Monday, March 25, 2013

Being a Stay at Home Mom Isn't That Hard

Consistently teaching the children to pick up their belongings
means that the living room takes 10 minutes to clean.
I am zipping up my fireproof suit and putting on my hard hat for this one. I am about to make every stay at home on the planet mad at me. Forgive me as I might come across a bit harsh.
Being a stay at home mom isn't that hard. Ok, hear me out. There are always exceptions to the rule but for the majority of us, being a stay at home mom just isn't that hard. Yet, we are always the first to stand on our soap box shouting at others about how difficult it is to keep our homes clean or to complain about how we never get a moment to sit down. So what gives? Why does it always seem that there is something to be done? Why is the laundry never caught up and the sink never empty?


There. I said it. The majority of us moms don't manage our time efficiently. We have time to get on FB and complain about how our dishes aren't done when we should actually be up doing them. We manage to read blogs, complain, check emails, complain, Tweet, complain.

Let me temper my post with some grace. Yes, there were seasons of my life that were hard. I had 2 babies within 10 months (I swear it was all my husband's fault!) and my life revolved around sleep deprived diaper changes, feedings, play time and all the other joys of being high risk pregnant for practically 2 years straight. I am not saying that seasonally we aren't going to go through rough patches. I'm not saying that even the physically easy days don't have moments that are emotionally draining. However, the truth of the matter is, that as my children have gotten older, being a stay at home mom has become easier. Easy to the point that there is no good reason for me not to be "all together". No reason for me not to have a good nights sleep, cook a good breakfast, clean house, school the children and even enjoy some down time browsing Facebook.

Proof that we can memories without messes.
We are stamping with the bottom of a celery stalk.
Sorry to burst your "my life is so hard" bubble. The truth is that if we are managing our time efficiently being a stay at home mom is pretty stinking cushy. A messy home isn't "a sign of character" or "memories my kids have made". It is a sign of bad time management at best and laziness at worst.

Since I have taught my children how to do their own laundry,
and I actually LET them, this stack took about 20 minutes to fold
and get put away.
Oh, and the poor me attitude, it's old. Sure, I do a lot of laundry...for the BLESSINGS that God has given me. The three babies that I was told by multiple doctors I would never have. Some days I spend most of my time breaking up bickering, cleaning of messes that are instantly repeated, making meals that are complained about, but the worth of what we doing sure does change when our perspective is on the eternal value instead of the "hardness" of what we are doing.

I'm not saying that I am never guilty of complaining (trust me it is quite the opposite!) and I realize I defy all of the mushy memes that talk about how I am a "nurse, cook, janitor..." and I suppose, in a way, I am all of those things, but at the end of the day this is the life I am not only called to, but it is the life I CHOSE. So really, what I want to tell all of the stay at home moms out there is to pull up your big girl pants, get yourself together and realize how good you actually have it. Now stop reading this blog and go do your dishes! Oh, and remember, it is all worth it :)

Disclaimer: As I said above, there are exceptions to every rule. I am speaking in general terms. I realize there are mom's
whose children are ill, dealing with ADHD, autism or a other conditions and that their situations are far different than mine. Oh, and stick around for part 2 in which I tell you why being a stay at home mom is so hard!

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Theresa said...

Thank you! No fire suit needed. :)

Joy Capps said...

LOL, no need for the fire suit but could we trade homes for a day. (just one day as I would miss my peeps too much for more than just one day)

MotherHenStevens said...

Anna, GREAT post! Along with the TIME management need comes STUFF management. In order to keep a home clean you need to manage your stuff, and teach the kids to manage theirs as well.

Anonymous said...

Your disclaimer lessened my anger about this post. Notice it just lessened, it did not remove it altogether.
Let me say first that I am thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling, mom, a work-at-home mom, and wear a host of other hats.
Second, I should be and I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to stay at home with my children and school. It hasn't always been this way and it may not always stay this way.
Third, does having a special needs child, a extraordinarily large family (several more children than you), dealing with severe financial struggles and host of other issues some situational and some persistent give me any "right" to complain? NO! No matter my circumstances, my Jesus says I am to be thankful. Do I fail at this? YES!
But, my job is hard! My office job was hard! Jobs are hard! They are meant to be hard. That is the curse of sin.
Is my job doable? YES! Do I make it easier or harder? YES!
I personally have excellent time-management skills. And to hear a blanket claim that my job as a stay-at-home mom is only hard becase of poor time management is unfair and just plain wrong.
My job is hard and there is nothing wrong with that statement. Now, if I carry on with a constant pity party, that is a different story. But if I recognize it is hard and yet still give thanks to my Jesus who choose me for this job then I am honoring Him and brining Glory to Him.

Anna said...

MotherHen-Yes, stuff is a big deal. I learned that lesson the hard way with our big house and now that we are in a smaller one I am learning it again.

Anon- I am glad I had that suit on! No, to be honest, I knew eventually someone would have the same reaction as you did. I think you probably already know that I didn't direct this post at you personally. However, I do have to say that my strongest convictions come out in defensive posts :) I don't know what your home life is like, so of course I can't speak to you personally, but as a whole we have most definitely made ourselves martyrs and that is my point. Thank you for your thoughts on my post!