I’ve been a homemaker and stay-at-home mom since I became pregnant with my last child. Back then, it seemed easy to see why it was important to be home caring for her and her two older siblings. I mean, someone had to do it, and it may as well be one of their parents. Besides, I always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mommy. Isn’t that what all those years of playing with my dolls prepared me for? And my husband is a driven, hard-working man. So the traditional roles fit us very well. Staying home was a gift, a luxury if you will, to me, but it’s also a gift/luxury I give to my husband and family.
My youngest child is now almost nineteen. I suppose many women would start thinking of a second (or even first) career. But somehow, my husband and I still like my being home. We’re blessed that his income takes care of our financial needs. If it didn’t, maybe we’d make a different choice. My being home makes our life so much easier for us both.
But the inevitable question always comes from people who don’t get it. So what do you do all day? Here’s the short list.
- Keep the house clean (a full-time job in itself).
- Make meals.
- Grocery shop.
- Do laundry. This includes gathering, washing, drying, folding, and putting them away.
- Keep up with the dishes.
- Mow the lawn.
- Pay the bills.
- Sort through mail.
- Empty trash and recycling.
- Keep in touch with friends and family on behalf of both of us.
- Post family news and pictures on Facebook.
- Change sheets.
- Buy household items that are wearing out or need replacing.
- Take elderly parents to the doctor.
- Babysit grandkids.
- Plan Sunday school lessons and other church events.
- Send notes of encouragement on behalf of us both.
- Plant flowers.
- Run various and sundry errands.
- Take the car for maintenance.
- Wait for repairmen.
- Take the dog to the vet.
- Plan family gatherings.
- Do our banking.
- Do the billing for my husband’s company.
- Take my daughter for coffee.
- Have lunch with my son.
- Buy birthday, Christmas, and any other gifts.
- Wrap said gifts.
- Decorate for holidays.
- Orchestrate social events.
- Clean out excess stuff for donation.
- Scrounge up paperwork for tax preparation or changes of insurance, etc.
- Research stuff we might want to buy, or places we might want to go, or things we might want to do.
- Take forgotten items to family members after they’ve already left for school or work.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Order and pick up prescriptions.
- Make appointments.
- Water plants.
- Field phone calls. All. Day. Long. Usually telemarketers.
Obviously, I don’t do all these things every day, but they’re all things that take up my time. And that means they’re things my husband doesn’t have to do. If I was working outside the home, we’d have to do them all in the evening or on the weekend. I so admire women who juggle all these things after work and on their days off. I’ve done that too, and I know it’s far from easy. The luxury of having me at home even though I don’t have kids to care for is that I can do these things during the day throughout the week, so we have our evenings free to enjoy each other and our friends. We can play on the weekend instead of spending it doing chores. It reduces stress for us both and gives us more quality time together.
To us, that’s worth far more than a paycheck.
Are you a homemaker/stay-at-home mom of grown kids? How did you decide to stay home after the kids grew up? How do you spend your time? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
As someone who has also been blessed to be home with her children, I can honestly say there is never a dull moment–just like you’ve indicated with this post, Linda. How I thought I would have more time for me as a stay-at-home mom, I’ll never know. The days fill up with family things and volunteering. As a stay-at-home mom who recently returned to the working outside of the house for the first time in 11 years, I can honestly say it’s hard to do it all. I just added a full-time job on top of my full-time job of caring for the family and house.
What I think is interesting to note in your list is that within those 40 things, you don’t mention all the to-do items that are involved in being a writer. Maybe that’s a list for another day….:)
LikeLiked by 1 person
You’re absolutely right, Cheryl, I didn’t mention any of the things I do for myself only because I wanted to show the many ways I help support my husband by staying home. I suppose writing (and all that goes with that huge item) does feed my soul, making me a much more pleasant, productive wife and mom. But it’s so intangible that I thought I’d leave it off. You weren’t the only one who noticed. Almost all the folks who pre-read this post mentioned the same thing. Ha! I’ll be interested to hear how your re-entry back into the working world goes for you. Bless you as you try this new juggling act!
You forgot to mention dusting off your sister when she falls down.
I would have mentioned that if she lived with me, Chuck. Ha!
A great list! Then you have the people who do all this and are caregivers too. Thank God for His promise that “As your day, so shall your strength be.”
So true, Donna! You caregivers, which include moms with little ones, have your hands full. But you’re so right that God gives strength for each day. His mercies are new every morning! (Lam. 3:22-23).
Did I really do all that? Yep, guess so. But so glad I did, too, Linda. It is really rewarding being a stay-at home mom. Thanks for the affirmation.
Haha, Judy! I’m guessing you did all that and plenty more, as is true with most stay-at-home moms. Thanks for your comment! 🙂
Linda, I too have been able to stay home with my family for the last 20+ years, and I have often been on the receiving end of the “what do you do all day?” question too. Maybe I’ll just send them to this post from now on! 😉 Although it’s viable for us to still stay home, I’m taking a part-time job (starting this week) so we’ll have extra money to travel, etc… and I’m kind of freaking out about how I’ll get it all done! Thanks for putting it in words and perspective for me!
Thanks for your comment, Christine. And good luck on that new job! You’ll be an expert juggler, just as you are now, only you’ll be juggling new things. You’ll do great! Blessings!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Just wondering how the stay at home women are doing? I found this post today. I stayed home for 22 years, then finally got the courage once my kids were grown to end my abusive 27 year marriage. Never wanting to marry Avon, I worked minimum wage for 2 year and rent. House my parents bought. Small but cute and I love it. My grown kids live when they need to with their dad s he has the “big” house but they say he’s the same. This year I married an old friend from almost 2 decades ago that also divorced Nd we are really happy. The only hard part for me is that I’m not working now due to my dad with fulllown Alzheimer’s and myself batttling lupus for 290 years. Minimum wage isn’t worth it and I now have my new husbands insurance. But I take so much negativity from my family and people I know. They want me to work. I’m not against it, but it’s hard to find a grown up job at 52 with flexibility for aging parents and Illness for over $9 an hour. My new husband is very supportive ~but society looks poorly on those who don’t work. I do try to keep a beautiful home, cook clean volunteer and take care of my parents. I try and make life easier for ll family and friends who do have jobs. Any advice?
Janelle, thanks so much for commenting. I wrote this post nearly five years ago and now I’m helping to care for my elderly mother. She’s in relatively good health, but still takes a good chunk of my time since she doesn’t drive. Your dad is is in poor health and you have health challenges of your own. You’re doing all you can, and I’m guessing sometimes even more than that! As long as you and your husband are happy with you being home, that’s all that matters. You owe no one an explanation of your life choices. No need to look to the side at what others or saying or doing, or behind you at what life used to be like. Be grateful for today and enjoy your new happiness with your sweet husband and keep looking forward at your life together. You sound plenty busy, productive and kind. I wish the world had more folks like you! God’s richest blessings on you and your family.
LikeLiked by 1 person