We have entered a new normal of family life; we are now two full-time-work-outside-the-home parents.
The reality of this season became most noticeable this summer. When I was home, I had the flexibility to register our children for a variety of activities from swimming to Lego robotics classes to ceramics. Even when I had a home-based business, our summer days consisted of daily swimming lessons plus trips to the zoo and the science center and community center classes. We took lengthy road trips, spent plenty of time at the library, and met up with friends for movie nights and play dates.
We live in Arizona where it reaches 117 degrees in the summer! (Yes, you read that right, 117 degrees.) As you can imagine, children and adults spend a great deal of time in the water in an attempt to stay cool.This is the first summer I can remember my kids not having swimming lessons. I believe we made it to the swimming pool once or twice this entire summer. There was plenty of time spent in different camps that would expose them to activities they may want to pick up long term, but there was just no time for swimming lessons.
Because this summer didn’t look like our previous summers, there’s a temptation to free-fall into guilt and condemnation over our decision for me to work outside the home full-time. One of the greatest blessings, however, to come out of this season has been the increase in the amount of time our children spend with my husband.
My husband has always been an involved dad. Yet, in this season of life our roles overlap more than they did when I was a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom. He and I depend on each other so much more now than we did before.
He takes them to school every day. He reschedules his meetings or leaves them early, so that one of us could be there for our kids’ classroom activities. He takes planned and sometimes unplanned vacation days to spend time with them during their school breaks. My husband’s presence and commitment in the lives of our children is one of the things of which I am most thankful.
All of our children are school aged. Do I miss the season of being the primary caregiver for my kids? Yes, at times I do, but I won’t waste my life wishing for what used to be. Otherwise, I rob my husband, my children and myself of the opportunity to see how God wants to work in our lives in this season.
God is doing something brand new in our marriage, and I don’t want to miss it!
Who are you thankful for today?