Just a Mom

Looking back on my teenage years I’m sure I said a lot of hurtful things to people, but there is one situation that I will always remember. One day while I was talking with my mom about all my dreams and aspirations for my life we started talking about me possibly having a family one day. I said “yeah maybe…no offense but I want to be more than just a mom.” Just a mom…. Looking back on it now those are probably some of the most hurtful words I have ever said to my mother and I had no idea at the time. You see my mother is one of the most talented singers and actresses I know. I couldn’t understand why my mother didn’t follow her dream of going to Broadway, she sure as heck had the talent, but she chose to stay home instead. She married my father during college, and they started a family shortly after. When I was younger she would always do shows and perform but then that stopped as we got older and got more involved in sports and activities. She sacrificed her life and her dreams to just be a wife and mother….

Up until recently this concept of being a stay at home mom baffled me. I have many friends and family that stay home with their children and I just didn’t understand why. What could you possibly be doing all day? You cook and clean, that only takes up a few hours of your day, and the baby sleeps most of the day. So what could possibly be filling your time? How did you not go absolutely insane with boredom? I didn’t understand it, and I definitely didn’t want any part of it.

Now flash forward to a few months ago when I came to Bolivia. I really had no idea what kind of work I would be doing here at the Children’s Home. Lucky for me God has a sense of humor, and decided it was time I learned what it was like to be just a mom…. For the past five months I have been working in the houses helping the parents by giving them days and weekends off. This can be anywhere from 9 hours to 60 hours straight depending on the schedule. Also on a few occasions we have had to stay in the houses for 2 weeks straight while the parents were on vacation. So as you all know this requires getting the kids up for school, cleaning, cooking, helping with homework, and all the other responsibilities of a mother. Oh and let’s not forget the joy that is trying to put the children to bed.

Every time we did these long shifts all I could think to myself was “man I do not know how these parents do it.” Then one day the Lord convicted me and said “this is what it is like to be just a mom. Do you understand now?” In that moment my heart was so broken because all I could think about was all of my friends and family who I had belittled by saying that being just a mom isn’t as important. Even worse I thought about what I had said to my mother all those years ago and I was so ashamed. This was the woman who had cared for me, loved me, and helped me accomplish all of my dreams. She is the one who made me believe and even dare to dream big and I had hurt her.

So this is my apology to all the moms out there that I know. I am sorry if I have ever belittled what you do or the importance of it. You Shape and form your children into the people they will be in the future. Remember how much of an impact you have on your children, because they idolize you. “My mother has always been and always will be my hero and best friend.” I would like to think that I now have an idea of what it is like to be a mom, but I have no idea. I just have a little more insight into exactly how hard your job is. You have the chance to change the world through those children! Please never forget your importance and just how wonderful and special it is to be just a mom!!

 

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Bolivia so far

Hey everyone! First of all I would like to apologize for the fact that it has taken me four months to write any sort of blog updating you on my life. I have about a thousand excuses I could give you, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear all of those. In all honesty I just don’t really care for blogging. It always seems so personal and frankly I’m not very good at sharing. However, since so many wonderful people are supporting me and I am sure they are curious to know what is happening here in Bolivia I am going to go ahead and write. So here it is my first blog from my new adventures!

Alright so as I said before I have been in Bolivia for four months already! Wow it feels like I just got here! Where to even begin….

Well I am living in the city of Santa Cruz and I am working at Stansberry Children’s Home. I both live and work on the property of the hogar de niños (children’s home.) It is beautiful here with nice tropical weather. However, do not be too jealous because it is regularly over 90 degrees. I live in a house with another missionary, Kristen, who is also from Ohio. In case you are wondering no we did not know each other before we came to Bolivia, but our hometowns are only about 40 minutes away. We have a nice house for the volunteers to live in with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and kitchen. I feel very blessed to have these accommodations.

Alright enough rambling back to talking about work at the hogar. We have 27 children living here. The home is set up with 3 individual houses with house parents and 9-10 children in each house. This set up allows for things to be run much more like a normal family environment. I think it is much healthier this way and allows each child to receive more attention and care. We also have a before & after school program, and a daycare facility here on property. Both of these programs are available to the children from both within and outside of the home. Which is very useful considering we are right beside a school.

So I am sure you are wondering: if the houses already have parents where do you come in?

Good question. Our job as volunteers is to help wherever we are needed. Over the past four months we have been helping in the houses. We give the house parents days off, and we rotate giving each parent a weekend off. That way they are able to have some time to relax because caring for 9-10 children 24/7 is a very difficult job. I’m sure all of you parents out there can relate. My schedule will vary sometimes if parents go on vacation or something, but for the most part we work every Wednesday and then 3 weekends a months. On Wednesdays we work from 8:30-5:30 usually. Then on the weekends we work either Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday, and during those weekends we sleep in the houses as well. Our job is basically care for the house and children, cook, clean, help with homework, and play. Basically we are substitute parents. So that is a description of my job here.

Now also in the past four months I have been taking private Spanish classes, which will help me communicate with everyone. I have also had to do a bunch of paperwork in order to obtain my one year visa and residency here in Bolivia, and man was that a pain in the butt! However, it is all over with now; I have my visa and my carnet (Bolivian ID.) I’m very happy to not have to worry about that anymore!

So there it is, a brief overview of my life here in Bolivia! I will write more in detail about my past for months in future blogs, since there is a lot of things to cover (i.e. holidays, work, my spiritual journey, and any other adventures.) I promise I will try to be better about blogging from now on!

P.S. if you want to learn more about the organization I am working with or you feel lead to donate please go to their website at http://www.stansberrybolivia.com

Thanks for reading and God Bless!!!

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