Archives for posts with tag: Homemaking

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The Mathematics of Staying Home
Sometimes I feel pressure to return to the professional workforce, especially from the hubby. From time to time he likes mentioning he is the only breadwinner and wouldn’t if be great if I got a “job”. As the hackles raise on the back of my neck, it takes work and sometime a biting of the tongue to keep from responding in a decidedly unchristian manner. I know he is concerned about finances so I try to understand. What would be effective is showing him how counter productive it would be for me to work outside the home at a typical 9 – 5.

Lets do some math – just for fun.

Pay: $14/hr x 2080 (hours in a year)=29,120
Then deduct standard expenses .
About a 15% tax rate -4368
Transportation / wear and tear/ vehicle costs -8840
Office jobs require business casual or formal- not cheap so at least -1200
Day care going rate 200 – 250/wk (twins- and that is on the low side – formal preschools run closer to 300+. -13,000
Extra food costs because no one wants to cook every night after working all day plus the cost of convenience, pre-made food, plus lunches and snacks is at least $100/wk -5,200
Here it is listed for us visual type folks:

29,120
-4368
-8840
-1200
-13,000
-5200
_________
-3,488. (that’s right, a negative number)

Bottom line, it would cost us $3,488 or more for me to get off my lazy duff and get a “job”.
(cuz you know all I do is sit on the couch, eat bon bons and watch reality tv. Isn’t that what all stay at home Moms do?) (now don’t throw things, i am just kidding)

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Imagine yourself on your deathbed, say, ten years from now. What do you think you would say, or think, or wish? Would you wish you had paid more attention to your family? Would you wonder whether or not that job that you took was worth it? Would you weep bitter tears over time lost or experiences not lived? Would you wish you could go back in time to give yourself a good smack to wake up and see the beauty in life?

If you didn’t change a thing and had to leave this earth in ten years, would you go out with celebration or regret?

You don’t have to leave in tears, or wracked with guilt, filed with regret over all you have lost. You can make the decision today to assure your dying thoughts include the words, “Wow, what an amazing and wonderful life I lived.” It is your decisions that create your future, not the luck of the draw.

Decide today to live life to the fullest, to the best of your ability. I am not talking about being productive, I am talking about being present. Be present in the present. Enjoy every bit of life like a wanderer on the desert would enjoy water. Drink it up, savor it, love it, be grateful for it. Because you don’t know when it will be over and you will be gone.

The only things that are truly yours that you get to keep forever, regardless of calamity, are your memories. What kind of memories will you create today? Memories with our children are more precious and more beautiful than any precious gem. Your children will forget what you buy for them but they will not forget the feelings of knowing you valued and treasured them.

My best memory of my teenage years was one Christmas my Mom and I spent together. On a whim, we got in the car after opening presents. A local radio station was giving away batteries across the bay and my presents were all batteries not included. It was 1984, my stuff needed lots of batteries and nobody included batteries back then. It was just me and my Mom, singing along to the car radio, getting lost, finding our way – just the two of us. I get happy tears when I think of that day. We laughed and joked and enjoyed ice cream on the way home. The following year teenhood took over and I became a raging jerk, and didn’t reconcile until 1988 and then it was mostly over the phone. February 1989 I got the call. She was gone, a freak accident that no one could have predicted. I am grateful beyond words for the good memories I have and the time we spent together.

Homemaking Moms, thank you for making the choice to stay home. You are richer than any billionaire. In your last moments I hope you say, “How I treasure those years at home with my miracles. I wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the world.”

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You open your eyes, maybe willingly, maybe reluctantly. What is the first thing you think? I confess I am often guilty of having a first thought of, “I hate mornings. They would be so much better if they started four hours later.” Yes, its true – mornings and I do not generally get along. But allowing my brain to focus on that is just not productive.

So let’s change the tape and try this again.

Open the eyes, and say, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It will be great because I will make it great!”

I think we often get caught up in expectations, both our own and others, that are sometimes just not reasonable. Don’t fall into the trap of condemnation. You are great and you are successful and some days your success will be in simply getting your children one day older.

You love them. So what if every meal is not super healthy, pure organic and packed full of vitamins. What is most important is that you teach them love, compassion and believing in what is right. Those traits are in short supply. We as parents and homemakers must make it a priority to grow the good in our children and teach them to grow the good in others. And really, so what if they are wearing the same shirt they wore yesterday, or the day before – its still relatively clean, right? My twins occasionally lock onto a shirt that no amount of convincing will talk them out of. Mommy lets it go because, frankly, that is a small issue. The advice to “Pick your battles.” is excellent.

When you get ready to lie down at night, make a list of the top five most important tasks for the following day. Then when you wake, have it there and look it over. Imagine yourself at the end of your day. What would give you the greatest feeling of accomplishment? Make a star on that one and then love yourself by making that one task happen. Then at the end of your day, look over your list and appreciate yourself for what you accomplished and forgive yourself for what did not.

Many texts advise to start your day with prayer and meditation. But if you have little ones like I do, you know that is often just not possible. What I do is keep my eyes and ears open for a moment in the day I can do that, whenever and wherever I can pull it off. Sometimes its two minutes, sometimes five! Even if all you can find is one minute, connect with your higher power and feel that loving energy. You deserve it!

suziehomemaker

Homemakers unite! We are the keepers of the home front, the wind beneath the wings, the shelter in times of trouble, the nesting grounds, the teachers, the leaders, the protectors, the lovers, the fighters, and nowadays, we are the pioneers. Let us champion those who choose to stay home to care for the home, the children and everything else. Let’s remember that this job that is neverending, frustrating, uplifting, amazing, and so many other things – is also one of the noblest vocations of all times.

Sometimes in the thick of things, when everybody wants something and you were spent two hours ago, its hard to remember how important, valued and cherished you are. The ones who need you most will not be able to verbalize this but its true. You are special. You are unique. You are giving, loving and nurturing. You are amazing!

This blog will be about finding the joy, and artfulness of being a homemaker. We will be posting about helpful or  not so helpful products. We will have a playground scout posting pictures of playgrounds in Middle Tennessee. We will have tidbits of wisdom, advice and ideas gathered from experience and other stay at home Moms.

Thank you for reading today. If you are an artful homemaker, give yourself a hug. If you know one, give her (or him) a big hug. I wouldn’t want  to forget  that sometimes the Mister is the home artiste. And more power to those who do – Yay for real men!