Rethinking “stay at home”

Sad news about my job. The perinatologist I’ve been working for told me that they don’t have the patient volume right now for another tech after all. Until their numbers come back up, hopefully in the spring, I’m out of work there. The good news is that the hospital always needs help, so I’ve picked up shifts there for January. I’ll be working, but not with the regularity that I have been. This stresses me out. Not financially, but mom-wise. I have trouble staying home with the kids all day! I decided I’ll need to rethink this stay at home mom thing, since it looks like I’ll be staying home more.

Today, we had a great day. We played in the morning, then I took Adrian to his well baby checkup, and then we had a picnic in the park (yes, it is a warm and sunny December day). We had a great afternoon playing. BUT when we got home, the house was messy, just as we’d left it. Am I a failed stay at home mom because the laundry and dishes are not done and I don’t know what I’m making for dinner tonight?

I think I’m realizing that being a mom is not about keeping the house, but it’s keeping the kids. My amazing mother did manage to raise twins, keep a clean house, and cook a square meal seven nights a week (you rock, mom!). I don’t think I can live up to that, and I realized that I’m the only one who has a problem. My 3 year old definitely doesn’t care if the house is messy, and when I say “this house is such a mess,” my husband says, “it is? where?” So if I’m the only one who cares, what if I stop caring so much?

I realized my perspective is wrong. Instead of being frustrated because Stephen is distracting me from cleaning, I should be frustrated that cleaning is distracting me from Stephen. If I have a perfectly clean house and dinner on the table at 6 but didn’t spend quality time with my kids, the day was not a success. My main focus should be raising godly young men, not keeping a clean house.

I think I’ve always thought that I either have to work all day or spend the whole day cleaning the house. Yuck! I’d definitely rather work. But if it’s work all day or spend the whole day playing and teaching my kids, that’s a different story.

Let’s come up with a new title. “Stay at home mom” “housewife” “household engineer” That all implies I stay home all day long. We want to go to the library and the park and the museum! Any suggestions for a better term? How about “professional mom”? I don’t want to emphasize the home, I want to emphasize the mommy-ing!

It will be nice to have more time with my family for the holidays. If you come over, my house will probably be messy, but we’ll be having fun. I’m a professional mom, so I only have time to squeeze in a little cleaning on the side.

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About jennyvogan

Author of "Stephen's Mom," a blog documenting the funny, crazy life of raising four boys while keeping my day job as an ultrasound tech.
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One Response to Rethinking “stay at home”

  1. Heather says:

    Sorry to hear about your job. You’ll do great staying at home, I know it! Believe me, nobody’s house is perfect. The one thing I do to keep my sanity is try to get out once a day, like a trip to the grocery store, or playground, or Whit’s End at Focus on the Family, or visiting a friend. It makes the day go a lot faster, for sure. Good luck! I bet you’ll end up loving it.

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