Friday, April 23, 2010

Stay at home MOM

Some girls in my neighborhood have started a blog called The Well Functioning Family. They have some great posts about managing your home. Someone did a post about their daily routine and it took me back to when I had only Scotty. After the initial shock of becoming parents wore off I set up a great daily schedule for me. I really hate doing housework, so I would only schedule one big cleaning task a day. It was great- the house stayed clean week to week and I wasn't dreading a day that I had to all the cleaning at once. I did the cleaning while Scotty took his morning nap and then when he no longer took a morning nap he loved to help me- it was fun! When Grant came along I had to adjust to having two kids and my schedule went out the window. I had a hard time keeping myself clean let alone the house! Then only 7 months later I find that I'm pregnant again and begin the months of morning sickness, heartburn and exhaustion- all while still taking care of a baby. Then after Collin was born there was 9 months of the time consuming task of caring for 2 kids under 2yrs plus an energetic preschooler. Let's just say that the housework wasn't on my to-do list. But I'll tell you what WAS on the top of my to-do list: guilt about not doing the housework. I just felt like a loser wife and Mom because I didn't have the energy, willpower or desire to do much housework. I kept up on the laundry and the daily straightening, dishes, etc, but not much else. I would much rather spend my time playing with the kids than cleaning. And I have a strict no cleaning policy during afternoon naps- that is pure "me" time. I need that afternoon break to just relax and refuel for the after nap crazy time. And after the kids are in bed is couple time. Plus by evening I'm way too tired to tackle any major cleaning jobs. But the guilt started to eat me alive. I would argue with myself that I should just do the cleaning during nap time, or make the kids play without me in the morning and clean then. But I really didn't want to do either of those. Then one day I had a realization: I am a stay at home MOM, not a stay at home HOUSECLEANER. My kids are young. They need a lot of attention. They are fun to be with and I enjoy playing with them and spending time with them. They are growing up at an alarming rate. I stay at home so I can raise my kids- not keep a sparkling clean house. I still need to do housecleaning, but I don't need to beat myself up over it. I gave myself permission to dump the guilt and cherish this time I have with my young kids. Someday they will be in school all day and I'll have plenty of time to clean, but for now, I am going to enjoy all the time I have to spend with them. I'm very lucky to be able to stay home and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Even when I'm having a day like the day in my video I just posted!

I am so much happier now that I can stop stressing about this:

And focus on this:
Play time

Bath time

Snuggle time with sick kids

And enjoy lots of moments like these:




9 comments:

Valerie said...

Hey, Lori! I needed to read this! I need to play with my kiddos more! Thanks for posting! Hugs!

Valerie said...

(By the way, you should post this at the Well Functioning Family, too!)

john:and:aim said...

well said, Lor! they certainly do grow up way too fast, and you'll have plenty of time later to clean. I was a freak about cleaning when I only had Kaish & Ker, but then Kam came along and it all went out the window! I had to quickly learn that it just wasn't worth stressing over. Now that my kids are older, they have set chores - helping me out and also helping themselves (to learn responsibility). You're a great Mother, doing what's best for the boys. It will all pay off in the long run =) I love you!!!

wendysue said...

So, so true Lori! After 4 kids, I finally hired a housekeeper. Best money ever spent. I have several friends that have agreed if you can do it, it is well worth it emotionally and physically for your mommyhood and for your marriage. Mine only comes 2x/month, but I don't have to worry about scrubbing floors or bathrooms. Only a little pick up in between. Enjoy those babes!!

Sharon said...

Amen Sister!!!!!

Geri said...

Lori, I think you are doing a great job! And your house is just fine. I love those little grandkids and appreciate you taking such good care of them. We had fun today!

Mike and Becca said...

You're a good women. I loved reading that not only for the good info but because I could hear your personality in it. Like the line where you said 'but you wanna know what is on the top of my priority list" I could just hear where the Lori accent was in that. Funny girl

Gwen said...

I love this! I've always felt the same way. Guilt. Wanting to be with my kids. I think I've also realized that part of being a mom is teaching my kids how do do housework so that they'll know how when they get older. And so their wives love me!

Jodee said...

I agree!! My sis and I were just talking about this! Someone once told me, "Make peace with the dust bunnies, they will always be there but your kids won't!" One day, I know I will miss seeing the shoes lying around and laying on cars when I crawl into bed!