In 2001 when our second child was born, I left the workforce to begin the real work of my life, mothering. At first I didn't dedicate much thought to staying at home with the kids, probably because my mother worked for most of my childhood and I had no distinct memories of having a mom at home. I began with no concrete ideas about what I was supposed to do each day so I started by focusing most of my energy on the adult things that I needed to do. I was used to fitting my parenting time around a job schedule, so I began by fitting mothering in around chores and errands.
I soon figured out that a bit of planning and preparation went a long way in making our days run smoothly, and as the kids grew, I realized how impressionable they were.
One day it dawned on me that I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape our children. To lay down a character framework that could benefit them for the rest of their lives. A few years later this realization led us to homeschooling.
Today, I try to keep all of my efforts within sight of the fact that life is unpredictable and there is no way I can plan or prepare for every situation that we will encounter. Despite this reality, I have promised to never let myself off the hook by imagining that everything is out of my control. There are so many aspects of childhood that a mother can affect and those seeds of influence continue to grow for a lifetime.