the source of what is on the table is always in question. How was it grown, how were the people who grew and harvested it treated, what is or is not in the food that we are eating?

Those questions are no longer in doubt when you bring your own food to the table. If there are hazardous chemicals in it, the fault is your own. Sure there are the real possibilities that a crop could fail, but wise planning and stewardship can prevent total disaster.

Spirituality

God is alive and well, but He sure seems to get a back seat in the normal day-to-day of “civilized society.” When a population derives its hope from corporations and governments, their view of God’s hand upon their lives is twisted and skewed.

On the other hand, when we can escape the sterile confines of brick and sheet rock walls to the expanse of nature’s grass, trees and weather, our understanding of forces bigger than us becomes much more tangible. We can see the intricate beauty of creation happening right in front of our eyes.

This builds a connection between the seen and unseen that goes almost unnoticed in a life that strives to artificially subdue the environment.

Peace

Nature is not silent, however, the natural noises of wind, rain, birds and other animals do not reach the ear in the same way that sirens and car alarms do. Most people find time in their schedules to escape from the chaos of urban life, but why not make urban life the anomaly rather than the other way around?

Pride

This is not the narcissistic pride that puffs one up artificially. This is a real sense of personal satisfaction that occurs when you see something you have done with your own hands. Food always seems to taste better when you know how hard you had to work to bring it to the table yourself. When you see the smiling faces of your family enjoying the fruits of YOUR labor and not someone those of some unknown stranger, there is a satisfaction that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Personal Growth

Who knew I could cut down a tree and turn it into a beautiful new gate for our property? People in the city have so much untapped potential it is almost a travesty to see it go to waste. In the city we spend so much time trying to get from this activity to the next that we lose the ability to truly try new things. We don’t experience our limits because we don’t often get the opportunity to challenge ourselves. Failure is certainly an option, but it is in the trying that we learn and grow.

Existence, to me, is not an hour on the couch watching television because my mind is too exhausted to create new adventures.

 Desire

Not everyone thinks this way, nor does everyone have what it takes to make this kind of transition. Believe me, even with all the previous reasons, without the desire to see it through, this would be a ridiculous move on our part. The reality is that we DO have this desire and it comes deep from within. It has been there all along, but we just didn’t know what to do with it. We tried to adapt to “civilized life,” but there was always a yearning to do things differently. Because we share this desire, we are willing to take our family on this journey, together.