Being Home and Having Time

Now that my two older kids are grown and D16 is in school, I do often wonder what’s next for me? Should I get a job? Should I go back to school?

There is another role for women like me to fill, and that is the ministry of having time. I learned about this by watching my friend Karen. She did not go back to work when her children grew up. Some days she helps her husband with his handyman business–she runs to the hardware store for him or helps lift things or does the painting part of a project–and some days she takes her elderly neighbors to their doctor visits or shopping or takes a meal to someone.

When I flew back and forth to her city to take care of my dad during his final weeks of life, she was always available to pick me up and drop me off at the airport and to administer various forms of friendship therapy to me over the six weeks I was there–and she was available on my timetable.

Several times that I know of–and probably many more that I don’t–she has opened her tranquil, sunshine-filled home to friends of her children when they are going through hard times–marital difficulties, family break-ups. Karen’s sensitive hospitality and warmth surely does them good. Without preaching, she radiates a sense of hope.

People like her may not do big things, but they add kindness and decency to the world. As always, I find myself wanting to be like her “when I grow up.”

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About katiekind

Enjoying the second half of life. I have three sons who are the apples of my eye and a wonderful husband of 35 years--those are the important things. Long ago, out of the blue, I became a Christian. It was something I never planned on, but what joy it has been. I do website development and I like to read and garden and paint and I love beauty and truth.
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One Response to Being Home and Having Time

  1. darlene says:

    Kathy, that is an excellent topic. All of us at-home-and-lovin’-it moms come to a crossroads when kids move out. (You and I have talked about this many times over the years, haven’t we? Since I’m older, though, I got to the crossroads sooner.) What I found was that there are a lot of things I put aside as a mom, and one of them was attending to my health. I was so busy trying to keep the kids healthy and happy that often I’d forget about me. Now I have lots of time to attend to my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It feels like such a luxury and a little indulgent. But, it’s a worthy cause because I plan to live a long time and I want to feel good enough to enjoy it. As for volunteering, helping others is almost a lost art! Those of us at home have the opportunity and the time to lend a hand and a listening ear that may not be available if we were immersed in school or tired from a job. I also look forward to being a grandparent (no babies on the horizon yet) and expect to be very involved when I am. One thing I did as Ben started pushing away at 17, I started painting the house (inside) and redecorating. It was so fun and satisfying. It felt like I was starting anew, and I was. It felt symbolic. But, then, I had to get down to the hard task of looking at MYSELF and seeing what needed work. I’ve been doing that ever since. It seemed like I had no time for that when I was a full-time parent. I sit every morning in prayer and meditation and see “what comes up”, and that’s what I need to work on. It’s a never-ending job, I can tell you!! I believe that we can be a blessing to other people when we are at home and available. That is a real gift, and I’m grateful to be in a position that I can offer that. I’d like to hear more from you on this subject. You are brave to post it. Lots of women are embarrassed about this time in their lives (like menopause) and they shouldn’t be. We need to talk about it and start fostering a new positive attitude about the blessings and benefits of women moving into the post-parenting phase of their lives. You are such a dear person, Kathy, and I love you so much! (and I told Chris so when I saw him at the concert- he, of course, agreed with me wholeheartedly!)

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