What are you going to do today?
Those are probably two of the hardest questions for me to answer. When I worked a full-time job, they weren't always easy to answer, especially if the person asking knew nothing about database administrator, but in my head there was a concrete answer, even if it was difficult to articulate.
Now that I've been a stay-at-home mom for 3 years (and I truly can't believe it's been that long), my head immediately answers those questions with a bit of a snarky thought along the lines of, "What do you want to hear about first? The litany of messes I cleaned up today, or the baking I accomplished?"
When there are small children at home all day, the monotony can be similar, but at least there is the accomplishment of keeping a small child alive and well for another day. When your kids spend all day at school, a stay-at-home mom can really start to question her value. Or at least I have.
Ultimately, I don't know that I have anything profound to say on this topic. I just wanted to share for anyone who might feel alone in this situation. Now that my kids are mostly tweens/teens, the value of being a stay-at-home mom can feel even less than when you have small children who need your help with homework or want to share about their day. I do think that teens need a parent around who is interested and cares whether they would ever admit this or not.
One thought that I will share is that you really do have to find joy in the doing. I don't make granola bars for an after-school snack hoping that someone will be particularly appreciative for that gesture. In fact, I'm just as likely to hear, "Granola bars AGAIN." The value of the gesture is not defined by the gratitude of the recipient, or lack thereof. The same notion holds true of staying home in service of your family. My value in working here at home, whether I'm cleaning the bathroom, canning spaghetti sauce for a future dinner, or planting yet more succulent shoots into empty yogurt cups, is not defined by whether someone outwardly appreciates that fact. My value is in the doing.
I work full time and the days I work I kind of know what my day will entail. The days I am home I have different choices, but I want to make the most out of my day so sometimes I am clueless! And yes - it's extremely important that your teens know that you are present for them. Even as my daughter is a college freshman I make sure I'm home as much as possible when she is so she knows I'm available to her.ReplyDelete
Well I sure appreciate you! From walking my daughter up the hill to school, bringing those yogurt cups with plants to keep me company at my desk and seeing the joy of someone taking it when I tell them they can have it thanks to you, and being my wonderful source of pictures for the yearbook for the past 2 years. I love you dear friend and I hope you realize how wonderful you are!ReplyDelete
This is good. Yes, when our children get older, I think that there seems to be less outside support of the SAHM, thought it's still a valuable and needed vocation. What you said is very helpful and true. If we're looking for validation or gratitude from outside sources, we're probably going to be disappointed. There needs to be joy in the doing.ReplyDelete
So wise and so true my friend!ReplyDelete