I know how people feel. I grew up in a divorced home, and always looked at everyone else who still had Mom's and Dad's living together in a happy home as having a "perfect" family. So I understand the comments when people look at us and say these things. They are compliments to me because I work so hard to try and give my children the home environment I always desired as a child. However, a happy, healthy home environment doesn't just happen naturally. It takes hard work, but I am willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make this happen.
What kind of sacrifices??? Well, we live on one income. I don't have a job outside home where I get compensated for my hard work with a salary. I don't receive praise from an employer when I do things well. I don't wear fancy clothes or drive fancy cars. I have the tough job of disciplining my children because I love them and some days that's all I get accomplished. I wear spit up, nose mucus, leftover food and mud from outside on my clothes most of the time and don't change because I know that the moment I do they will soon be soiled as well. My house is not always neat and orderly because it is very much LIVED in. I don't get much adult conversation. Nor do I get much ME time.
I have come to learn that having children who are obedient and well behaved takes HARD work. That I have to become selfless as a mother and wife and put the welfare of others before my own. That I have to use lots of patience and self-control to keep from tying my kids down and locking them in their rooms some days. That prayer time is required. That repeating myself is a daily task. And that reading books about how to save money and be a better wife and mother are daily reading assignments.
All that aside, I have to admit that I LOVE being home. I don't mind wearing hand-me-downs and doing things the "hard way" to save money (ex. making bread, laundry detergent, gardening, etc). I love educating my children at home (even on the tough days). I'm thankful to God for using my children to refine me. No, it's not easy, but the sloppy kisses, the sweet little hugs and the small voices that say "I love you, Mommy" make it all worthwhile.
So thanks for the compliments. I do consider myself blessed. But keep in mind, that my family is just as "perfect" as yours.