Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts in life I think. It is in our blood, our bones so to speak. For many of us, staying home with our children is a choice we make because we love being with them. It can be financially sound as well considering all the costs of working, I know ironic considering working is about bringing in money. Really though, day care, work clothing, fuel, meals, and for some even paying for help around the house, it adds up. For some staying home is simply financially the best plan. For others it is just what the heart wants. Thankfully in this day and age, it is a choice for many of us. We are not forced to stay home, could work if we choose to.
Of course there is judgement no matter what we choose. One of the terrible questions many stay at home mothers get is “Aren’t you bored?”
And I must confess, I asked a mother just that this past weekend. You see we went to visit cousins and while sitting talking about life I remembered our cousin, a mother of 2, was no longer working but staying home. I asked about her plans for college, the future just really interested because some day my kids will be grown and I will be facing “what next” too. Only her kids are in elementary school. So why did I have to ask “Aren’t you board?” Clearly I wasn’t thinking! She took it well, better than I would at least.
You see I had a stupid moment. I homeschool, have 4 children, and I work at home. To me, without thinking about it, I thought she had free time. Oh how foolish. I think this is the case when most people ask that terrible question.
As stay at home mothers we do those billion things that slip even our own minds when we are not in the middle of them. Getting the kids ready for school, lunches, bills, planning, lists, shopping, cooking, the 1000 cleaning details, appointments. We are the ones who puts the time and effort into ordering kid-friendly custom invitations, makes the birthday cakes, decorating for the party. Who gets the teacher appreciation gifts? Hosts the cousins who come to visit? Deals with repairs, improvements, ane the garden? Who has to research and change the home to be more green and earth friendly? Who plans the play dates, gets everyone where they need to be on time, sets up summer camp and vacations, does the spring cleaning, gets the boxes together for yard sales, and tries to look great doing it all? At least my cousin looks great doing it all.
Who wipes down the flat screen for perfecting viewing? Who researches the best wine for girls night? Who gets the perfect gifts and remembers to send out holiday cards. (Ok forget the cards, I totally dropped the ball on that one.) Who makes sure the husband knows about his favorite geek games coming out? That’s us, the stay at home moms! (Ok so some of these things working Moms do too but this post is not about them, they need their own special post too!) The ones who know how to get gum out of a child’s hair, crayon off the walls in record time, and pack a lunch when the house is out of about all food and one must go shopping yesterday! We might have a messy van, hair might not be perfectly in place, our living room might look like the isle of a toy store, our fridge covered in kid art and of course a Skylander fridge magnet, and bean bags found in weird places. It’s life! Being a stay at home mother isn’t neat, it isn’t easy, and it isn’t what one would call “free time”. Thankfully my cousin gets it.
Add College to being a stay at home mother and “busy” is going to be an understatement!
I then got to thinking about my fellow work at home Moms. Oh the lives we lead! We get many questions that make us cringe as well, people expecting us to work at all hours and acting as if we do not have other things we must do. Or people who do not understand that we keep odd hours so we have more time with our children. Or people who think our lives can bend to theirs because they have commuting jobs and we can work in our Pajamas. (I do, I admit it!) You might commute but we tend to have a cool magnetic car sign and are just as important! Don’t discard what we do!
Of course mothers who work out of the home have a whole list of questions and comments that make them want to go all exorcist head spinning too. I will leave those to another blogger though as that is not me, not these days anyway!
In the end, all anyone wants is a bit of validation for what they do and some questions just stomp all over that. We need to be mindful. I need to be more mindful! Cousin has forgiven me I think so hopefully my readers here will too!