What I Do When I’m “Not Working”

She’s my baby.

We waited and debated for years about whether we should have another one or not. God led the way when we finally decided to bring it to Him in prayer. The answer was a clear and resounding – yes. And my answer for any mama and daddy questioning whether they should have more or not, will from here on out be – yes.

There’s a big gap between the big ones and this little one, and since she’s been here, my eyes have been opened wider to the beauty of staying home.

I’ve spent 11 years struggling to find the just-right balance between staying at home and working outside the home. Heck, I’m still in battle today. But here’s what I know for sure – you’re still working even when you’re at home.

Staying home is a work of the heart and soul. Tending, mending, bending, loving on little souls that’ll one day become big souls. Breathing in, breathing out, doing it all over again the next day. It’s taking messy, ordinary moments and choosing to see them as beautiful. It’s being quiet enough to hear and see what’s needed, moving outside of your rushed, hurried agenda and self to breathe and just be with your little one.

The days are numbered. I’m not fooling myself anymore.

So instead of shucking the corn on the counter, I bring it to the ground. Before this moment, she didn’t even know there’s a cob of corn hidden in that green. So I take her hand and help her pull down, like this, with just the right angle and tension. And begins the shucking of her first piece of corn. We put each piece in the pot when we’re done, and white stringy things are everywhere. When I’m not looking, she grabs one of those raw, uncooked corn cobs – and starts eating.

It’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her baby.

When we walk, we linger. I take her out of the stroller and she walks, she leads. We’re not in any hurry. There’s no reason to rush. We stop and look at dragonflies perched on dead weeds. We don’t look once and move on. We take it all in. We soak it in from all angles. And when we’re done, we start slowly back towards home. She finds a curb, and I could push her on. There’s no reason we need to stop again. But we stop, and she learns. She goes up and down that little curb four, five, six times. She’s doing it on her own, and it’s her first time mounting a curb by herself. There are weeds in the way, and we could be getting home much faster than this.

But it’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her baby.

She wants those Lucky Charms, that little stinker. Daddy brought them home, and I get it, all she wants are the colored marshmallows. She climbed up on the folding stool in the pantry all by herself to get those Lucky Charms, and mounted another stool to sit down and eat. Her smile is so big and her delight so evident. I break out the iPod and we listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella” and Sara Grove’s “It’s Gunna Be Alright.” My eyes are filled with tears, but I’m smiling too. It’s just the two of us, eating Lucky Charms at the kitchen countertop.

It’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her baby.

We went to Subway for lunch. She didn’t drink much milk, so we brought it home. I sat her down like a big girl at the granite countertop. The lesson? Try, try again. She opens the cap, puts it back on, opens it again. She puts her whole mouth over the lid and I try showing her it’d work much better if you do it this way. And she learns. She’s a baby big girl in her Elmo bib and purple tutu dress, and eventually becomes a milky mess.

But it’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her baby.

Daddy bought candy corns and pumpkins. She loved them to pieces, even though we only gave her five. So I brought this sugary treat outside for a little snack while we sat on the porch one afternoon after nap. I gave her ten, and that’s all she got. She stuffed her cheeks full when I let her, and she meandered a bit, up, down, and all around in-between each bite. I ate a few too, and did nothing but enjoy the moment, just me and her, snacking on candy corns on our porch. A bee came so we learned “no bee, go away,” her shirt and mouth full of candy corn juice.

It’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her baby.

The big ones came home. We needed pumpkins and they wanted to bring friends, so we brought two neighbor kids and all six of us headed to the apple orchard. We could’ve bought the already-picked pumpkins, but why? Part of the fun is picking your own. So with one in a wagon and four walking, we headed to the pumpkin patch in search of a just-right pumpkin for each. We basked in the glory of this pumpkin patch just for us. The sun was shining, the weather just perfect. With several BIG pumpkins and a baby in the wagon, we made our way back through the pumpkin patch. It was heavy and a little awkward…

But it’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her babies.

We were the first to wake. Just me and baby. I plopped her in the bathroom where we’d disturb no one else. I could have gotten ready right away, the day ahead was planned full. But it was better to sit right down on that bathroom floor. She played. We played. The people got on the bus. They went in and out, the door was open, then shut. The horn honked and the bus played “The Wheels on the Bus.” When she tired of it all, she sat down on my lap. I held her whole green frog feet in my hands, and was grateful I’d taken the moment.

Ya, it’s all good. This is the work of a mom who’s at home with her baby.


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Colossians 3:23-24

  1. Cindy L Meester says:

    So brings back memories of my 3rd one so many years ago. Thanks for the wonderful post!

  2. Lee O'Haver says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Jennifer Johnson Camp says:

    Oh, this is beautiful. So thankful for you and your beautiful heart!

  4. Pat Baunsgard Hennagin says:

    Beautiful Amy!

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