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To go in the dark with a light is to know

the light.

To know the dark, go dark. Go without

sight,

and find that the dark, too, blooms and

sings,

and is traveled by dark feet and dark

wings.

~Wendell Berry

Why I am Blogging

I had never really thought about writing a blog until now. I quit working in February and I felt a lot of resistance within myself about quitting working even though I know that it is the best thing for me and my family. This is the best thing in the season of life that I am in now. Intellectually I know that. It took me a while to really discover why I felt this resistance even though I KNOW that this is what I want to do and this is what is best for me, my husband and my children.

I was worried about what other people would think. I would catch myself trying to explain our financial situation when people would ask “what do you do?” I would feel defensive and awkward.  It has not been a pattern in my life to feel that I have to explain myself or my choices to other people, so why did I feel this way about this? It’s because of how I saw “stay-at-home moms”.

I had started looking online to find some connection with other moms. I read blogs, joined Facebook groups, watched YouTube channels, read books, and met with other moms and you know what, I constantly ran into the same story. Mommy blogs make marriage and motherhood out to be chaotic, demeaning, restrictive and sad. “Being a stay-at-home mom is SO hard”, “My kids drive me crazy”, “When can I drink some wine?”, “My husband never helps me!”, “I can’t even get dressed every day”, “I have no time to myself”, “I lost myself”, “I don’t even know WHO I am anymore!” – these “mom groups” are filled with woman who are unhappy, overwhelmed and angry. They have hostile relationships with their children, passionless relationships with their husbands and some have serious binge drinking problems. It’s sad and it doesn’t have to be that way.  I don’t believe that being a mom is bad. I don’t believe choosing to not work and focusing on raising your children is bad. It’s not a bad choice. I also think that being a “stay-at-home mom” is NOT a job. So I am rejecting the term “stay-at-home mom”. I think it’s a term that was created to put people in boxes. Someone thought that they could divide women into cute little categories. Working Moms vs. Stay-at-home Moms. It’s garbage. It’s divisive and it’s useless.

In Shonda Rhimes book, Year of Yes, she said, “Being a mother is not a job. I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job. Being a mother is not a job. It’s who someone is. It’s who I am. You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. I’m a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock, mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. Being a mother brings us face-face with ourselves as children, with our mothers as human beings, with our darkest fears of who we really are. Being a mother requires us to get it together or risk messing up another person forever. Being a mother yanks our hearts out of our bodies and attaches them to our tiny humans and sends them out into the world, forever hostages. I am devoted to knowing my children, to reading books with them, to hearing the stories they tell me and to the conversations we have. To making them citizens of the world. To raising strong feminist human being who love and believe in themselves.”

I don’t thinking that being a mother is a job, it’s not employment. But I think that focusing your time on being a mother and a homemaker is important and it should be treated with respect. I also think that it is fun, joyful and fulfilling.

I didn’t quit my job to be a “stay-at-home mom”. My husband and I chose to be married. I became HIS wife. I chose to share my life with the man of my dreams. I chose to consider his needs, his desires and his feelings in every choice I make. When my husband and I chose (yes, intentionally chose) to procreate and bring three little boys into this world, it was a deliberate choice. (It’s ALWAYS a choice.) It changed the direction the projection of MY life and it changed the direction and the projection of my husband’s life. It changed who I was. I am a mother. The choices I make every day effect my husband and three little lives. I quit my job because “having it all” is a myth. “Work-Life balance” is a myth. You CAN NOT be 100% in ten different directions, something will suffer. Something will receive more of your focus and attention. I quit my job because it’s more important for me to focus my husband, my children and my home than to focus on my career.

This  blog  exists because I want to contribute my voice to the “mommy blogs”. I have chose to not be employed. I have chose to focus on raising my children. My time is my own and that is my choice. My mission is to create a beautiful home for my family, create memories with my children, spend time with my husband and be present and intentional.  This is the childhood my children will remember. This is the years that will be the foundation my children will refer to for the rest of their lives. They deserve to have me focus on them.

