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Saturday, July 19, 2008

SAHM Ramblings

I took for granted all that I had in our last home, the small and large routines that were set, the ability to just move through the day without thinking so much. Lately, I've done more thinking than I feel I've done in a while!

Where should this go?
Will I find it when I need it?
Do we really need this?
Do I need to buy/make anything to make this task easier to accomplish?

Everything has changed and become more simplified, as we squeeze into our new home. I've been struggling with this and guilt-laden over all the items I've had to purge. The squeaky clean feeling that comes after removing the extra baggage hasn't been present as much as I'd like it to. I just keep finding room for improvement.

A stay-at-home mom's job is hard work. I say job because it is a job, a never-ending one. Up at 6:00 am and to bed at 10:00 pm, it is on-going through all the hours. There are times I'm able to be a bit more slack in my duties and watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon. These are the times I feel guilty for being at home, like I'm getting away with something. I was reminded lately that just because I take time to myself during the day, it does not negate the fact that I work at home. I have no real sick days where all responsibility disappears while I get better. I have no real vacation time where the responsibility of my job disappears for awhile. I cannot escape this job.

My job is always there, always ready to be done but is never finished. My pay is hugs and kisses, exclamations from my children about being the best mom in the world, appreciative looks and comments from my husband. No day is exactly the same yet they are all similar, sometimes running into each other and I'm unable to determine what day of the week it really is. When someone asks if I remember what happened on Tuesday, I have to think especially hard...was that the day when the bathroom flooded or was it the day it rained all day and I had to give Jack (our dog) a bath 3x?

I think the worst thing about this job is that others' do not have an immediate understanding of all that it entails. If I were to say, "I'm a trial lawyer," there would be a clear understanding that I work long hours, argue for a living and probably have money. "I'm a stay-at-home mom" or my favorite is "I'm a professional mom," just does not convey all that I do in the way other professions do. There is not a clear understanding of what that job is. People think that my time is my time. Ha! Others think that I play all day with my kids. Another Ha! Worst yet, some think my house is immaculate and I have continuous order and harmony in our home. Ha! Ha! Ha!

The kids are at home! Which means there is a mess happening all the time. All the time! Let me repeat that once more...ALL the TIME.

I'm my harshest critic. Really, I am. I know when I have a bad attitude. I know all that needs to be done. I know the consequences of not doing what I should be. I have a constant work performance evaluation going on inside my head, every day. I don't have to wait for quarterly or yearly evaluations, it is in my face every day. So are the rewards.



mom24 said...

Goodness, do I totaly understand! I have been begging and begging for dh to get the kids away - truly away - for a few hours at a time so that I can think straight and focus on planning school.
But it isn't happening, since this "Mom" job is completely an all-comsuming job. I actually totalled up all the time in day that I could call "mine" and it equalled 0.5 hour (in the morning for a shower but even this is negotiable!!)!
I DO love this job. The blessings are IMMENSE. But sometime we moms just need a small (real) break so that we can figure out what day of the week it is...

Anonymous said...

What a great post. May I link to it in my blog?

I'm blessed that dh works so close to home (we live on church property, which he sees as both a blessing and a curse! lol); he can come home for lunch a few times a week, and doesn't need to add commute time. He can give me a breather if I need it.

It does get easier as the kids get older, as far as getting those few moments during the day.

You are doing such a great job--and I'm glad you can be right where you are. Your kids are blessed to have you as their mom, and your hubby is blessed to have you willing to make a home for your family.
chris in VA

Jennifer said...

It never ceases to amaze me that people assume that because I stay at home and we home-school, we are the perfectly ordered household. In fact, I had someone say to me just yesterday, "I bet you are one of those Moms that never yells." Well, as much as I would have liked to have said, "Oh, yes. Our family is right off of the Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best TV shows," I broke out laughing instead. Somehow visions of me calmly saying, "Now Connor, we really shouldn't throw toys out of our third story bedroom window" or "Sweet dear, please sit nicely at the table so that ice cream doesn't doesn't fall off of your spoon onto the floor for a third time tonight" were most amusing. Of course, what I really said in these instances, quite loudly, was "No, no, no, do NOT throw things out of your window! How many times do I have to tell you that?!" and "That's it. No more ice cream for you mister. You've been told too many times to sit properly at the table!" And that's not even to begin to discuss the state of the house...! Even so, I wouldn't trade a moment of it (OK, I wouldn't trade many moments of it!) As you, I feel so fortunate to have to opportunity to spend so much time with my children and to develop their minds, character, and love of the Lord within our home.

Anonymous said...

WOnderful post! My outside family is famous for saying, "You're a SAHM. You have all kinds of time!" Sometimes I wonder what they think I do all day.
Job description? Let's not even go there!

I'm so glad that I popped over here! What a cute blog!
Come on over to Mustard Seeds sometime! I have a few giveaways going on all the time!!!

Jennifer said...

And when you don't get the exclamations from the kids or the appreciative looks and comments from your DH then it makes it that much harder. My DH is very much focused on himself and his needs. Not totally his fault - his parents raised him that way. Seems to want the clean house and the smart homeschooled kids without having to put in any effort himself. Oh well! I comfort myself with the thought that there are others, such as yourself, out there who know the plight. And that someday when I sit in the lap of my LORD He can say to me that I did as good of a job as I could do with the circumstances He gave me. Blessings.

my5wolfcubs said...

Ah, yes, SAHM should get to wear tiaras!

Ivy Vega from said...

What a great and rewarding post to us who are SATHM and do this for a "living".
There are plenty of times that I could have a job outside the home where I can go Mon-Fri an hour of lunch to myself, listen to whatever I WANT on the radio and clock out on Fridays and Not deal with it again till Mondays. We get so little recognitation and people tend to think that since we are at home they can throw on us THEIR errand lists as well.
Wow, I feel much better now....
Thank you!

Leesa said...

Great post. It is a wonderful feeling reading a post of someone who thinks the same things and feels the same thing. Being a stay at home mother is a huge blessing. I wouldn't replace it for one single minute. I've learned over the years that people will not ever fully understand what we put into it.. like your lawyer example, but my children will always understand. When they are older with children of their own, they will know that I used my God-given gifts to serve them and my home. God bless you Jessica and all props to you for your diligence.