I just read an article by one of my favorite mom-bloggers/book-writers that I thought might be encouraging and uplifting for some moms. It’s about how “staying home” is so much more than just staying home all day. It’s also a thought-provoking article for moms who work but still see their home as a job.
Anyways, the article also got me thinking about my life and the way I spend my time. A lot of things have changed since I became pregnant again– I need a lot more sleep and I save chores with lots of bending over for Jesse, since they seem to be primarily what aggravate my sciatic nerve issues.
But I love staying home for 90% of my week. Just like the woman in the article suggests, I am never bored, because I treat it like a job. Most of this I try to do before 3pm so that I can spend time with Jesse when he’s home.
Job Title #1: Mother/playmate to Gregory. I put this at the top, because he is my most important reason to stay home. It’s a tough one, however, filled with guessing and mistakes. There are days when I wish he wasn’t so dang independent! I WANT to get on the floor and play with him, but he literally gets annoyed. For instance, while I was grading papers the other night, he came and sat next to me on the floor to read books. Of course, I was crazy happy that he was choosing to read, so I sat down with him to make it a “mommy and G” time. He was not happy with this arrangement, so he took the books and moved away to read by himself. OUCH! Being a play-mate to Gregory has slowly evolved into being someone that cleans up after his messy adventures (or the “meanie” that stops him from killing himself in a toilet or paper shredder). Occasionally, when he DOES want my attention, he makes it known, and I’m “given” a few minutes of play time 🙂
Included in this job description is trouble-shooting and researching when there’s a problem. The cloth diaper fiasco is one example. Since we used disposable diapers for the weekend while visiting Jenny and Jason, I am now trying to combat G’s nasty diaper rash that includes bleeding blisters (poor kiddo…he’s always had such sensitive skin). When he’s a bit older, this area will also include his schooling. I’ve already collected a variety of pre schooling materials from various blogs (Pinterest!) and can’t wait to use them, mostly because I can’t wait for him to be that “grown-up”!
All of his culinary needs have become another area of research and work. Someday, I want to write about that separately, but even though he doesn’t have any allergies or food intolerances, I take what he’s eating very seriously. So much growth and brain development happens in the first couple years, and what he eats NOW will affect him the rest of his life. This makes it a definite priority in my book.
Now that I’m pregnant, being a good mom also involves taking care of myself. While it’s hard, I’m trying to see sleeping extra and working out as ways to be a better “house” for SnowCone. Working out is something I’m trying to get better consistency in. I love love swimming in the pool at Kennedy, even though I have to call ahead to reserve my lane.
Job Title #2: Cook. It’s no secret that I’ve never been too great at cooking. There was that first year of marriage where I tried my hand at it, using our teensy tiny Whittier kitchen. Things took a backseat after that, however, as working 13 hour days plus being a grad student took it’s toll on me.
Just in the past year, I’ve really branched out! Last Christmas, I was a scone-making machine. I started getting really good at making pizza, vegan and meat-ful, from scratch. I started making bread. I’ve made several batches of yummy applesauce for G (he won’t even eat the store-bought stuff now!). I made apple butter. I have a few vegan recipes and stews that I’ve gotten good at for Jesse. It’s been a lot of fun! Once again, Pinterest has been a huge help in this area.
Job Title #3: Teacher. Although I only teach 4 hours/week and my commute time is less than 5 minutes, it involves prep time. Luckily, I love to read. Just yesterday, my job was to pick out poetry for my class to perform at the Poetry Out Loud competition, so I got to browse though all of my favorite poets– Cairns, Bishop, Yeats and Shakespeare– and pick out the best ones for my kids. I don’t particularly enjoy grading quizzes, especially when I wrote/gave them before Thanksgiving break and forgot to write answer keys. And then forgot all the answers. Oops.
Job Title #4: Student. I still study my Latin, since my language comp has been semi-scheduled but not completed. This is so hard to do after not being in a Latin class for 3 years! The Aeneid is HARD WORK, my friends. I also have to prepare for my 8 hour English comp, which means I basically need to review all of the books I’ve read for my MA. There’s a lot of work to be done in this area, as you can see 🙂
Job Title #5: Hobbyist. This may sound like “free time”, and maybe it is. It keeps me sane, though. I’ve lately picked up quite a few hobbies, including crocheting (I used to do this a lot in college, but had since forgotten!), scrapbooking and, of course, writing. Many of the things I document about G will be stored as his love letters, so he will always know how much I’ve enjoyed being a part of his little life.
I also have started working on a few piano pieces. One is a modern rendition of Carol of the Bells, my favorite Christmas Carol. There’s a knitting group that meets at a quaint yarn shop just a few blocks away from school, and I’ve seriously thought about joining, just so they can teach me their ways 🙂
Job Title #6: Secretary. I pay 99% of our bills unless there’s something so odious that I simply can’t bear to tackle it (this hasn’t happened in a while, but occasionally I get so frustrated I just KNOW I’m gonna hurt something). This entire car/insurance/Geico fiasco has been one huge
nightmare project. Collecting all the paperwork and brainstorming with the mortgage guy was another. Depositing checks, moving around money, sending out our Christmas cards, re-doing our filing system (that was “fun”….not), are all things that fall in this area. Pinterest has many pretty and free labels to download and use, along with a ton of Organization tips that I can’t WAIT to use once we have a house.
Job Title #7: Housecleaner: I have definite help in this area. While my mom doesn’t like to craft or cook, she does like to clean. We are working on “whose chores” are whose around here, but I mostly just do dishes and laundry for now. Organizing and keeping our stuff tidy in just 3 rooms (again our private two in the back of the house, along with G’s room in the hallway) has been a bit of a clutter challenge, to be sure. At one point, all of G’s clothes, from size 6-9 months to 3T were strewn all over the guest bed, as I was trying to organize/store them.
Improvement: There are definite things I want to improve upon. I want to add “photography” to my list of hobbies. I asked for a sewing machine and bread maker for Christmas, because I want to get better at both. I want our finances to become even more secure, which will take planning and managing. I want to finally take my comp tests and write my Thesis Paper. Also, once SnowCone gets here, learning to manage 2 kids will be a whole new world.
What kind of things do all of you moms (stay at home or not) work at in your jobs? What are the things you love about parenting, cooking, cleaning, etc.? Does anyone else have a few interesting hobbies they are trying out?