Monday, August 17, 2009

Desparately Seeking Routine

I am sure I'm not alone in searching for routine in our weeks. Sure, our sleep and wake times and meals are pretty routine; but beyond that most days it feels like a free for all. Three small children and a few jobs will do that for you.

I feel a little bit like Hannah Montana, who gets the best of both worlds. But various challenges and difficulties present themselves as

Hannah Montana is a regular around our home. Miss Rose likes watching it on Disney channel and Gracie has become quite familar as well with "Hannah-Tana" as she calls her. In fact, lately she's been heard singing "you get best bof worlds" and "rock out the show" in her super cute two-year old voice.

What's funny is, I can find a lot of parallels between Hannah Montana's life and my own.

I am desparately seeking routine these days. But I am caught between two worlds; in the abyss between the stay at home mom and the working mom. I don't meet many women (or find their blogs, and I've looked!) in a similar situation. I DO have the best of both worlds, just like Hannah. I love my job. It's more than a job, it's calling and a passion for me. But I love my days at home with my children. The days I am just a mom, and I don't have to think about my hair or makeup (or showering for that matter) and get to do mom things with my children.

But, just like the TV show portrays, there are challenges and difficulties that come about when you have a foot in two different worlds. It's this weird limbo that can't always be reconciled. It's hard. But yet it's still the best of both worlds.

We live in Southern California, an expensive place to live. Both Bean and I have goals for our family and what we want to provide for our children and our future. Right now, that means a two-income family. If we had the option, I would probably work less or be home full-time during these years of small children. I know I could not give up my involvement in ministry though, even if it were just a volunteer basis.

I consider myself very blessed to have the schedule and flexibility of working for a church. I spend three days in the office and then Sundays I'm at church about 6 hours. But there is great flexibility for doctor's appointments and babysitting snaffoo's and the other things that come up. For a working mom, it's a great job. Gracie was with me at work for 6 months and Lily spent the first few months with me and now comes one day a week--although she's about to "age out" with being able to sleep while I work and entertain herself or sit on my lap during her wake-time.

For me, the difficulty lies in finding routine at home and keeping up with housework and personal time. My salary (and the fact that family provides our childcare) is enough to help us meet our goals and pay the bills. But our income doesn't allow for housekeepers or extra babysitting. And family-based childcare often means extra driving and preparation--although it's SO worth it to know my children are with family.

The energy expended on a workday with preparing the kids for the day and myself,

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