Our Hopes – Part 1
Sara: As I’ve told my colleagues, parishioners, and friends about our plans for me to stay at home with Gus, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m so grateful so many people understand how important this is to us! On our way to North Dakota, Justin had asked, “What do you hope to gain by staying at home with Gus?” With the many sacrifices both Justin and I are making for me to stay at home, I felt that was a fair question and it was one, perhaps, I hadn’t properly pondered.
First, I seek more balance and harmony in our lives. For instance, with just a week of work left, right now I’m staring at the dishes that have been piling up in the kitchen since we got back from North Dakota a week ago. While we’ve done a really good job with not eating processed or fast foods (for the most part) since Gus has been born, I also want to work on finding healthy (and affordable) foods we both enjoy.
My prayer life has been on the back burner for months, and I want our weekends to be less of a time to get our huge “to-do” lists done so we can survive another week and more of a time to simply enjoy family time together. I want to enjoy living – not simply “survive” until the next weekend or holiday. Until I had 12 weeks of leave after having Gus, I had no idea how much of a difference being at home would make in our quality of life – and even in our weekend to-do lists!
Going back to work after having ten days off for Christmas has been very difficult. Neither Gus nor I have cared for the separation, and ultimately it’s hardest on me when Gus is upset. While both Gus and I would re-adjust if I felt called to work, I’m grateful the separation is no longer long-term.
Second, I seek a closer relationship with Gus. About a month ago, a friend asked what Gus’s nap schedule was. Unfortunately, I had to respond that I really didn’t know without asking our babysitter! I realized I wanted to know Gus’s daily routine and ups and downs more than I currently do. I was very blessed as a child to have my own mother work full-time from the home. To this day, I feel like our relationship is so much closer because of the time and experiences we shared on a daily basis.
Finally, I hope to be able to more fully instill our values and faith in Gus. Many days, although Justin and I make it a priority, we are lucky simply to pray together before meals and say our Chaplet of Divine Mercy together each night. After working a full week, I considered myself fortunate this year to have the energy to find and put out our Advent wreath only two days after Advent began! I want to use this time at home to find ways to more fully share our faith, such as celebrating saints’ feast days, occasionally going to daily Mass, and having “play dates” with other Christian moms that can help inspire me.
Justin and I know we are so blessed to have the opportunity for me to stay at home with Gus, and we realize that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Justin and I continue to pray our opportunity and sacrifices will ultimately lead Justin, Gus, and me to our ultimate goal – becoming saints in heaven!