When someone tells you that they stay at home with their children, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?
For some it may be that they applaud the mother because they know they could never survive the job (this would be the thought of a veteran mother). For others they may think the mother is selling herself short or in capable of holding a fancy title (this would be from some snotty person) and others may think about how nice it would be to stay home too (this would be from either mothers who wish they didn't have to work or from others who totally misunderstand staying at home for a luxurious gig of some sort).
I remember at times not always enjoying saying that I was a stay at home mother. At first I was SO excited to announce it to people, but every once in a blue moon there's that one person sitting behind a desk or who holds a fancy title, who asks about your employment and suddenly saying that you're a stay at home mother isn't something you're screaming from the rooftops. Suddenly writing "homemaker" in the occupation box seems less than thrilling.
I know that sounds awful. Many mamas would give so much to be able to stay at home, but perhaps it's just that moment of the "superior" that intimidates you. Perhaps that's just my unused bachelor's degree speaking or my entrepreneurial spirit coming out.
But it's silly really to ever feel like being a homemaker is anything less than anyone out there. And it's even worse to have someone offend you but saying that you're "Just a homemaker" or that "you don't really do anything all day."
I am not just a homemaker. And sure I may not be utilizing my degree in the workforce, but I sure as heck put in the hours after the kids go to bed building a name and a business for myself and my family. But even if I didn't do that, I would never be just a homemaker. And neither would you.
Being a homemaker, or a stay at home mother or a work at home mother, is by far the hardest job I've ever had. It makes my previous adult career look relaxing and fun. Being a stay home mother comes with many hardships that others don't realize sometimes.
For starters there's no one here to really cheer us on and celebrate our triumphs, or our good days. There's no break room box of donuts to drown our sorrows in on the bad days either. There's no co workers to gossip with and laugh with and there's no down time to just sit and chill for a second. For the record, the original TMM blog was built and designed on my "down time" at work one day; there was no one looking over my shoulder to check in on me.
But let me just sit at the computer here and there's three little people begging for my attention, my ability to cook, my ability to wipe their butts and then there's that one who is always crying for my milk bags. I give myself mentally, emotionally and physically to everyone ALL.DAY.LONG.
There's never enough ME to go around. There's never enough hours within the day to complete the mile long to do list that will one day make my life sane because everyone knows that a clean home is a happy home. There's not always enough patience and there's never enough sleep. There's always this and that to do. Heck I hold the most job titles of all. I'm everything from chauffeur to chef and maid to event planner. I'm a professional crap wiper and a referee to sibling squalls. I'm the counselor for tiny, growing minds and I'm the shoulder to cry on. When truth be told, sometimes I'm the one that needs the shoulder to cry on.
My job leaves me often times defeated, exhausted and worried. Am I doing enough? Am I getting on the floor to play enough? Am I also teaching them? Did I check my phone too much? Did I wish for time to pass too fast? Is my house clean enough and is my husband really enjoying this meal I worked hard on? Will he notice that there's no clean towels and that I'm not made up for day number 23 and that I'm wearing yesterday's yoga pants with the biggest granny panty line ever? Seriously. Who has time for glam when you're a homemaker? I can hardly pee alone let alone get "made up."
So no, my job isn't fancy. I don't have a fancy title or name on my desk. Heck half the time I can't even see the surface of my desk. And no I may not always be utilizing my education but truth be told, I have the best damn job there is. I have the most important job I could ever have right now, in this moment.
I'm not just a stay at home mom. I'm not just a homemaker.
I'm a mother. It's my job and I've been blessed enough to be able to do it around the clock and put in my long days as a homemaker. Maybe one day I'll be on the other side of the fancy desk, but when that time comes (as relaxing as it may seem now), I know I will miss these days.
I'm a homemaker and I'm damn proud of it.
But may all the snotty people in suits looking down on us homemakers just get fat from their break room donuts (kidding. maybe).
Cheers to all my homemakers. Cheers to all of my working mamas who juggle it all in a different way than I do. You guys rock too. Believe me, sometimes I don't know how you manage it all either.
*this post was inspired by true events by using the phrase "so you're just a homemaker?"