Live to Learn

   When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I was so excited! Although I had a bachelor's degree and was working a job I loved, I was ready and eager to be a stay-at-home mom once my child was born.  I was almost 27 years-old, educated, and felt ready for the challenge of motherhood. When she came, I instantly fell in love and felt fortunate that I would be able to stay home and raise her. Raising a child is no small task and its impact doesn't only last your child's lifetime, it impacts generations to come. Being aware of this, I wanted to become the best mother I could be.
   I was excited to be a stay-at-home mom because of the extra time I would have to learn new things. I have always enjoyed learning and reading. I figured my baby would sleep all day and I would have plenty of time to learn about all of the things I had been wanting to. I quickly realized that the "extra" time I had wasn't nearly as abundant as I had hoped. My baby was content sleeping on me, but woke up the moment I tried to lay her in her crib. Most days I let her nap on me. Between napping, feeding, cleaning my house, and cooking I found that I really didn't have any time to learn, at least in the ways I had hoped to.
   One thing I found plenty of time for was entertainment. Although learning new things were difficult, there were plenty of ways to entertain myself while holding my sleeping babe (thanks to Comcast and an iPhone). I told myself this was the life of a stay-at-home mom and relished being with my baby while watching HGTV (my favorite channel), checking Facebook, Instagram, and blogs. This went on for several months, gradually I began to feel that something was missing. I was living my dream of motherhood, but I didn't feel as fulfilled as I thought I would. While being a mom exceeded my expectations, something was lacking.
   This feeling was heightened when my husband would get home from school everyday and fill me in on everything he had learned during a day of medical school. I would in turn fill him in on my day, which largely included what friends and family were doing (according to Facebook and Instagram). During this time, I also got more into Pinterest and enjoyed looking up recipes and figuring out DIY projects I could do. My husband has always been supportive of me. When I told him that I didn't feel fulfilled, he suggested that I find some new hobbies. I agreed, but felt like I didn't have the time to really get into something. Then something wonderful happened, I was inspired to cut out my time-wasters.
   I don't know exactly how or when this happened but gradually I got sick of not really doing anything productive. I turned off the TV, limited my social media time, and suddenly had more time to learn. I started listening to a variety of podcasts while I cleaned my house and drove, and started reading more books on both topics that interested me and ones I knew nothing about. As I did this I began to feel much more fulfilled. I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom even more and I felt excited about the future. 
  There are so many ways to learn available to us today. Between free online classes, podcasts, books -available on kindle or at your local library, the possibilities for learning are literally endless. Through learning you can become a more interesting and well-rounded person. I love this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."
  Now when my husband comes home from school and we exchange thoughts about our days, I have so many ideas to talk to him about that there is hardly time to discuss people on Facebook. It's been great for me, great for our marriage, and I know it will benefit our family.

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