If my stay-at-home mothering/homemaking position were a real paying job, I’d have been fired years ago. The truth be told, I spend way too much time in my head lamenting about lack of mental stimulation, lack of friendship, lack of ego-boosting perks (you know, like a paycheck, vacation time, respect of co-workers and superiors). I also spend more time online – feeding my intellect doing research on subjects important to me, nurturing my online “babies” (my three blogs) and living vicariously through other women’s blogs (but a lot of times finding really cool things to do with the kids) – than I really should.
I can justify some of my procrastination by the fact that I do my chores – I just spread them all out on a 12 hour day instead of an 8 hour day. Some days I really am quite productive. Other days, notsomuch (after all, there’s always tomorrow or the weekend, right?).
But the problem is that I am really never “off the clock” (okay, reality check, what mother is?) and I don’t feel productive and I don’t feel good about it most times. I feel like I’m just hanging out waiting for something better (ie a “real job”) to come along. Consequently, I never really feel “at peace”.
I stumbled across this series of blog posts from Simple Mom that really hit home with me about why I have the nagging sense that I’m squandering my time at home.
I can say that I’m guilty of #6, #4,#3, and #1 (but to be very clear, I don’t dislike mothering – and I’m quite good at it actually, but the whole housekeeping aspect of being a stay at home mom is really not fun for me).
I think it’s time I put a plan into action to prioritize things. Not just because there’s housework to be done (there always will be), but because I’m not making time for the things I like doing that contribute something of value to my family, my friends and even me. There’s a huge creative side to me that often gets neglected because I’m not making it a priority. To me, that’s a real personal loss.
I don’t think that it’s just society that undervalues what the stay at home parent’s role is, but I have undervalued my own contributions to my family. I think it’s become a part of the collective unconscious – unless your paid for your time, it’s not worth doing. How wrong that is.
I erroneously kept thinking that deep satisfaction and self worth comes from paid employment, but really that’s not true. It’s what we are led to believe though. I do believe hat no matter what ones does for a living, one should do it with all one’s heart and mind, and I haven’t been. My job, right now, is to be at home caring for all of us. And I’ve been slacking in many aspects of my role. I think it’s time to prioritize what I do a little bit to get a little more out of my time at home.
More on that later.