It's hard to make my day seem "worth it" to them at this stage of their life. How do you make cleaning, cooking and care taking sound exciting? I've haven't been able to give them an answer that doesn't make me sound weird. But this weekend, I read a post by Sharon Greenthal that made sense. She was a stay at home mother for 20 years and in Why Housework Matters, she says,
I found great reward in being the conductor of the little orchestra that was my family – and the “intimate drudgery” of the day-to-day tasks I performed connected me to my children and my husband in a profound and, yes, emotional way...For me, the intimacy of organizing my children’s closets, folding their socks, making their meals – it was as integral to my life as their mother as watching them play sports or helping them with their homework.
Greenthal so poignantly put into words the way I feel about taking care of my home and family and why I find it fulfilling. As I change the sheets and fold the laundry, as I prepare food and clean the kitchen, as I rotate out the seasonal clothing and replace what they've outgrown, I feel a connection. I am tangibly loving them, providing and building a home for them, nurturing them. I like knowing how they want their lunch and which kind of snacks they prefer. I enjoy putting away their things and seeing how they've been spending their time. Like Greenthal, I like finding discarded papers and little treasures that show me who they are and how they think. It's in all these little things that I get to know them better.
I've felt vaguely guilty about being home lately. Maybe I should be "working" now that my children are older and becoming more independent. But I still enjoy what I'm doing. Maybe someday I'll change my mind and being at home won't feel like a labor of love, but right now I can't give it up. I only have a few years left to be the "conductor" and I want to savor them.
Can you relate? I'd love for you to read Sharon Greenthal's post in its entirety and let me know what you think. Does what she says speak to you, too?
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Really interesting post and she puts it in such a lovely way. I'm still coming to terms with the role of SAHM and am not sure if/when I'll return to work at some point when the kids get older. I love how happy she is in the role and wish I was a bit more at peace with it, I totally understand your feelings about whether you "should" return to work... But if you're happy at home and can afford to be, I say carry on as you are :) xx #allaboutyouReplyDelete
Thanks, Caroline! I appreciate your thoughts. Staying at home is an adjustment. There are definitely trade offs, but no matter what you do later, I think you'll always look back on these years as a special time. :)Delete
Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at HomeReplyDelete
I love this post . . . but more importantly, I love what you shared.
I'll swing by Sharon's post and read it too.
Thanks so much for sharing. I'm planning on sharing it with other stay-at-home moms :0)
Have a beautiful day,
Thanks, Suzanne! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)Delete
Such a lovely post, I believe we should all follow our hearts and do what makes us happy where there is choice of course, you sound so content and that's fab. I enjoy working but it's a constant juggle and I have the up most respect for SAHM's #allaboutyouReplyDelete
Thank you! I was on your blog earlier and your work sounds very interesting! :)Delete
I kind of hate it when I get that question from other adults. It makes me feel like I have to come up with some huge list of great adventures and lots of business! Sometimes, it's hard to pinpoint. Love the article you referenced, it pretty much sums it up. Love staying home, it's the best job I've ever had!ReplyDelete
So true, Jamie! I often feel obligated to come up with something big in response to that question, too. :)Delete
So true! I never understood what my mom did all day being a SAHM but it looked awesome! I get it now and hoped I could have thanked her before she passed for all her hard work since it is a thankless job. I wouldnt change it for the world though, even on those tough days when I want to throw in the towel and get a "real job".ReplyDelete
Sorry about your mom, Jenn. It's hard to fully appreciate all a mother does until you're a mom yourself. I'm glad you get to follow in your mom's footsteps!Delete
I'm so flattered that my post resonated with you. Please don't let those days of feeling bored or guilty change your commitment to being a SAHM if it makes you happy. When I had days like that I always reminded myself that going to a job each day also can be boring and guilt-inducing. And though it's trite it's also true - it goes so fast! My kids are now 24 and 21, and I can't believe how time has flown. And by the way they are so appreciative of the fact that I stayed home with them.ReplyDelete
Wow, I'm honored that you stopped by here! You're a talented writer and I've enjoyed reading other posts on your blog, too. Thank you for your advice and encouragement! :)Delete
Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at HomeReplyDelete
I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award.
I've enjoyed getting to know you through your beautiful blog. You can read more about your nomination here . . .
Have a beautiful day,
Thank you so much, Suzanne! I'm really honored that you would think of me. Your kind words are so encouraging and I'm excited to have this opportunity! :)Delete
When you allow yourself to feel guilty, you steal the joy from your life. DO NOT do it! If you're content to stay home with your children, whether they are two or ten or twenty, then that's what you should be doing. You will never regret it.ReplyDelete
I can definitely relate! It's a question I even ask myself sometimes - what do I do all day? One of my favorite (bittersweet) things is putting away their old clothes that they've outgrown.ReplyDelete
That is bittersweet! I always feel wistful when I see clothing they've outgrown. Thanks for visiting me here. I enjoy your blog and the humorous way you look at things! :)Delete
I love thinking of my family as a little orchestra. Beautiful!ReplyDelete
Marie, thank you so much for this post. I am a mother that's able to care for our children and our home. I feel so blessed that my husband's job makes this financially available. We all have parts to play to make our lives function and having a home work as smoothly and positively as it can is a bonus for all, I believe.ReplyDelete
Going to parties and answering the question "So, what do you do?" is always a drag because the response is usually a nod and a blank stare. I've decided to say 'I'm lucky enough to take care of my kids and I also do social media advertising'. (My review blog generates dollars and cents so I'm not lying ;->)
I'm looking forward to reading Sharon Greenthal's piece. Sounds right up my alley! Thanks for sharing Marie.
Visiting from Turn It Up Tuesday!
So true, and I love your reply, Ann! Thanks for visiting me here! :)Delete
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