I say this all the time, but is it really true? Well, that depends on my definition of “getting things done.” You see, as a work-at-home mom, I get confused about where my real value lies. I have a friend whose husband is very particular about the appearance of the house. He likes to come home to an orderly atmosphere, and I don’t blame him. But if all the chores aren’t done, he feels as though she was somehow slack that day. We might say, “How could he!” However, I put that same pressure on myself sometimes.
Too often, my primary definition of accomplishment includes cleaning, laundry, cooking, doing dishes, decorating, etc. With my personality, I get very unsettled if all these tasks are not relatively under control. If they don’t get done, I feel like I’m failing. Sure, my job includes these things, but my real value lies elsewhere.
Why did I choose to stay home in the first place? Besides the fact that a teacher’s salary would barely pay for daycare, I did it for my children, not the house. There is immense value in spending time with my children; playing with them, clothing them, feeding them, or just sitting on the couch cuddling. I believe most of our society underestimates this value. If I went to work, I’d pay someone else to do it, so why don’t I give myself credit for the work of nurturing a young life?
dcrmom from Musings of a Housewife posted today about Mommy-Guilt, which I constantly put myself under. I often hear myself say, “Just a minute,” or “Not right now, I have to _________.” I feel annoyed sometimes when they interrupt my housework with their needs, then I beat myself up for it. She got me thinking. Does my mommy guilt stem from being selfish with my time; not wanting to bend to my children’s requests? Or does it come from feeling guilty if I don’t do the “grown-up” tasks that I should be doing? Probably a little of both.
Of course, I must balance chores, and nurturing. But I think I need a new perspective. From now on:
- When I see dirty dishes, I’ll think of the nourishment I provided for my family that day.
- When I see toys left out, I’ll think of the fun and learning they experienced.
- When there are Playdough crumbs on the kitchen floor, I’ll remember their faces as they created masterpieces.
- When they ask for one more song at bedtime, and I have a load of work waiting for me, I’ll give them two more minutes of my time.
- And when they grow up, and move on, I’ll probably still feel I didn’t have enough time with them. But I guarantee I won’t be wishing I did more housework!