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A New Normal

Prayers are an amazing thing.  ‘Be careful what you wish for’ is a common phrase but I think ‘Be careful what you pray for’ is a bit more accurate.

I never had a true life plan growing up.  Although, when I was in kindergarten I said I wanted to be a teacher and that dream happened.  I remember laying in my bed
freshman year.  Top bunk with the ugliest orange, flowery bed spread.  I needed to declare a major and was panicking because I didn’t have a back up plan.  What if I didn’t like teaching kids?  Then what?  Who even actually grows up to be what they wanted to be in kindergarten?  The best back up plan I came up with was flight attendant…yet I really didn’t like flying!

In college, I assumed marriage and babies would happen but I never had an exact time line.  After marrying Matt, we knew we’d have children but, again, there was no time line though I think I’d always just assumed I would be in my 20’s with my first child.  But plans are often broken and Liam came a day after my 30th birthday!

The move to Montana has offered Matt the chance to work at what can be classified as his ‘dream job’.  That term can be used loosely but I truly believe he is.  The people he works with and the environment he is in keeps him happy and enjoying going to work.  He is doing what he is wonderful at in a field that he loves.  And that is honestly something that I believe not many people can say.  Day in and day out he gets to talk fishing…or go fishing!  I thought he talked about fishing a lot in North Carolina but Montana has taken it to a whole new level!  I don’t mind hearing about it, though, knowing how happy it makes him.  He spends his day making sure Simms makes the best waders possible, giving tours of the plant, taking others fishing and loads of other things I’m sure.  And an added bonus: he no longer gets home “late”.  Though I am sure that is due in part to the fact that Liam and I drop him off and pick him up every day.  Living the one car life has not been near as hard as I thought.  I actually don’t mind it at all.  There are a few days he needs the car for a fishing trip but Liam and I make the most of our day at home.

And watching Liam say bye to Matt warms my heart.  He demands kisses, high fives, fist bumps.  A tickle fest usually ensues.  Kisses and hugs are repeated over and over.  And yet Liam usually wants more once Matt closes the door.  It’s a sweet way to start our day.  If we didn’t take Matt to work he would probably just get to sneak out and leave us sleeping.

As for me, I have been on an extended summer break of sorts.  When we moved here I interviewed and was offered a preschool job but after weighing a variety of pros and cons I ultimately turned it down.  I have spent the past four months being a ‘stay at home mom’…and loving every minute of it.  Ok, I’ll be honest.  Loving ALMOST every minute of it.

After Liam and I drop off Matt in the morning we usually have something to do almost every day.  We have found ourselves some amazing friends that we enjoy spending our days with.  At parks.  Picnics.  Play dates.  Library.  Hikes.

Yes, there are days I miss the classroom but watching Liam learn new things before my eyes and knowing that I have fully helped foster that knowledge means so much to me.  He can recognize so many letters and tell me their sounds and count to 20 and knows so many shapes and has a vocabulary that just blows me away.  How fast they learn at this age is just astounding…and knowing that I am not missing a majority of it by being at work is wonderful.

I know that me staying home was not the original plan when we decided to move to Montana.  Sacrifices have been made but I am so thankful for Matt and him allowing me this opportunity.  There are days I am drained after spending it entertaining and disciplining a two year old.  Honestly, I’m probably more tired than when I worked full time but my outlook on things are different.  I don’t mind doing laundry as much anymore.  Cleaning the house is not as burdensome (though it helps that we are living in a place a third of the size of our old house!). Going to the grocery store can actually be done during the day not on a rush home from work.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to truly mother Liam.  It is a privilege that so many women do not get these days (including me until recently) and I am thankful for this time.

I am grateful for how hard Matt works to make this possible (and grateful that he’s going to a job that is enjoyable to him).  There are pros and cons to me staying home but Liam being two will never happen again.  I am treasuring every second and making every minute with him count.  I was offered a job once when we moved here.  I pray that when I need one again it will be just as easy.

Just this month our routine (mine and Liam’s) has changed a bit and it will fully change at the end of the month.  We’ll still drop Matt off and pick him up but the between hours will be slightly different.  I’ve started watching our friends’ son two days a week and at the end of the month I’ll begin watching another little boy four days a week both of whom are Liam’s age.  Days will still hopefully be filled with play dates but also with some at-home preschool action (yes the teacher in me is still thriving!).

It’s hard to imagine that three years ago I was sitting on the playground having conversation after conversation with my friend about her chance to move to Raleigh and become a stay-at-home mom.  Having never been far from her hometown this scared her.  I gave her some very honest advice…not knowing that two years later I’d be having the same conversation with my other friend only this time I was the one with the possible move and trying my best to listen to the advice I’d given Jessie years before.  We still talk a few times a month and I can safely say we are both happy and blessed with our decisions (though knowing full well what we left behind).

I will say that though I am enjoying my time at home two things still bother me.  The first being I worry that Liam is spending TOO MUCH time with me.  He did so well going to our babysitter back home and he LOVED it.  I feel there were many pros to him being away from me for a time.  I went to daycare while my mom worked and all is well with me – ha!  Now, he’s literally with me 24-7 (with the rare occurance of slipping out to do something with a friend – like the movies the other night!).  I also don’t like bringing in NO money to the family budget.  Watching the little boy will help ease that feeling in the next month which will be nice.  And I have a business idea that I would love to get up and running – but more about that some other time.

So while staying at home is not for everyone (I have friends who would never want to) or financially possible for others (that was us), I am happy with our situation as it is now.  But it could change at any minute.

Staying at home with my children had always been at the back of my mind but once having Liam I never really thought it would happen.  So, God answers prayers in strange ways…and moving to Montana has been the answer to several.  Who would have thought?!?

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Being silly.
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Play date with friends.
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Playing in the creek.
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His pet rock 🙂
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Another family rodeo!
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Parade downtown.
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Author:

I am an elementary school teacher. Mother of a toddler. Southern born. And I am moving with my husband, son and golden doodle 2,000 miles away to Montana. This is our adventure.

One thought on “A New Normal

  1. Loren, you are an awesome mom! I am so glad that you were blessed with this opportunity to go allowing Matt’s dreams as well as yours come true!

    Like

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