We may not have it all together but together we have it all

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Realizing my worth as a stay at home mom

Six weeks after Bradley was born, Dave and I registered him for daycare, put a deposit down and had a week before I had to return to work.  As the days of going back to work got closer and closer, Dave and I would panic more and more.  Did we want to put our world into the hands of a stranger for 8 hours a day?  Could I drop him off each morning at daycare and actually walk out the door and leave him?  Finally we realized that no, we couldn't do it. Dave and I discussed how having one income would change the way we were living. Yes we would still have our nice house but our social life and freedom of buying whatever we wanted would change dramatically.  Both of us decided it was worth it, because we didn't have him to have someone else spend more time with him than we did.  

I would talk to my boss about possibly working from home a few days a week and having my best friend watch him the other days.  Luckily for us, my boss was awesome and I was able to work from home.  There were days that I had to go in but mostly, he was home with me and would even go to work with me if needed.  That lasted for a few months, when things changed at work and I was no longer employed.  It didn't matter to us, yes those few extra dollars were nice but Bradley was getting bigger and I wanted all my time with him.  That is when my career of being a stay at home mom began!

The years flew by, three more babies were born and I'm still a stay at home mom.  There are times when I question that decision.  When I wish I would have finished college and have a fabulous career.  When it comes time to pay for sports, Christmas, birthdays or new clothes for the kids when they have out grown what they have.  When I really want a new purse but one of the kids needs new shoes or wants to try another dance class.  When I watch Dave work some much overtime just so the kids can play/do what they love.  When I wish I could take some of the financial burden off his shoulders and contribute to our income.  When that interaction with adults in a work environment sounds really good over 4 kids fighting, Calliou on repeat, dishes needing to be done and another load of laundry to be folded and put away.  

Today is the day I realized my worth as a stay at home mom!  Here is a little background info as to why.....

Third grade for Bradley started a three year battle with school.  He struggled with reading and had a teacher that was tough, making school not enjoyable for him.  It was a daily fight and often ended in tears from both of us just to get through the nights homework.  He and I would sit at the dining room table for hours getting the work done.  I would sit with him and go over every question, read every page that needed to be read, because I was not going to let him fail.  I felt it was my job as him mom to make sure he did well in school, failing was not an option.  

Fourth and fifth grade he was blessed with the most amazing teacher I have even known.  As wonderful as she was, his struggles with reading continued.  She and I would talk about ways to get him to enjoy reading, how to get him to grade level.  Every night when the younger ones went to sleep, Bradley and I would read.  He would read a page, I would read a page and we kept this up until the end of the year. He was reading at grade level by the end of fifth grade.

Sixth grade came with new fears.  Would he be able to handle the work load middle school brings.  Would his reading slip again and would they give him the extra help he needs.  Would I be able to handle another year of fighting and frustration? 

To say middle school has been a miracle is an understatement!  The boy that struggled so much, is excelling! Today we got his 4th trimester grades and guess what?  HIGH HONOR ROLL again!!!!!!!!  And he is doing this all on his own!  No more sitting with him for hours, no more huge daily battles and no more tears.  Of course there are times when I have to say 15 times, "Bradley do your homework" but I'll take that over the fighting.

Here are the comments from his teachers for this term...
Term: M4
Course Name Comments
Applied Technology 6 Exceptional understanding of class content. Effort-Commendable. Outstanding job. Bradley is truly outstanding job this term. He stays focused and
on task, he is polite and cooperative, he is respectful and supportive of his classmates. I could not ask for a better effort from any student. It is a
great pleasure to have such a fine solid young man in class.
Info Quest 6 Exceptional understanding of class content. Effort-Commendable.
Warrior Boost 6 Effort-Commendable.
A Pleasure to Work With.
Language Arts 6 Solid understanding of class content. A Pleasure to Work With. Well Organized and Prepared.
Math 6 Course 1 Exceptional understanding of class content. A Pleasure to Work With. Very Cooperative. Effort-Commendable.
P.E./Health 6 Positive Attitude.
Solid understanding of class content.
Science 6 Solid understanding of class content. Very Cooperative. A Pleasure to Work With.

Take a moment to read the comment from his Applied Technology teacher.  Amazing right?  That is my Bradley Boo he is talking about!!!  

I cried!  I actually cried when I read those comments because I am so proud.  I am so proud that my child is so respectful, kind and an overall awesome kid at school.  I drill it into their heads to always be respectful to adults, treat their classmates kindly no matter what and that school is the number one priority in their life right now.  I am honest and tell them that I want better for them, than I did for myself.   

I should also note that Emily is just as amazing as her brother.  She is a blessing, never needed that extra time spent on school work and reading comes naturally to her.  She does awesome in school all on her own, getting straight A's last semester.  I have not gotten her report card yet, but I know it is all A's & B's.  I thank God for giving her, her smarts.  After the last three years with Bradley, I think he knew I needed a break.  Hopefully Ben and Elisabeth will continue on the same path as their siblings, but if not, I will be home to help them along with way.  My kids are going to move mountains one day, I just know it!

I am in no way putting down the mom's that work and raise families.  I think those moms that work all day and come home and take care of the household are freaking ROCK STARS!!  One day I will go back to work and hope I can juggle it all.  I don't think I could have done as well with Bradley, if I had a job to go to everyday.  High five's all around to your working moms who do it all!

Being a stay at home mom has allowed me to watch the four people who are my world grow, help them with their struggles, take them to practice, dance class, therapies and preschool.  I have had one on one time with each of them when they were babies, something I will cherish forever.

So the next time I am hard on myself for not having that college degree or the high paying job that makes paying for everything a little less stressful, I am going to look back and this and be reminded of my worth as a stay at home mom!