It's been an exciting 24 hours with the launch of our free online family and a tidal wave of emails from so many of you! I've heard from folks from as far away as Alaska (right?!) and the theme is the same. We need to smile again, individually and together. I hope some of the joy I feel and the way I try to see life and its many mysteries will give you a little nudge every now and again to start seeing the sunshine through the clouds. It's tough sometimes. I know it.
It was one particular email yesterday that stopped me. I was filling t-shirt orders and requests for Peace Key necklaces (they're all on their way!) when a woman sent me this:
Whoa. I hear you, girl. Staying home all day and doing the grunt work that goes into keeping a family together can make you feel like you're swimming in circles. But here's what I've discovered. No matter what you do for a living, whether you work or stay home, regardless of the number of children you have, what your bank account looks like or the zip code where you live, life is challenging. I've had the unique ability to sample both sides of the fence. I worked full time for 24 years, 17 of them while raising our family, and now I'm settling into a new career, writing a book, telling uplifting stories, and being home to see my five sons grow. I can tell you without hesitation that I'm far busier NOW, as a stay home mom, than I ever was juggling a full time career. And it's so ridiculously satisfying.
To all of you men and women who - be it by choice or circumstance - stay home to handle the umpteen things that go into raising children and keeping a household together - please know that the work you do is the most important work in the world. I read an interesting article recently written by a hospice nurse who compiled a bunch of interviews with elderly folks near death. Not a single one wished they had worked more hours or spent more time at the office. They all wished they had spent more time with the people they loved.
Is staying home and running around like a crazy person to manage your children, your partner, your house, the bills and everything else that goes with it the sexiest job in the world? Often not. But it is The. Most. Satisfying. I had no idea how much I could enjoy cooking dinner each night. How quickly my sons would smell whatever I was making and how it would draw them to the kitchen island to pull up a stool and chat with me. I had no idea how much I'd been missing, from their sports to their dances and dates and milestones and celebrations. I had no idea how satisfied I would feel every night, crawling into bed knowing I had done so much to keep my 6 men happy, healthy, and on track. I do it. No one else. Me. And if you do it, too, celebrate the amazing work you do.
So -- stay at home moms and dads -- rejoice! You're AWESOME! And to the woman who emailed me that she'd lost her way, my friend... you've lost nothing. What you found was a calling that, for now, is your life's greatest blessing.
Peace, everyone. And Happy Friday.