As we become more comfortable walking in these shoes—the shoes of a good and loving (i.e., effective) parent, the horizon will open up for us a bit. We won’t feel as closed in. And we will feel more relaxed. It can be easy (and tempting), at this point, to lose our focus and to take on projects and missions that detract from our main thing (which is that of home and family). Lots of parents do, and specifically stay-at-home moms. We’ve been cooped up long enough and are excited to spread our wings and to do other things that we are good at. For us, though, it works best if we can tie it all back in to where we already are. We’ve already done other things. We know what that’s like. And we are better for it. This phase in our life is and has been, really, a special kind of retirement where we have quit the rat race and took on the responsibilities of building a strong foundation for ourselves, our spouse, and our children—our home and family!—which contributes to the building of a strong community, church, school, and work force.
It has mattered to us that our children had us as their mother with them as babies. It has mattered to us that our husband has had us as his wife by his side this whole time. And it has mattered to us that we have taken this commitment thing seriously and have accepted the suffering with the bliss—knowing that it all evens out in the end and that we and our spouse and our children are all better for having stayed together—as one team. We’ve faced and worked out our issues instead of running from them (which is an understandable choice). We’ve dug deep when it got hard instead of giving up (which is sometimes the acceptable option). And we just didn’t back down when we were on to something that we knew would make things better for us and our spouse and our children—when we could have just let everyone fend for themselves (which happens a lot in families, so much so that it has become the norm in a lot of generational lines).
So now that we’ve earned a very special place of genuine equilibrium, it’s important (more than ever) to work towards supporting that equilibrium. The advantage we have right now is that we’ve already put in the work to reap this result. For a lot of other people, it’s the other way around: they’ve lived high on life without working much for it, and so the result of that is that it all comes crashing down because there’s nothing holding it up. For us, our foundation is strong. We’ve been working at this a while. Now that we are the ones high on life, we can actually enjoy it because there’s substance behind the structure.
You know how flower bouquets come with that packet of fertilizer? And have you ever noticed that about two days after you put the bouquet in water with the fertilizer mixed in that the flowers look completely different? They are full and plump. Everything opens up and comes alive. Well, that’s us right now! Our fertilizer has been to concentrate on becoming strong spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. We’ve done this from the inside out. And it has not been easy. Not one bit. But we stuck with it, and now here we are. This is why we stuck it out. Because somehow, we knew that it would all be worth it. And it has been. We feel it, we know it, and we are living it. This is the ultimate life.