My goal for this blog to provide encouragement to other women who have chosen to focus on their families, to be homemakers. I write as a woman who has chose to be a homemaker, whose main occupation is caring for her family and managing household affairs. I believe that finding a way to make a fulfilling life for oneself stems from character and personality, not employment status. I hope you enjoy my blog.

XO,

Michelle

2016 Presidential Election is B-A-N-A-N-A-S

“Be careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23

“Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life.” – Anthony Robbins

We are facing the most important Presidential election in MY lifetime and I’m scared. I am scared that people will be voting not from a place of knowledge and conscientiousness but from a place of anger and bitterness.

“Nothing has to change in your life for you to feel better. You get to feel the way you want to feel all the time, no matter what’s going on. You are responsible for how you think, feel and act always!” – Brooke Castillo

We live in an amazing country. The fact that we can post the junk online that I see every day is proof that we live in a country that is greater than most. Being born a woman in the United States of America is a blessing beyond comprehension to me living in my bubble of a life. You are reading this on a smart phone or iPad or computer which means you are wealthier than 99% of the world’s population. You want to check for yourself? Go here: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

 “The only thing keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself about why you can’t have it.” – Anthony Robbins.

The hostility I see every day from people in my circle of influence is alarming. Facebook posts that are reposts of vile propaganda and lies about the candidates populate my “News Feed”.

False memes and thoughtless reposts… spreading lies, hate and division.

Where are the posts about the issues?

Where are the posts about the platforms of the parties? Have your read the parties official platforms?

Democratic 2016 Platform

Republican 2016 Platform

Why keep posting garbage that perpetuates drama? Really! There are facts and then there is drama.

It’s easy to read a Facebook post, chuckle to yourself and hit “share”.

 “As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred to the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.” Noam Chomsky

When are we as a society going to start taking responsibility for what WE can do? When are we doing to start taking responsibly for what WE say? When are we going to BE the change?  Do you really, seriously think that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is going to do something to make your life better or worse? When you are going to take responsibility for where you are in life? You are the choices you make. Spend some of that energy you are wasting hating and DO something constructive. BE THE CHANGE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. Take Responsibility for your life.

I see and hear comments all the time about how much someone doesn’t “like” Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Since when is it important to “like” the President? You aren’t voting to have the President come to your book club or supper club. You are probably never going to meet a President. So does it really matter if you like them or not? No. It doesn’t.

You are voting for someone to serve as the commander-in chief of the military (Note: the president DOES NOT have the power to declare war, that is for Congress to do), to carry out legislation, to set foreign policy (Note: “by and with the consent of the Senate), to appoint key personnel (Note: subject to Senate confirmation) including justices of the Supreme Court and “all other Officers of the United States”, to present the State of the Union”, and to pardon felons (e.g., President Gerald Ford  pardoning President Richard Nixon). Those are the job duties of the President of the United States.

 “People keep looking to government for the answer and government is the problem.” – Ronald Reagan.

How do you think your boss would like you if they could read every email you ever wrote or saw all your Facebook posts or saw how you treat you family or your kids? Is your Facebook profile private? We are all unreliable narrators, not just in the way we tell our stories to others, but how we tell them to ourselves. When are we going to start making this election about the issues that matter to the future of our children? Not how much we “like” a presidential candidate. Likability has NOTHING to do with a person’s skills, aptitude, education or experience to do a job.

Then there is the argument that everything matters, because it comes down to the character of a candidate. You want to vote based on someone’s character. General personality traits of good leaders are: self-confidence, humility, trustworthiness, high tolerance for frustration, conscientiousness, warmth, sense of humor, enthusiasm, extroversion, assertiveness, and emotional stability.

 “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is a magnetic to the corruptible.”

For me integrity is the most important value for a leader to have. It encompasses trust, honesty, confidence and authenticity, all in one (thank you Emily Ley). But I don’t think that integrity is something  that a politician can  hold close and have success. So making your decision based on character is pointless.

Your beliefs don’t make you who you are, your actions do.

