I have been a mother for over seven years now. It is my choice and my blessing to stay home. I say 'blessing' and mean it. However, it doesn't always feel like a blessing. Some days I wish I were doing just about anything else. The longer I'm at it, the more rare those days are.
I have three children. Most people I know have their opinion on what number of children is the hardest to adjust to. For some parents it's when they get to the point when they have more than one child per parent. For me personally, it was the first. I had graduated from college four months before I had my first child. I had a full-time job at a daycare/preschool during the remainder of my pregnancy. After I had my first child and was suddenly a full-time mother, my social interaction plummeted (super hard for me because I really enjoy connecting with people and socializing). And my husband was really busy with school and a job, so even when he was home he usually had to be doing homework. I was also really frustrated with how much I couldn't seem to accomplish. David would come home, ask me what I had been doing during the day and I really couldn't think of anything that I had done. The transitions for babies two and three were much easier. It took me much less time to find a groove where I could keep my home in a reasonable state of order and give my children a decent amount of attention and care. It didn't hurt that they were very good at entertaining each other, a benefit which the first obviously wouldn't have had.
Without the proper perspective being a 'stay-at-home mom' can be very mundane. You cook, you clean, you do laundry, you keep children clean, you deal with moody/needy children all day. Every day can feel like you just can't wait until bedtime so you can get a break (which depending on how your littles sleep, may not be much of a break). I had a pretty clear idea of what kind of wife and mother I'd be prior to actually experiencing it, and I found myself falling way more short than I could have imagined. It's a lot harder than some people make it look. But the proper perspective smacked me in the face one day as I was looking at a plaque I made years ago that hangs in my laundry room with this scripture on it.
"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33, emphasis added.That, in tandem with another scripture that I had been pondering about the same time gave me a better perspective on what I was doing:
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God..." D&C 88:119My 'great work' is raising my children in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And the small things I do in my home all contribute to achieving one great purpose: allowing the spirit of God to be present in my home. Raising my children in a home filled with the spirit of God is the best thing I can do for them. Keeping my home in order for the sake of order is good, but keeping it in order so that the Spirit can dwell there, well, that's the best. So when all of my potentially mind-numbing and mundane tasks stare me in the face, I can take them on with a heart full of love for my little family because my purpose is to create an environment that enables them to learn to pray and fast, to build faith, to learn by the spirit, and to learn to create order in their own lives. And most especially to feel love and show it. Because if the gospel of Jesus Christ is about anything, it's about love.
Note: I just feel I need to be clear that my home is certainly not always in order. So don't get any crazy visions in your head that I somehow manage to keep it in order all of the time. Think, "Aim for the stars. You might reach the moon," kind of thing. hahaha