For Those in the Season of Staying at Home 18

Colchuck Lake 1This last Saturday, a group of us loaded up into my sister’s car and headed off to one of the most beautiful places in Washington I’ve ever seen. Colchuck Lake is located just right outside of Leavenworth and this hike was GORGEOUS. If you haven’t done it, you need to add this one to your list. Colchuck Lake3

Typically after a hike, I like to write about the details, the elevation gain, and the view, but as I settle back into regular life after this day away, I continually feel tugged in a different direction.Colchuck Lake 4I want you to know that it wasn’t that long ago that I too, was stuck at home with a nursing baby  and a couple of other little ones. This was also during the time when my husband was working 50-60 hour weeks. When I post pictures of grand adventures on Instagram, I almost feel guilty inside, like I’m portraying that this is really what Motherhood with 3 little kids looks like. The truth is, while those times away with friends are so special to me, most of my life isn’t spent hiking mountains and seeing amazing sights.  
Colchuck Lake 7In reality, most of my life is spent potty training our two year old, talking with our 4 year old and homeschooling our 6 year old. And when I’m not out in the wild, seeing something that almost takes my breath away, I’m home, just like you, trying to find the magic in ordinary days.Colchuck Lake5If I was to sit down with another Mama, who has a handful of little ones at home and try to give her some of my best advice for caring for herself during this time, I would NOT tell her to find ways to get out by herself as much as possible. Instead, I would encourage her to train herself to see those Heaven On Earth moments. The kind of moment where in the midst of all the craziness, something magical happens and you want life to pause and just stay like that for awhile, temporarily perfect.

When all my kids dance together and the music is loud, for just a moment our house fills with laughter and I want them like that forever….that’s a Heaven On Earth moment. And when they snuggle in with you, while you read and you smell their heads and their heads smell better than anything in the world, that’s a Heaven On Earth moment. 

I would encourage you as a Mom of little ones, that yes, you DO need time away to re-fuel, but sometimes those times are few and far between and during the in-between times, we need to train ourselves to have joy in the ordinary. In the present, in the NOW. Not only in the times when we get away.
Colchuck Lake6Moments like these give me strength for the laundry, dishes, planning the week and parenting. I want to appreciate the beauty not only in the big things, like seeing an alpine lake, but in the small things too. I want it all to be counted as important…. The times away with friends and also the times at home with my babies, potty training and making lunch. Is it all important? Yes, it certainly is.

Colchuck Lake 2Having 3 babies in 4 years didn’t leave me with much alone time for many years, and now that I’m starting to have moments for myself again, I don’t want to act like I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be anchored at home. Starting our ladies hiking group with my sister has been life giving in so many ways, but that’s only because the timing was right. For a long time, the timing wasn’t right. I couldn’t even pee by myself, let alone think about being gone hiking all day without my kids. 
Colchuck Lake 8 If the timing isn’t right for you to get out much right now, open your eyes to the sweet, simple things in your life and remember that those are the most important things after all. Your season might be more draining right now, but just think, you’re laying a foundation. You’re giving and giving and giving, to build someone strong. That foundation will never be laid again so, pour out freely and don’t miss any spots. That feeling of exhaustion is normal, but just remember,  the days of replenishing are in your future.Colchuck Lake 9

β€œThe true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”― Laura Ingalls Wilder

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

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18 thoughts on “For Those in the Season of Staying at Home

  • Rachel @ Mason Jar Values

    Yes yes yes. Thank you for this. I have a 3 year old and 10 month old so this is just the reminder I needed today as I help my husband get ready for his hunting trip this weekend. If we didn’t have kids, I’d get to go with and hike all weekend but instead I’ll be home with them. I love love love my kiddos and while I also love the outdoors, who I get to spend time with when I go on adventures, etc, it’s refreshing to hear this encouragement. πŸ™‚

    • Angela Strand Post author

      You are so welcome. Sometimes it’s hard being at home. I know this VERY well. You are not alone and days with more freedom are ahead! For now, enjoy the sweet moments.What you’re doing is so important.

  • Angie

    Yes, I would say this applies again to moms of teens…. You’ve laid the foundation and now you’re doing the trimming out of the house and it’s just as important, because those kids are about to be the newest generation of adults. That’s the season I’m in right now.

  • Ingunn

    Great post! We are entering the toddler years, so I’ve come to terms with the fact that hiking is going to be a very different activity for a while, even with just one kid. But! The mountains will still be there when she’s older (well, unless the volcanoes blow), and I have so many good trips to look back on.

    (Also, yay Colchuck! Have you been up to the Enchantments? That is one place that truly deserves its name.)

    • Angela Strand Post author

      “Unless they blow!” Hahaha!!! You crack me up! We were so close to the enchantments, but we didn’t make it up there! I’d love to sometime! It sure is gorgeous out there. Did you see any goats when you went?

  • katie

    Moving Angela. What a great read. Very timely. Thank you!
    P.S. I can’t get over Kinsey’s scent. She smells like my Nana who passed away a month before she was born. It’s magical!

  • Carleeh M.

    This touched my heart to tears. This is my first year without a single little at home, and it is harder than I thought. Not because they are gone but because I realized how much my life, my schedule, and my being was wrapped up in being a wife/caregiver first, mother second, and I came in last place. Now without them I have all this time to sit and waste away. I say waste, because I am not doing anything productive or even enjoyable. I am kinda lost. I just sit and stare at walls I need painted, chores I need done, and yet I manage to get nothing accomplished but we’ll nothing. I can’t wait to join your hikes and feel so blessed to be invited! I could use some me time, in the mountains! Nature just makes me feel alive.

  • Evanthia

    What a beautiful piece! I can so relate to this as a SAHM to a 2.5yo and 5yo. Learning how to see those “Heaven on Earth” moments, as you call them is a skill happy mothers teach themselves, I think. (Love the hiking group, by the way!!)