As a stay at home mom I have been struggling more and more with the desire to find balance in my life. It seems that my job never ends, and therefore finding time for things that I want to do as opposed to the things I need to do seems impossible. I am constantly changing diapers, washing bottles, washing laundry, cleaning house, and so much more. I run errands on the weekends because time during the week is limited due to my daughter’s health condition. The concept of time for myself or even time for others outside my home is only a faint, and distant, memory.
I have two children, a two and a half year old boy, and a 6, almost 7, month old girl. My daughter was born with severe reflux. Because of this condition, she has struggled with weight gain and therefore we still feed her every third hour as she doesn’t drink enough or keep it down long enough for the doctors to feel comfortable. I love being able to watch my children grow, learn new things, and develop new skills. They change so quickly and grow up too fast. That being said, because of their ages and special needs, it is often difficult for me to be able to go out and do things with them during the days. They both have fairly strict schedules that when not adhered to can tend to cause mass chaos in my house by mid-afternoon.
It is a lonely life when your world is dictated by the schedules of two tiny people. The fact that even church is restricted to Sunday morning service and only a portion of Sunday School (if we can get our act together to get there in time) wears on my soul. I feel a deep desire to be more connected, to be more involved, and to serve more within the church, but a 30-45 minute commute and late evening activities make it difficult to fit anything in with my children’s strict schedules. It breaks my heart to know that I should be doing more, but can’t come up with a decent solution as to how to integrate it into my scheduled life.
To make matters worse, my husband and I are opening our own business. We have finally obtained all our proper paperwork and are finally legal. We are opened for business, but we are by appointment only as our time schedules are a bit hectic still and the city does not allow home businesses to have standard hours of operation. With that in mind, our gunsmithing operation will be taking up some of our “free” time as well. This means even less time for errand running and connecting with people in the community and serving in the church.
How does one find balance in the midst of trying to make everyone else’s schedules work together? How can a stay at home mom find time that is truly her own, time that is not spent focusing on the needs of her children or husband while running errands? Is it even possible to have close friends when everyone else seems to be working during the times that don’t interfere with the family schedules?
I try to ask God for guidance, for peace, for people, for anything that will make me feel like a normal, real person again, but if it comes it is short lived. Soon I am back in my cave of small children, strict schedules, and minimal time with my husband. The cycle never seems to end. Maybe I should find it comforting that the cycle at least is the same. Maybe I should take solace in the predictability of my days. And, just maybe, I should find joy in the time I get to spend with my children, time that some others would give almost anything for. The joy is there, but the comfort and solace are not. I am striving to make peace with my current season in life, but for now the walls feel a little close.