Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Do You Do It? Stay At Home Mom's!

I guess over the past few weeks I have taken to stop calling myself unemployed, but a stay at home grandmother since I am raising 3 grand children and am not their mom. But yesterday, made me question how others do it?
Have you always been a stay at home mom or did you work and at one time decide to quit?

How does it affect your family? How does your spouse feel about you staying home? Do you feel valued?

Since I have been home, I am taking a bit better care of myself by working out and walking with a partner everyday for an hour and sometimes more. I get more chores done around the house. I am free to take the kids to appointments without having to change my work schedule. I am home when they return from school.

So many times, we think of ourselves, as our job. We allow our jobs to define everything about us and around us from where we eat to where we shop and who we go out with, who our friends are, many times life revolves around our jobs.

Yesterday, I was giving my son a bit of a lecture when we were talking about daycare. I understand they are expensive, but he and his wife both barely eek out a living so they could get some assistance and still work. However, they use her sister and it is a great arrangement for them. Albeit a bit to comfortable at times because it allows them to work and not see their babies for days at a time.

My sons comment to me, 'you don't understand, you stay at home all the time!' I had to remind him that I didn't always stay home, that when he and his brothers were younger, I worked and came home, picked them up from the sitter, fixed dinner, did what needed to be done and I didn't have the luxury of someone keeping them so I could come home and sleep.

Last night, my hubby started the same line of comments. It starts with how tight things are right now...hmmmm, I stay home all the time, I don't go out, I can't afford Starbucks anymore, I am very cautious with gas in my vehicle, one would think I realized how tight things are right now.

But I work from home. I am sitting at my desk every day for four to five hours with a headset on, answering telephones for a company that pays me every other week. I do not have to get dressed if I feel ill, I do not have to lose hours by calling in sick, I do not have to put gas in the car, pay for daycare, buy lunches for work, etc.

With the money I make, I manage to fill my gas tank, purchase pre-paid cell phone card so when I am traveling for 'outside,' the home jobs I have a way to contact someone during an emergency. I also pay the few bills I have and last time I got a check, I paid one of hubs creditors off. Okay, it was under $100, but I could have spent that money on myself and didn't!

I get a retirement check each month, it pays my car payment and credit card payment and I contribute the remaining $60 to our family budget. I have sold 2 of my repurposed jean bags recently and do my best to make sure every penny counts. We don't live in an area that doubles coupons, but I do use coupons as much and as best as I can.

Yet, in two of my family members eyes because I do not work currently out of the home, to them, I must do nothing.

So, knowing I have so many readers who stay at home, I had to ask today, how do you do it? How do you get past the, unexpected comments about 'you don't work, you don't know what it is like?'

It truly miffs me! I have worked since I was 12 years old, baby sitting, ironing and cleaning people's homes. When I was 15 1/2 I got my work permit and began working at a Dairy Queen and then a nursing home, I have worked nuclear power, I have worked the oil fields, I have cleaned homes, held two jobs at once, been without a car and rode my bike home from work in the Arizona sand storms and heat.

I have always worked, worked hard and loved my jobs and with each job I learned something about myself and always contributed above and beyond to our families budget, vacations, etc.. But until yesterday, I never realized how much my own family defined who I was or what I had become since I am not working outside the home.

Anyone who truly knows me, knows those 2 comments really made me wonder what planet those 2 dropped off. I work, I even make money while staying home. I guess that is the difference between my having a Masters degree and they don't, I have figured out how to make money from home and they are jealous because they can't do the same thing!

Yes, their is a little bit of a sniglet in me that is going...nana nana boo boo! On the other hand, I wonder what would happen if I really stayed home and did nothing as they perceive?


Andra Gayle said...

I use to stay at home. When my youngest was 4, I got sick of being expected to clean house constantly so I went back to work. Worst decision I ever made. I wish we could afford for me to stay home again but we are too use to my salary. now my house is 100 times messier than it was and there is 0 minutes to spend on it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks staying at home and doing all that you do is 'not working' needs to do your job for a month! :P Hard work, no going home down time, no vacations, sick leave, breaks. :P

I spent 20+ years as a stay-at-home mother (by choice, we were lucky enough to be able to afford it) ... and now work every day in my own business. No way is one easier than the other!

:) Linda

Kim said...

I worked before we moved then decided to stay home with my children since they were young and I didn't trust anyone to care for them. It's been many years and I am still home even though they are all in school full-time. When my children throws a comment at me that makes me feel they don't appreciate the fact that I stay home to care for them I would ask them if they would rather have me go back to work and they can fend for themselves. They all looked shocked when they say no. Sometimes they just need a little bit of reminding.

Anonymous said...

Being a stay at home mom (or in your case, grandmother) can be a very lonely, thankless job. But as Dr. Dobson says, it's the most important job in the universe. I've been fortunate, by the grace of God, to be home most of the time for our 3 kids, but have worked part time doing childcare, working in a store, and weekends (evenings) as a health care aide. Right now I'm home full time, but financially it is very hard. Maybe it would benefit your family if you truly did nothing for a few days, so they could learn to appreciate what all you really do for them. ??? Just a thought... ;) It sounds like you do a LOT! Some day you will be rewarded for everything you do for your grandchildren.

Quiltingranny said...

Thanks for all the supportive comments. I just cringe when they think I do nothing because I work at home. Or when my husband feels I am wasting money by going to the gym...I don't pay for it, I carpool! Sheesh!

Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

WOW, I can't believe they even can SAY you don't work. REALLY???? I get it tho as sometimes people think that if you work at home..... you don't REALLY work.... I think we work HARDER when at home, at least I know I do. I don't really take breaks or a lunch. And I get on the computer earlier than needed...etc etc. Just let the comments roll off your back and then do what you do!!!!

Quiltingranny said...

I think it is as you say Kim. Because we are home, they think we don't work. I answer phones 4-6 hours a day. I eat before I sit down and only break when I need to. I take abuse from callers...& still because I am not 9-5, I am unworthy...hahahahaha!!!

Mommarock said...

Tell them what you are thinking.. don't just think it to yourself. They should hear it from your lips.. that is bull-ogona..(oh that was kindly censored) I clean, I cook, I do the laundry, and I shop for the groceries.. but other than that, I do whatever the heck I want to do.. okay I also homeschool my son and shop with coupons to save money and pay the bills, but the money is earned by my husband.. but still we do alot, but we have to appreciate each other or it isn't a family, and it just doesn't work. I won't put up with disrespect.. and I make sure they know that I respect and appreciate their hard work too.