Something that I have always struggled with is balance. I always want to do things 100%, but since I am human, it's impossible, so I end up leaving something neglected.
For so long I was so focused on natural living, that I didn't really spend time just enjoying my family... I spent so much time researching, blogging, and I spent a lot of money in pursuit of being completely natural. Was it worth it? I don't think so because the most important things were suffering. I was so intent on staying home to "be with my kids," but I wasn't really with them. I stayed home, against my husband's wishes, because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. I had decided to homeschool, against my husband's wishes, because I thought that was best for us just because it was best for others. I focused on having a spotless house, all foods cooked/baked from scratch (but ended up eating in the dining hall a lot anyway...), etc. I spent so much time and money focused on things that didn't matter in the end. Yes, eating healthy and natural is important, but it should never be a focus.
Apparently it took me working full time to actually learn to find a balance. Odd I know. It took me completely blowing all of my perceptions of the perfect mom to realize that I will never be a perfect mom. It took me being away from my kids during the day to find that spending time with my kids anytime I have the chance is way more important than anything else. I appreciate my kids more than I ever have. I appreciate my husband more than I ever have. I have found a balance with natural living, and I have decided, that for my family, it isn't as high of a priority as I had made it in the past. Yes, we still try to live naturally in certain aspects, but it isn't a focus at all anymore. And I don't regret that.
I am a (full time) working mom now. Last year this time I never would have seen that coming. But, of course, this past year has been way different than I would have ever planned myself. And in most aspects, I'm thankful that things that I planned didn't happen, because God's plan is so much better than my own. I've heard so many arguments against moms working... and that had kept me from even considering it, but I've realized that not every mom is meant to stay home. I am not a stay at home mom as much as I tried to be. Some people had this perception of me (through my blog) that wasn't really true... I honestly was not very nice to my kids because I was so stressed out by them. I'm a much better mom now than I ever have been. I love on my kids all the time. We color, play, and cuddle. I honestly didn't do that much before. But I did yell a lot, spank too much, and get angry a lot. And, I've realized that "sticking the kids in daycare all day" isn't as bad as many people make it out to be. The kids have grown so much from being with other kids, and being in "school." Karis is writing like a first grader (in some aspects); she makes things and says things that blow me out of the water. She has friends. She talks about school all the time. She was in a Thanksgiving program the other day. She is flourishing. I'm thankful that she has this opportunity! Ethan talks in long sentences. He isn't throwing fits near as much. He gets to play with other boys. He and Levi are loved on all day long. They aren't being neglected. They are flourishing.
So, I'm here to say that being a working mom isn't bad... and for some families, it's good for the family. I have a husband that is so supportive and loves that I love my job. He helps in every aspect, including coming home and cooking dinner most nights! He helps make menus, helps make grocery lists and we grocery shop as a family, he does the laundry most of the time, helps clean up, etc. We work together as a family, play as a family, and enjoy each other when we are together.
I have little glimpses of wanting to stay home with my kids, but it doesn't last long :). I feel that where we are in life is where we are meant to be. I'm thankful that God has used this extremely hard year to reveal who He has created me to be, for His glory. Through the postpartum depression that I went through, I learned to let go of being the person that I thought everyone expected me to be, and truly find out who I am in Christ. God has given me a passion for His people. He has given me a passion for teaching my kids that this life isn't about us, it's about knowing God and making Him known. He has given me a passion for teaching... not just to teach, but to be a part of changing lives. I love my students, and they know that, and I feel like I am actually impacting their world for good. When I was out because of being sick, I came back to lots of hugs, "I love yous," and cards and pictures. It blessed my heart so much that God would use me in this way to love on His kids. I'm not perfect, but no one is. I am just a human in this crazy, messy, fallen world. I'm thankful for a relationship with my creator, and that He has chosen to use ME when He doesn't have to.