Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smallest BlessingsThursdays: Thankful To Be A Homemaker





It's Thankful Thursdays over at Southern Housewife's Blog, and I decided to participate. The blessing that I'm so thankful for today is being able to stay home with my children and care for them.

Yesterday, I happened upon the website, www.daycaresdontcare.org, and I felt extrememly grateful that my children don't have to to be in daycare. It's something that I purposed since I was younger, to not put my children into daycare.

For some reason it just made me open my eyes even more to the powerful impact that being at home with my children really makes. I felt sad for the many testimonials of the negative effects of daycare usage. But, I didn't need to read it to know. It just made me all the more thankful for the fact that I'm home with my babies, and get to love on them and teach them, and have fun with them throughout the day.

They get to enjoy being at home with Mommy, and being always near me. They get to have a sense of security in knowing that Mommy is always near, and I am so grateful for that, because extenuating circumstances could have reversed the situation. But, God has provided for me to be home with them and I am so thankful.

The pictures above are of me in a dress that I had stashed away for awhile. When I put it on I thought I looked like a 1950's housewife. How cute, I thought. I have felt so much more productive today, wearing a cute little dress around the house, even though I had absolutely nowhere to go today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mary Kay Lady




Over the weekend I attended a friend's Mary Kay business debut. It was her first home party, and it was actually quite a bit of fun.

My friend is a single mother of a school-age daughter, and she has told me that she is tired of the corporate world. She wants to find a way to earn money from home. So, she has ventured into selling Mary Kay.

I had never used a Mary Kay product before this party, but I must say that the products seem very nice. My favorite color is pink, so I love how most of the containers are a beautiful shade of pink. My friend talked to me about possibly becoming a Mary Kay lady as well.

It seems like a nice business venture. My main drawback is that you need $100 to start. As opposed to Avon, where you only need $10 to start. And, I have used Avon products since I was a little girl. My mother loved their skin creams, and bought all the various scents. I love them now, and am a dedicated Avon fan.

If you are looking to purchase some Mary Kay products online, my friend's website is www.marykay.com/metoyamonroe

Just wondering, have you or anyone you've known experienced much success with selling for Mary Kay or Avon? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finding Fulfillment In My Duties as Wife and Mother



In my last post about staying home with the children, I mentioned how I'm learning more about the joy and beauty of being a good wife, mother, and homemaker. It is definitely a challenging job, and requires skill to do it all well.

The other day my husband said to me, "Being a wife is a hard job, isn't it?" I replied, "Isn't being a husband?" He went on to say that being a husband is a different kind of job. He's responsible for providing and going to work, but he doesn't consider his professional job to be a difficult job, but rather easygoing, laidback work. I, on the other hand, work hard cleaning, taking care of our home, the children and him. And, it's like labor kind of work, he said. Hard work. "I bet you didn't think it would be this hard when you wanted to be a stay at home mom, did you?", he asked me.

In many ways, I did think it would be hard. I remembered thinking how hard my mother and grandmother would work cooking dinner, and being in the kitchen for so long preparing an elaborate meal, the great effort that it took to keep the house cleaned, getting all of us kids ready to go to church, or anywhere, cleaning a mountain of dishes, etc. I used to think it seemed to be so boring to have to do all of that.

Until I had to do those things in my own home. After seeing how much having a clean home and delicious meals meant to my husband, I had a renewed sense of motivation for being a good homemaker. And, I actually started to enjoy cleaning. Not usually the act itself, but the results of cleaning usually recharged me, and made me feel so good and accomplished, and I enjoyed that feeling. Having a clean kitchen to walk into each morning is so refreshing! I've come to actually enjoy washing dishes, and find it to be a great time to relax and ponder on different things.

I'm starting to enjoy catering to my husband as well. I admit that I had to let some feministic ideas go. But, the more I made it a point to fix my husband's plate, to cook meals that I knew he enjoyed, to wash and fold his clothes, to rub his back, to look pretty for him, to do the different little things that I knew he liked, the more I enjoyed doing those things for him. I actually look forward to doing those things. I receive so much satisfaction from serving him.

Just like I receive so much satisfaction from having a clean and orderly home. I just think if you set your mind to achieving a task, the more you do it, the more you like doing it. It reminds me of a story a preacher once shared.

