Mothering is a long-term investment. You don't see results for years, many years! And, sometimes when you begin to see results, they can be so subtle that you can miss the significance of what is happening. I've been that way lately, but God gave me a gentle wake-up call just today.
Because we homeschool, we have the flexibility to refocus our studies depending on the time of year. So, during the holidays, we focus on home economics. We've been baking, making candy, and sewing, as well as working through budgets for gifts, figuring out how much has been spent and how much we have left, and taking extra time to read aloud as a family. It has been wonderful.
As I was describing our focus this month to a friend, I began to realize that I am beginning to reap some rewards from my years-long investing. Girls helped make Thanksgiving dinner, one of my girls regularly helps me out by making dinner (and she does a fantastic job), another girl cleaned out the refridgerator WITHOUT BEING ASKED! and organized the whole thing. And, my girls completely manage our laundry. At times the laundry room is being overtaken by Mt. Washmore or Mt. Foldmore, but still, the girls are doing the job. And they are doing it well.
There have been days when I thought I'd never get past wiping noses and changing diapers, when the words "What's for dinner?" filled me with dread, and when I didn't have the energy to even read. My days are still very full, but I'm beginning to see success, and I'm very encouraged. Best of all, I really enjoy spending time with my children! They are really turning into neat young people. So, I guess you could say I'm getting a good return on my investment. I'm certainly happy with it!