I was speaking to another mom the other night. She has four kids and lives 30 minutes from school. She was telling me about her day and I said:
“I don’t know how you manage everybody’s schedule – 4 kids, you, your husband . . .”
“He lives his life. We live ours.”
She said it so matter of fact.
And then I paid attention. I was sitting next to her, across from her two daughters, at a restaurant. We were celebrating the end of basketball season for one of their big brothers. The other brother was playing in a varsity game about 45 minutes north east of the school. Both daughters had their backpacks at the table, both had their homework on the table, next to their empty plates. Both girls had their heads resting on the table. It was 7:30 p.m. and their older brother wasn’t due back to school for another 2 hours. The mom was talking about driving them home (30 minutes south west of school), and then driving back to school to pick up her oldest son. That would make three round trips to school that day. Three hours on the road.
I asked her if she wanted to move closer and she said yes, but . . . and cited the condition of the real estate market. She had already talked about work and I didn’t get a sense that she really enjoyed it, so I asked her if she HAD to work. She didn’t really answer and I got the impression she worked because they owned the business, one of two. Her husband worked and traveled a lot for the other business. Although she had shared so much with me, I got the impression that my questions made her uncomfortable, so I didn’t ask any more. I walked away from the conversation feeling very bad for her and her family, wishing there was something I could do to help, but knowing that their circumstances are a cumulative result of the smaller choices they’re making every day.
It all seemed so counterproductive. I’m so thankful that when we had an opportunity to buy a larger, more expensive home, we decided against it because of the sacrifices that would have been required. Sacrifices I’m still not willing to make. Our home may be smaller than most of our friend’s homes, but you know what?
It’s home. And we get to spend a lot of time there. Together. So we have to squeeze in. It’s cozy.
Every time I don’t buy something, I get something in return. Every time I say no to something that doesn’t support our family’s goals, we’re better for it. Every little decision we make is a building block in our daily lifestyle. These kids are growing right in front of my eyes and this window?
This is one of the songs I’ve ordered an accompaniment track for. Strengthens my resolve.
Follow-up: It may seem like I’m saying that being a stay at home mom is the best way to go. Not exactly. I’ve written about this before, in “to work or not to work, that is the question.” My point is that WHATEVER lifestyle you choose for your family – I hope you choose it ON PURPOSE.
For more Saturday music, check out Then Sings My Soul Saturday every Saturday hosted by Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.
7 thoughts on “Then Sings My Soul Saturday – One Life to Love”
This is one of my favorite songs!! So powerful!
Wow – sad story of that stressed family, Julie. It’s saddest that she is trapped in some kind of cycle she doesn’t have the strength, apparently, to break out of. It’s so true that we only get one life to LOVE.
My MIL is very critical of my choices. She believes that I should be working at some full time job outside the house with my Master’s Degree like her daughter, the lawyer, whose kids are in daycare 40 hours + per week. But she doesn’t realize that most companies want you heart and soul – even in summer or when kids are on vacation (she’s a teacher). My time home with them and my window of influence are SO SHORT. No one can teach them like I can, so I am so glad to be able to be with them and make them my first priority.
Nice song – hadn’t heard it before!
Powerful post, JSM. I want to be a mom, a person, who makes these hard decisions and a year later, praises God for the benefits of the decision. Leaving the rat race 2 1/2 years ago was one of the best things that our family did. I’m still grateful.
Great song and post:) Saturday blessings to you, Amanda:)
So well put.
We chose that I would not return to work after our 3rd child was born. If I had we could have a bigger house, and have more to spend on luxuries, but I prefer to live within our means of the one salary (which fortunately is well paid) and have more time for our kids and each other. With the stressful nature and long hours my dh works, it just would not be possible for us to have time for family time and walks and home cooked family meals.
I pray she finds a solution that works for her and her family.
That’s a powerful message in that song! Only one life, so soon it will pass, so make everything count….
Wow! So sad (the story) but so true, we only get one chance! I wish wish wish my husband could get that with our little ones growing now! before they are already grown and he … oh I don’t know… what am I talking about, I guess it’s just a bad night.
Thanks for sharing my dear.