Saturday, September 1, 2012

9 things I learned as a stay-at-home mom

1. It would be easier to infiltrate a foreign rebel military than the PTA.

2. When people ask what you do, they usually do not think laundry, cook, clean, volunteer, chauffer is not enough to fill a day.

3. You will eventually find an episode of Law & Order: SVU you have never seen.

4. $11.76 a book adds up quickly on your smart phone.

5. Volunteer groups do not readily accept help or suggestion, usually.

6. Your retired parents are always out doing something when you call in the day.

7. Your husband means “the house has never looked cleaner” as a compliment. You are still not speaking to him.

8. When no one compliments the dinner you made (mostly) from scratch, you are angry that you cannot fire your family.

9. The mom who is color-coordinated, packs homemade vegan, gluten-free, organic (I know, I do push the organics) lunches, is the chair of the PTA book drive, has 5 children (all born naturally at home with her husband singing softly and marveling at the power of her uterus) is NOT the best person to compare yourself to, unless, of course, you see a memo she wrote and it contains there instead of their. THEN YOU OWN HER!

Hats off to all of you!

Ezekiel 16:44

"...As is the mother, so is the daughter." Ezekiel 16:44

My mother was a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). The late 70s, early 80s...took me to ballet, mission friends, swimming, preschool at the local church, delivered meals-on-wheels, and I got to get the cold milk cartons from the Styrofoam container. She was up and dressed with breakfast on the table every morning, made cooked lunch, cooked supper. She did it all. (Note: my dad is a great guy. He worked hard, mowed the yard (in slacks [you'll laugh if you know him], pitched in around the house. But we were a gender-traditional nuclear family.)

With both of her kids in school, Mom stayed just as busy: volunteered with a pregnancy crisis center, was PTA president, taught Sunday School, car pooled.

I was home sick one day in jr. high (I was a brat, worse I was a book-smart brat. My apologies to everyone who knew me before I turned ummm....35) and was well-enough to be bored and watch her (note: not help with) her day-to-day routine. I remember telling her, "I could never do this all day every day. It is awful! How do you not go crazy?"

School started over the past few weeks. It was my first day as a SAHM without baby girl at home. Laundry on, floors swept and vacuumed, bed made, and then I scrolled through Facebook and saw it. An old friend, we had worked a summer together at a Christian camp, posted "Lord, help me to remember there is a season for staying home, that S___won't be young forever. Help me to remember there is a season too for teaching again one day. Thank you for this season."

My camp friend is smart, sweet, loved by everyone (those I can testify to); from her Facebook page she seems to be involved in her community and church, engaged with friends and one incredible educator. She could be anything she wanted. She was choosing to stay home.

I never realized that my mom chose it too. My mom is brilliant: salutatorian of her college class, still speaks enough Spanish to get by in most any situation that may arise, she will annihilate you in any game involving trivia or memory. She is funny, articulate, kind. She could have been anything in the world she chose. And she chose to be my mother.

So to the jr. high girl who couldn't see it then: pay close to attention to your mom and her "routine" day; even if you choose to have a different one, you can learn a lot from her.