I tuck my leg up under me as I sit down on the couch. Now that she is a bit older and it doesn’t take quite as much concentration I no longer have to retreat to the rocker to nurse her. As I cradle my daughter in my arms my two big boys are on the floor beneath me carving shapes into boxes they found in the wood room—boxes and now shreds of boxes that will eventually be used as fire starters. Their younger brother, who’s not old enough for a pocket knife—not even the My First Pocket Knife his two siblings got for Christmas and their birthday—lies on his belly with his chin propped in his hands. He watches the carving intently and jumps at the chance to pick up scraps and put them in the wood box.
“I don’t want to go back to work!” My mind screams.
I have two weeks left, two weeks left of twelve. I took the full twelve, even if it wasn’t the best decision financially, because I knew full well that I wouldn’t be ready mentally or emotionally to head back at six, eight, nine… or ten.
But the truth is I won’t be ready at twelve either.
I won’t be ready because nothing has changed since I wrote this post last January in which I declared my number one goal for 2015 to become a stay-at-home mom. What I didn’t state in that post is that my number one goal was really to become a stay-at-home-homeschooling mom. I wasn’t ready to announce that to the world in its entirety, but now the world knows because at the beginning of 2016, the homeschooling mom part went from dream to reality.
I don’t want to go back to work.
Part of its nerves: how will I balance working full-time while also being solely responsible for my children’s education? Of course, I use the word solely loosely; it will be a joint effort between Collin and me and those who have offered to help. But most of it is simply this: the deepest desire of heart is still, and I suspect ever will be, to be a stay-at-home mom.
My eyes well up with tears as I tilt the baby up to burp her and watch the boys below, still carving away.
I hear the two words in my heart clear as a bell, a God whisper. Not yet.
In two weeks time our family is going to embark on one of our most difficult journeys yet. It won’t be easy, this working and homeschooling thing. I know that, but unfortunately staying home full-time just isn’t an option right now…not yet.
My oldest holds up a box carving, “Look mom, a great horned owl!” and I smile because I realize not yet doesn’t mean not ever.