Parenting cost me a window.
Last weekend, I got it back.
When our second daughter was due in 2010, I gave up my home office. Hubby and I converted my work space to a yellow flowered nursery with a La-Z-Boy rocker and pink blossom curtains. My desk, consequently, got demoted to the corner of our dim and chilly basement.
Of course my daughter needed the room more than I did.
But not anymore.
Today both girls are big enough to play downstairs without Mom hovering over their heads. They can traverse the steps without tripping. They’re not likely to shove forks into electrical sockets or eat paper scraps off the floor. We’ve reached a new era, halleluiah! My kids are ready for their own space—which means I can reclaim mine.
So we spent a Saturday converting a child’s room back into an office, and sequestering toys from every cranny of the house into one large and luxurious playroom downstairs. Now the girls have freedom to spread their LEGOs and Hot Wheels and coloring books galore, while I sit like a fat queen in my leather office chair basking in the direct sunlight of a window—dressed in chic new linen curtains, courtesy of World Market—on sale, people, yay!
Yesterday I spun in that chair and took a good look around—at this room, where I once stumbled, prickly eyed, to lift a hungry newborn from her crib. Where I changed diaper after loaded diaper and wrestled skinny octopus arms into fleece sleepers. Here I sprayed for invisible bears at bedtime and picked doll shoes off the rug. In this room, I learned how big a heart can swell with love for another child, this little sister who stretched our world even as she shrunk the house to half its size.
This room is mine again.
Yet I realized it will always be hers.
Because a home is not made of furniture and walls. It’s built moment by moment, memory by memory, life stage after life stage, until those walls tell a story that no fresh coat of paint can shush.
Our baby days are gone. The toys are tucked out of sight. Enter our front doors and you’d think grown-ups actually live here—such progress! But the lady who sits in her office today is not the same one who left it four years ago, praise God, praise GOD. One thing I know for certain is that no matter how intentionally and wholeheartedly I may raise my children, they will always grow me more. And I think that is God’s design.
Parenting changes us.
It demands from us.
It pays back more than it takes.
Today my payment comes in the form of a window—a hard-earned bit of sun. Yet part of me misses the nursery, the toy room that once filled this space.
So . . . call me nostalgic or practical or nuts.
I kept a corner of it.
Yep. I now share my home office with a seven-year-old.
Because I’m a mom.
And it’s the best job in the world.
Kathy Aeby says
And what a wonderful role model she will have as she sits at her “office space” and watches Mom.
I wish my work could be as entertaining as hers. 🙂
Lovely corners, my friend! But are you sure you want to shut down any “baby works”?! If not another biological, you’d make a great adoptive mom! Okay, okay! I’m stepping away from the “none-of-my-business” meddling, Becky! Thanks, dear friend, for the bright spot you always add to my Mondays!
I’m laughing, Beth! You ought to talk to my husband about this topic. I just asked him the same question the other day… he’ll tell you we’re too old! But so were Abraham and Sarah, right?
Oh my dear! You are most certainly not OLD! There’s plenty of time ahead of you to claim that title. For now, you (and I’m assuming your hubby is near your age) and your hubby are Spring Chickens! Tell him I said not to pass up a moment that will enlarge your family and your hearts! Who wouldn’t want that? Even if you are an crotchety and gray! 🙂
Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom says
Totally giggling at the last picture in your post. After we transformed our playroom to my office and moved the toys to the basement—I left a large art table just for the kids to sit and work with me. I need time where they play and let me work, but I also need them to sit next to me and quietly work with me!
Ha! We think alike, Kristen! My daughter thinks it’s so fun to share an office with Mom. She does her “work” (drawing, writing to pen pals, making bracelets) and I do mine. It’s a good set-up. 🙂
That’s a lovely looking room! I need to brighten up around my desk!
I share all my space with my kids, too. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Allison B says
I lost my home office to kids as well. Maybe one day I’ll get it back. Somehow I think I’ll have to share it just like you.
Lisa Littlewood says
Awww- And this one brought me to tears!!! Because I lost my office to a toy room and sometimes have been discouraged by that, but know, several years later that I too am a changed woman and if I turned it back into an office tomorrow I would probably cry and wish the toys were back. Motherhood makes us better versions of ourselves. Crazy, but better!
So true, Lisa! I never thought I’d miss the trampoline in the middle of the living room, but I do. Compartmentalizing the toys just means the kids are growing old enough to have their own space… independent from Mom. And while that’s a beautiful thing, it’s also a cause for nostalgia. I’m a sap. Hugs!