February 10, 2010


Sometimes people ask me what I "do". You know, as in a job. And I often find myself responding "oh, I'm just a stay-at-home-mom." As if its nothing. A few years ago, after I had my first child, I realized that I had to view my position as a job (kind of). Let me try to explain.

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a S-A-H-M. Cleaning, cooking, teaching, playing, grocery shopping, paying bills, finances/budgeting, exercise (yourself and kids), grooming (yourself and kids), first aide, taking kids to various activities, giving husband needed attention, so on and so forth. On top of the things you need to get done, there are a MILLION things you have to remember. Diapers, sippy cups, snacks, wipes, change of clothes, wallet, keys, phone, grocery list, so on and so forth.

So, anyway, I started viewing my roll as a homemaker and S-A-H-M as a full time job, because really thats what it is (actually its a lot more than that). I decided that while dad is at work, so am I. When dad is off work, so am I (to an extent).

When you go to a job you have specific things you are supposed to be doing or supposed to get done. Sometimes they have time limits, sometimes they don't. I decided to give myself a job list every day, things that had to get done before dad got home.

Monday-clean the kitchen
Tuesday-clean the bedrooms
Wednesday-clean the bathrooms
Friday-clean living room and entry way

I decided I would work on each job throughout the day. In between feeding time and nap time and exercise time, cooking, and all the other things going on. This has really helped me to stay caught up on house work, to keep our home clutter free and a place where we all want to come home to, and have the evenings and weekends off with my husband.

It has also helped me to manage my time a little better so that I can get in some good quality time with each of my children and then have some me time as well. I get up at the same time every morning (no sleeping in on the job right?) and focus on getting my chores done (between child time) as soon as I can, so that when the kids are napping I can do what I want to do for myself. Sometimes I read a good book, sew, watch some tv, nap, shower a little longer than usual, or whatever. Its important to get that relax time so that when dad does get home you're not ready to pull your hair out.

A great book on the subject of being a Stay-at-home-mom is In Praise of Stay-at-Home-Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. A great lesson I learned from this book is that I am first and foremost a wife, then a mother, and then a homemaker. My relationship with my husband is crutial, my time with my children priceless, and everything else falls in behind them.

So I'm curious to know what all you ladies out there do to make things run smoothly around your house. I'm always looking for ways to improve. Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

1 comment:

Sarah and Alex said...

this post reminded me of an email I recieved. Here it is:

A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office,
was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

'What I mean is, ' explained the recorder,
'do you have a job or are you just a ...?'

'Of course I have a job,' snapped the woman.

'I'm a Mom.'

'We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it,'
Said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised,
efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like,
'Official Interrogator' or 'Town Registrar.'

'What is your occupation?' she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
'I'm a Research Associate in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations.'

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in m midair and
looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest,
'just what you do in your field?'

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
'I have a continuing program of research,
(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.'

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mom.' Motherhood!

What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.