On our way to the camp site yesterday my Husband and I had a little heart to heart about his thoughts on staying home. Although he wants me home and couldn't live without me staying home, he says "It isn't stressful. It's pure freedom. Bliss. The perfect life. No responsibilities. Doesnt compare to working as far as stress goes." That hurt. (Was just discussing this the other day with a fellow homeschool Mom.) Men think staying home is the easy way out. They think we are slacking off if the laundry is behind one load. Or dinner is done at 5:15 instead if 5:00. That think they could run the roost better than we do. My Hubby complains sometimes because we eat the same meals every month. ONCE A MONTH! (I have tried to explain to him how many people eat the same meals every WEEK.) He complains that I don't do the laundry all in the same day instead of 1-2 loads today. (My friend and I got a good laugh out if that!)
How do you make a man understand that it is impossible to clean and fold laundry in one day unless that is all I do. But I still have to juggle laundry, cleaning, homeschooling, taking care of him, the kid, and dogs, volunteering, being involved in the community heavily, and other household duties such as paying the bills, meal planning, and grocery shopping. Whew! If you stay at home the RIGHT way, it's a lot. And it CAN be stressful. And you won't ALWAYS be 100%. Jist like people arent always 100% at work. Some days you are sick. Some weeks are filled with play dates, homeschooled events, library trips, and lots of preparation for Bible Study. Some weeks the laundry gets done...last minute. There may be a load that sits in the drier a day or two. And OCASSIONALLY dinner may be "fend for yourself." But most days everybody is up, dressed, fed, happy, and taught. The house is clean. The laundry is folded on time. And dinner is done by five. Organic. Homemade. Whole food. Complete with a meat and two sides. Because that is my passion. Caring for my house and my family and others in my community. I thirst for the kinds of relationships the community brings. And I hunger to show my daughter that way of life. It's a LOT of work. And it IS stressful.
I always ask myself, "Is she learning enough?" "I think I should sweep the floors again." "Has she seen her friends enough this week?" "Is dinner good enough, healthy enough?' "Has she learned a lot about God this week?" "Have I been a good influence? The type of Mom I strive to be."
As much as I sound like I'm complaining, I enjoy what I do. Just like my Husband enjoys what he does. And that takes a lot of the BAD stress out of it.
There are SO many positives. Let me start with the big one. TIME. I'm juggling the house and its duties, but that's it. My main focus is my family (house). I have time to play Legos. Relax and take a nature walk. Read books with her for hours on end, even if it means starting dinner a little late. And that all goes with....Homeschooling! Another big plus! My job centers around going to the library to find exciting new books and feed her love of learning. Going on field trips to the News Station, a Butterfly Garden, or Museum. Playing board games that teach counting money or reading maps. But the best part of my job-BY FAR-is the weekends. My Husband gets Sunday/Monday off and since S is not in school, we are free to do what we want, on the weekdays, when nobody is out. We have been camping a lot lately. Sunday nights to Monday. The swimming holes are free and clear to teach her to swim. We can explore the entire day on clear trails. And the first come, first serve deep woods campsites are never filled on Sunday nights. Not to mention, my Hubby can take vaca whenever and we are free to go. No working around 3 schedules!!!
So yes. I love my job. But. It is stressful. It is WORK. But it is worth it. To hear my daughter read her first words. To see her face light up when we explore her favorite things. To support her love of learning in a nonconventional way. To have time to prepare an extravagant dinner every night. To be there when my Husband gets off work. And have time to prepare his breakfast. I have the best job in the entire work-for me. I wake up in the mornings and can't wait for ANOTHER day of caring for others. But don't tell me it isn't work, because taking on all aspects of a child's life and future and caring for other people 24/7/365 is a HUGE responsibility. And nobody will ever convince me otherwise.