I'm not a Working Mom.
I'm a stay at home mom, who works for The Navigators.
But I don't have childcare. I don't have regular hours. And my work revolves around the schedule of college students. I stay home most of the time (except for when I'm on campus) and I have people in my home a LOT of the time.
So what does this mean? How does it work?
I was prepared that it would feel weird to be in this place. I talked with many Navs Moms who went before me and said you don't feel like you fit in either camp. You don't relate with SAHM and you don't relate with working moms (because you do almost all your work with your kiddos). You're raising babies on a college student schedule. You don't have day care. You have a lot of work. You don't stay at home but you also don't leave your home (but you have a lot of people IN your home). And you bring your toddlers to campus - It is weird!
This last week seems to be a good example of what my life looks like. On Fridays, I've been hiring a student to babysit my kiddos so I can go meet and train our staff woman, and another student. Then I get home at lunch time, tuck my kids in for naps and meet with the student who just finished babysitting my kiddos. What a day!
This last Friday it was Krista (the student who babysits) birthday and I didn't think it was fair to have her babysit on her birthday. So instead- I took my girls with to bring her and a few Navs friends out for breakfast. It seems simple enough. But let me share how this works and some details..
Breakfast for a 2 and 3 year old falls at quite a different time than the average student who has no class on Fridays.
By the time I had cut my kids pancakes, put on syrup and butter, gotten their juice and straws ready, unwrapped silverware, given napkins and looked at my plate. The students were over half way done with their breakfast.
And when you take your kids to the bathroom quick before bringing the students home- and find yourself in a stall with two toddlers, poop, and no toilet paper left- let's just say it gets interesting.
So there's one morning in my campus/home life.
Then there is Staff Meeting. I invited our staff for lunch this week as a way to catch up with them (it's easier to catch up while your kids are eating, amen?) before our meeting. Hoping that would help us all to feel connected before getting down to business. So I have normal morning with kids, do a craft (where glue explodes ALL over our clean dining room) I play store with kids. I pick up house. I make lunch, I get table ready, staff shows up, we eat, staff goes downstairs for staff meeting, I clean up, I put kids down for naps, I take a minute to like go to the bathroom and look in the mirror (cleaning up the glue that exploded at morning craft time) and casually walk down to staff meeting as if all I have thought about all day is our staff meeting agenda... or not. Did I tell you I can only stay at the meeting for a few minutes because I need to take a nap? And I need to get ready to watch our neighbor kids who come to our house after school. Yeah I'm not a SAHM, I'm not a working mom, I have no childcare. But I have kids. I work. And I stay home almost all of the time (inviting others in to our home most of the time).
And then yesterday- our Navs Banquet. I invited a student to help Ellie, Josie and I make trifles. I figured if there were two adults and two kids, we might actually accomplish something? So we bake, we make a big mess. Student is very helpful. But then she goes home, I clean up kitchen, feed children lunch, clean up kitchen some more. We all nap. I watch neighbor kids after school, I finish trifles. I send neighbor kids home. I send Noah with kids to pick up babysitter so I can have approximately 7 minutes to dress up, do my hair, put on makeup and pretend I can go "hang out" with college students at a fancy banquet. I print outlines. I grab nametags. I write instructions for babysitter. I set out PJ's and supper. I set out clothes for Noah so he can run upstairs and change so we can go pick up students on our way to the banquet. And when I get there I sit next to someone who tells me, "This was stressful getting ready for the banquet. I tried on so many outfits, I couldn't figure out what to wear. I think I went through NINE outfits."
Yes, yes stressful to get ready for this banquet (Good thing my shoes are matched and I took off that shirt that was covered in glue, oh that was yesterday. I mean covered in trifle.) I am not a SAHM, I'm not a working mom. I have no childcare, but I have kids and I work, and I stay home most of the time- except for when I'm on campus with the college students, and often my toddlers.
So would you take a minute to pray for us and for our students and for our work on campus? Today is the National Collegiate Day of Prayer- and we are realizing more and more each day how much we are relying on HIM who gets it- who gets us- who knows just what we need.
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun. --Annie Johnston Flint