 “Don’t be led by feelings and emotions”– Galatians 5:25

 “Governments don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. That is against their interests. They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept it.” –George Carlin

 So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to other makes all the difference. –Thomas S. Manson

BEWARE OF FALSE KNOWLEDGE; IT IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN IGNORANCE…” George Bernard Shaw

I take responsibility for the energy I am bringing into the world and sharing with others.

I Quit.

Of all the decisions that I have made the biggest most defining for myself has been to quit my job. There is this taboo of “quitting”. It starts when we are children and it’s drilled into us, like saying “please” or “thank you”. The concept of quitting is frowned upon. Adults and children throw around the word “quitter” like it’s a weapon. I can’t begin to count how many times I have continued doing something only because I didn’t want to be a “quitter”.  And all that is wrong. That thought process is so self-defeating and pointless.

Life is changing EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF THE DAY and what may be great yesterday or this morning may be an absolute waste of time and energy this afternoon.  Our ability to survive and thrive with those changes is what makes us who we are. If we are constantly fighting the tides of change our life becomes a big struggle. So should we quit everything that is challenging or not fun or difficult, maybe. But more importantly, I believe we should honor that we change and that life changes and that you have to be open and willing to make changes.

When I set out on my career path, I was single. Not only was I single but I literally had no relationships outside of my nuclear family and lived in a town where my only contacts where career related. I was 25 years old, the economy was tanking (I was working in insurance sales and commissions where hurting) and I lived in a smallish city where there weren’t a lot of career options. So I threw myself into working towards a career as a paralegal. I took courses, enrolled in college for my certificates and took a job at the county superior court. I jumped at every opportunity I could to learn and network and eventually found a position as a paralegal in a family law practice. It only took me two years and I was  proud and content. Flash forward to 2015.

It had been ten years since I started my career. I was working for a GREAT firm. I loved my coworkers, my boss, the commute was great, and I enjoyed my work. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else or doing anything else. I loved being a paralegal. I felt challenged without being defeated. I felt respected. I was learning new things all the time. My professional network was great. But… now I was married to a man I adore. I had three young children, including a newborn. My oldest was starting Transitional Kindergarten and I had two babies in daycare (ages 3 and 3 months).

There was NOTHING wrong my my career other than I constantly felt I was going to let someone down. Kids get sick which means I have to be home with them and what if there is some emergency at work- I work in a law office. There are emergencies EVERY DAY. All of a sudden the obligations and responsibilities at work and home started to get heavier on my conscience.

“Should my 3 month old baby be in daycare for 10 hours a day?”

“My 5 year old is at school for 10 hours without a nap!”

“My 3 year old has quit potty-training since the baby came because he wants attention but I am leaving him at preschool for 10 hours a day.”

“There’s a deadline at work at 3PM but the school has called and I have to go pick up my son from school.”

Then the Universe told me to slow down, my 3 month old got sick. Not just he wasn’t feeling well but he was in the hospital with a collapsed lung. Bronchiolitis with atelectasis. Then the next week I found a lump in my breast. Not a oh that’s a pain lump, but a “we have to do a biopsy immediately!” lump.

I cried and cried and cried. Not because my son was sick and not because my other boys were being juggled around like pawns on a chess board. I was crying because I didn’t want to let my boss down. I didn’t want my clients to be let down and I didn’t want to “give up my career”.

I had started somewhere along the way to use my career as a way to define who I was, not what I did but really define myself as a person and to define my worth. The idea of giving up my job terrified me. If I am not a paralegal, a professional working woman capable of financially supporting myself what does that make me? I didn’t want to “be a stay-at-home mom”. I didn’t want to depend on my husband to support me financially. I didn’t want to give up who I am. I didn’t sleep well for weeks. Not that I slept well anyway, I have three small kids and a husband who snores. But it wasn’t the people I love that was keeping me from sleeping. It was the obligations that I was choosing.  It was a choice.

So I talked with my husband, I cried when I held my boys as I snuggled them to bed and I made peace that I couldn’t do it all. I couldn’t give all of me to my family and serve my boss and my clients the way they deserved. SO I quit.