Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Am I done, yet?

I know I've said it before, but I still feel the same way, so I'll say it again. Being a stay at home mom is really tough. I love spending most of my waking hours (and a few of my non-waking hours) with my children. I mean, I'm a preschool teacher by profession (graduate school really pays off in this area... ha ha ha) so I am totally dedicated to making the most out of childhood. Really. But there's a bit to this vocation that I would like to avoid. Now, as I shower kudos to those wonderful moms who work for pay outside the home, I've gotta give a disclaimer. A "working for pay" mom is also really tough, but in a different way. Let me explain.

As a stay at home mom (which I am 75+% of the time) my day starts either when my little ones wake up or when my alarm goes off. I dress and feed everyone, and make sure our supplies are ready for whatever our day consists of. I shuttle little ones around, shuttle myself & my littlest one on errands, and make sure everyone in the house has the best of whatever they require (budget allowing).

I spend a good chunk of my day cleaning up the house. I come from a long line of tidy but not super organized houses, and my own home reflects that. A few years ago, I attended a baby shower at a cousin's home, and I honestly didn't believe that the family actually LIVED there, because there wasn't ONE thing out of place. No stack of mail, errant laundry basket, no pile of chewed up dog toys. The house looked staged. It was lovely, but without the slight mess of living, it didn't feel very homey. And I know this was just my weirdness. (Yes, I am weird).

I've found "" which has helped me tremendously in organizing how I spend my cleaning time each day. She's great at making the most awful tasks a little bit more fun. But I am never finished.

My husband is a finisher. He glorifies in starting and finishing a project. He does a wonderful job, and doesn't start on something until he has the time and focus to complete it. (This wonderful quality does have some sour points, but we'll focus on the positive today.) My day, in contrast, never has a beginning or an end. I will clean the bathroom today, and tomorrow, and every day there after for eternity. I will wash a load or two of clothes today, and no matter how quickly I fold, sort and store them, I will have more laundry to wash tomorrow. I will always have dishes to wash; children to supervise, play with and discipline; checkbook registers to balance & budgets to tinker with. And THIS is what is making me crazy today.

I understand that I am feeling this way right now because I have recently finished working my "big summer" hours teaching kids about science & engineering. Work is such a fun and rewarding experience - and I LOVE starting a week and finishing the week and having something new to look forward to. (This is the point where I share how I am a little bit jealous of my mom friends who find wonderful people to care for their little people while they spend their days working on things they actually finish, alongside lots of other grown ups.)

Right now, I have my mom's groups to attend, odd get togethers and book clubs, and always the husband & my date nights. But I will never finish everything I have set before me in my house. My children will be grown and gone and I will still be planning meals and gathering foods and cleaning up my own mess along with someone else's.

So now I take a deep breath, and dive back into the ocean of activities that I can choose from today. The first one of those being "change a poopy diaper." Yes, being a mom DOES make me feel like a glamorous rock star.

some quotes i thought fit my mood today: taken from which is an awesome place to find cool & interesting quotes...

There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
Henry Ford (I guess he never had the "joy" of keeping his house clean.)

Ya gots to work with what you gots to work with.
Stevie Wonder

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
George Carlin

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Buddha (I try my best NOT to concentrate on the present moment when I scrub around the toilet, thank you.)

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