During a family crisis a few years ago, I very much wanted to help my mother with the difficulties that arose. However, with two young children in tow it became impossible to be of proper assistance and in jest I referred to the children as my millstones. Although it was a light-hearted comment, I was becoming increasingly frustrated and asking many questions about my role as a mother. At a church service we were invited to blow up a balloon until it burst if we wanted to see a breakthrough in our lives. It sounded crazy and I wouldn’t recommend ‘trying this at home’, but sometimes a practical, tangible action can help us to recognise what can be achieved in the immaterial world. I plucked up the courage to do this mad thing and I blew up a balloon. At the point of most resistance when I felt so tired of blowing, the breakthrough came and the balloon burst. As my head shot backwards with the force, I felt release and had an epiphany.
I had viewed my children as a hindrance to my personal fulfilment and to my work, but they were my work. I shouldn’t be growing them up so that I could get on with my own life, I should be enjoying the process. Children are not an interruption but a development and can enrich life immeasurably. Even though I had been joking when I called my children millstones, the connotations were negative. A millstone around your neck prevents you from doing what you want to do and drags you down until you sink into a mire of despair. My children were to be my hot air balloons. I would inflate them and together we would rise to new heights and fresh adventures. Because of them, I will see horizons that would otherwise be impossible. With a positive attitude and a renewed mind, your child will give you the ride of your life!
This is part of a series of considering the positive and negative aspects of being at home. Choose the category ‘Why am I a stay-at-home mum?’ to read more in this series.