He said that a woman went to her pastor seeking help because she wanted to divorce her husband, and wanted to know what she should do, since she believed divorce was wrong, but felt it was impossible to remain married to her husband. Her pastor advised her that for the next three or four months she should cater to him and treat him as lovingly as possible. Then at the end, spring him with divorce papers, because he would never suspect it coming. She thought that it was a great idea, and went about treating her husband like he was a king. Well, at the end of the couple of months, the pastor saw the young lady again, and asked if she followed through with the divorce. She replied, "Divorce? Why would I divorce my husband, I realize just how much I love him. I definitely want to make things work."

The pastor knew she would come to this conclusion. The message behind it is that our mind follows our actions. She acted lovingly toward her husband, and her mind and emotions began to follow.

You can't just follow your emotions. Just because you don't feel like doing things, doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Do your duty, and your emotions will follow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Staying At Home With The Kids Is Not a Bad Choice




While reading a new blog the other day, I happened upon a comment made to a post about being a stay at home mom. The lady said that she would not be disappointed if her daughter became a musician or artist, even though it's an unstable occupation, but she would be MOST disappointed if her daughter became a stay at home mom. She went on to say that she values and respects many stay at home moms, so she doesn't know why she feels that way.

Interesting. I was kind of stunned that she would say that she would be most disappointed if her daughter became a stay at home mom, like that is the worst that she could do with her life. The commenter is a working mother. Growing up, I have always been admonished by my parents and grandparents to "get your education." And, I did. The main reason was so that I would end up being successful, and have plenty of money to do the things that I wanted. I don't think my parents are disappointed that I'm a stay at home mother at this point. They look at it as a temporary situation because I have two small children at home.

In many ways, I have looked at it as a temporary situation, too. It is a financial struggle for me to stay at home. If I went back to teaching, I would have a guaranteed and stable income every month, and our lives would be financially very comfortable. But, at what cost to my children, at this juncture? I do work from home, but with two small and demanding children, I am not able to devote the time that I need to my work from home. If we only had these two children, then I would feel comfortable going back to teaching when my daughter enters school. But, what if I get pregnant again? Then, that's more years at home.

God has provided in wonderful ways so far, and I trust that He will continue to do so. I know that He will open doors as needed. Plus, I'm starting to really get into what being an excellent wife, mother, and homemaker is really about, and I'm eager to stay home and excel in the role that God has for me. More to come later about that. . .

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Me Time




I have some time to myself to actually blog, and I'm excited!! Lately I've been thinking a lot about the whole "me" time thing. Before I had children, I read blog posts and articles about mothers needing me time to feel rejuvenated, and be better wives and mothers. Then, I read other blog posts about how selfish having me time was. One Christian mother of eight said that she doesn't seek out me time, because when she does, she finds that she just becomes more frustrated. Instead, she just tries to be patient, prays throughout the day, and God replenishes her. Eventually, at some point during the day, she has time to herself. I thought that was a good approach.

Because this past week, as I have tried to seek out me time, it seems that at every opportunity, it fails to come! And, it leads to frustration on my part. That's why it's important to start each day out with God's word and prayer, to put our minds where they should be. I'm guilty of not doing that everyday, but it's my goal.

Yesterday, for example, I woke up early in the morning because that's when my son woke up. I didn't get one break yesterday until around 11:30 p.m. last night when my daughter went to sleep. No naptime break or anything. My son went down for his nap just as my daughter was awaking from hers. I wanted to scream, because it had already been a trying day. I'm trying not to claim the whole "terrible two's" that people talk about, but, boy, it seems like my 19 month old is headed that way. My husband and I are going to have to really be firm to prevent this from happening. I hope that the terrible two's aren't inevitable.

I used to want four children, two boys and two girls. For now, I think I'm pretty content with the one girl and one boy. I often wonder now, how in the world do people manage with three, four, five kids that are under school age? But, then I think to myself, well, the same way that I'm managing with my two kids. You kind of manage as you go along with trial and error, and ever growing patience. If I had three or four, I think God would give me the patience needed, and I would learn to manage it. I kind of wouldn't have much of a choice, but to figure out how to manage it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Living Debt-Free On One Income

A great giveaway is going on at A High and Noble Calling blog. Leave a comment for a chance to win a great e-book, Living Debt Free on One Income.

I don't know about you, but I would love the chance to read this book, and glean more information on how to nip away at debt while living on one income. If you're interested, hop on over and leave a comment.

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