Perspective from a Hopeful Mother
Written by
Janelle Stear
October 2018
Written by
Janelle Stear
October 2018

When my daughter, Olivia, misses her bus after I make her do a sinus rinse, I had to drive her three miles to school. Even though I also need to make sure my other daughter up and ready for her bus, I choose to get my her sister off to avoid being tardy, and trust my husband to help. I could have been frustrated, annoyed, or even irritable towards the circumstance. Instead I became more positive as I drive talking to Olivia about her middle school classes. 

Then we both see this beautiful, full and golden moon just above the western skyline! And I realize that it doesn’t matter what happens. It is all about my reaction to circumstances. 

My friend Julie responded to my Facebook post, “And this is one more example of what I love about you...seeing the good and enjoying your time with your daughter instead of being put out that she missed the bus. You’re a great mom.”

I of course tear up when I read her response. Humbly I appreciate being noticed by dear friends and further realize how special my drive with Olivia turns out to be as a snapshot in my precious memory bank. 

Then I consider what it means to be a parent and a responsible adult at the same time. 

Many of us get overwhelmed by priorities, by paying the bills, and by assuring the necessities for our kids. Many of us take the priorities to a dreadful endless cycle of repulsive negativity. When in reality, when we learn that despite the hardships, savoring precious moments with our children is worth more than basic essentials. 

I recently quit my teaching job to be home for my kids and to pursue a writing career. With fear, I start writing a memoir and magazine articles. My editor at Idaho Media Publishing notices my improved skills and dedication. I could not have improved unless I had given myself permission to just write. My husband supports me fully. Now after three months of not working with a steady income, I am so much more relaxed and engaged with my daily routine of sending the girls off to school, writing without distractions, and welcoming my girls home at the end of the day. The freedom I have warms my heart to see the loving smiles from my children. Olivia tells me she is proud of me when I tell her how much I get done each day. She works on her homework while I finish another few pages. Natalie comes in the door with her bobbing pony tail and invigorating excitement for being home. We sit down to dinner and converse as a family. My husband asks us each about a good and bad thing that happens and our reactions. 

I am endeared by my time with my loved ones. As a teacher, my time had been so limited to share with them. Between changing plans, grading, daily emails with parents, I had sought perfection in my job when I should have been seeking separation between work and home. 

How many of us are so exhausted by the end of the day? By the time we return home, we have nothing left to give. While teaching, I came home daily and needed alone time just to relax before I could interact with my family. This is not right! My job should not be so burdensome to keep me from quality time in my personal life. 

Someone once said, “You can always make more money... but you can’t get back time.”

When I went back to school to get my teaching certification and Master’s degree in 2013, my youngest was five. Now she is nine. For five years, I had been consumed with building a career. Sure we made time for each other, but teaching consumed me even during the summer vacations. I lost precious time to just be myself with my girls. And what for? 

Now that I’m not working full time, I am fully present with my kids when they need me. My husband takes a day off once a month. We go for a picnic and a hike. I did not worry at all about my work. My priority is my family. 

Despite the positive changes I’ve made, now the stress builds with our declining financial state. My husband patiently waits me as I work to build up a freelance writing career. Our debt continues to grow and his stress level continues to raise to an all time high. Tonight he sold his car so we’d have one less car payment and more to pay off my car sooner. 

I ask my husband about getting a used car to replace his he gave up. He says, “i'm carless for a while and that’s fine. We’ve done this before... how much worse are things going to get?”

I don’t have an answer only try to trust. Usually he is the opposite of optimistic. I have always been the one full of hope. Now that I witness him sells his car, I cannot help but feel downtrodden. He gave up his vehicle for me to pursue my writing dream. I am blessed beyond measure. I pray that nothing worse happens. 

In conclusion, yes I am at peace spending precious time with my family and with my increased time for writing. I cannot help but wish that this season would end soon so that my husband can get his car back. 

I sit and watch Mama Mia 2 Here We Go Again, with my mom, grandma, and three aunts during a late night get together. Tears flow down my cheeks as Amanda Siegfried’s character, Sophie, sings a duet with her mother, “My Love, My Life.” The song is all about remembering those we love. At home, I kiss my sleeping girls on their cheeks. 

Life is all about our relationships, no matter what happens financially. I count each moment as a treasure. What about you? 

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