The times, they are a’changin’


In “the good old days” when all of the children were small, I didn’t have to ponder for long about what to do each day. I would be awakened by a hungry baby, and then would hurry to meet the needs of other hungry little ones, and a husband who needed to get off to work. I planned the meals and snacks ahead of time, and had a good routine established for cleaning and other chores. I very much enjoyed all those domestic duties, and the interactions with my family.

Well, children grow up, and even while still at home are less dependent upon mom. Oftentimes I am now the one receiving help, rather than the one giving it. Cleaning, sorting, painting, yard work and other chores are often done by my competent young people. Certainly I am still very much a facilitator, running errands with and for the family, and I do keep very busy. But still, I sense that I am very much in an interim period. “The times they are a changing”, and I have more time.

I sense almost that this is a time of preparation for a new season in my life. “What should I be when I grow up?” I asked myself as a child. Now I ask, “What should I plan to do when all my young folks are grown and gone from home?” In seeking to answer that question, I’m taking stock of what I’m actually doing right now:

  1. Last year I completed training as a paraeducator, or “teacher’s helper”. I plan to work this school year as a substitute paraeducator in our local school district as the need arises. I also plan to volunteer quite a bit at the middle school, where Lydia and Seth attend.

  2. I am also busy helping to care for my aging mom. She enjoys the social life at the retirement community where she lives, but I help with such things as paperwork, doctor visits, and shopping.

  3. Sometimes I run errands which help my husband with his house design business, but, really, he doesn’t need much help with that.

  4. The family still at home require timely meals. I plan to have dinner ready by six each evening, so that we can have an earlier bedtime than is traditional with us. When we homeschooled, I could be more flexible, but now, the children must get to bed early enough to be rested before school and sports practice begins.

  5. We are getting settled in a local church “home”. I want to be available to show hospitality. I want to be helpful, and also to participate in Bible study.

  6. I spend LOTS of time on the internet, reading blogs, especially church blogs which have to do with faith and practice. I spend time blogging and interacting with my children on their blogs. Just a few years ago, I simply would not have had the time to do all this reading. (Of course, I’m still reading books, too.)

Getting back to what I should do now that the young ones are growing up and leaving home, these are my present thoughts:

  1. I need to focus more on my husband, spending more time with him and growing closer to him. It is easy to grow somewhat apart when demands upon one’s time are so heavy, as is the case with caring for many young children. Also, my temperament is quietly contemplative. I am quite content working on my own projects. I want to be more warmly communicative, and participate more in mutual interests.

  2. I need to keep my focus on serving, rather than upon relaxing, or taking it easy as I get older. I haven’t seriously talked to my husband about it, but I’m thinking about wanting to help foster children in the future. I have the paperwork, but just have to get up the gumption to show it to him.

  3. I want to take good care of myself by staying physically active. A daily walk is also very relaxing.

Well, those are my thoughts for now. Anyone out there with good advice for me? I welcome your input.


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