Friday, May 14, 2010

I am not June Cleaver

I have a confession to make: I hate housework, I mean really hate housework. This is really contradictory to being a housewife, so I try very hard not to hate it by coming up with many many plans to get and keep the house to the best Martha Stewart clean I can. I have made schedules, bought random organizing pieces, realized the schedules were not working and made more schedules. Something always throws the schedule out of whack... illness, too much stuff to do out of the home, or a toddler promptly pulling all the folded laundry out of the drawers to dance with it.
Here are the things that I have found actually do work for me, either to give me piece of mind or to get the house to a small level of sanity
1- Realize that we actually LIVE here. When you stay at home and don't eat out much you generate lots of mess. It was a lot easier to keep my home clean when I lived alone and worked all the time as I was never there to mess it up.
2- Give myself a break, it does not need to be perfect, and if people come over they are coming to see me not the house.
3-Do a little at a time. The one system I tried that almost worked was the Flylady system. One of the parts of her plan has you set a timer and do as much as you can cleaning before the timer goes off. This has really helped me and I can get my daughter involved as she thinks it is a race.
4-Get rid of stuff. The less stuff you have that you don't use the less you have to organize and clean.
5-Ask for help if you need it. This is a never ending job and like any job some projects are better tackled as a team.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why I am a stay at home Mom

I thought for Mother's Day I should touch on a mom related topic.
I worked from the time I was 15-16 years old till I was laid off work when I was pregnant with my little girl, at 33. I was good at what I did, but it was always just a job. When I was laid off my husband and I sat down and did lots of talking and decided that at the end of the day we wanted one of us to be the primary caregiver to our child. I believe my daughter is only young once and she cannot possibly get the care and attention from a stranger that she gets from me. The most important roles I will ever play are as a wife to my husband and a mom to my child, and the idea of having to give them the last bit of attention at the end of a busy day from working outside the home just makes me sad.
Now that being said, we are not rich, in fact many people would say we are poor. We make conscious decisions and take actions to make it possible for me to stay at home. Part of my job, is figuring out where we can save money. I stretch and stretch every dollar that comes in. We do without luxuries, and have learned to find free or low cost things to do as a family, and at the end of the day we are all much happier than we were when I was working.
This is not the decision for everyone, not even for most people I know, and a lot of people who knew me in the past would be surprised that a feminist could be a stay at home mom. But at the end of the day feminism is about empowering women to have the choice and ability to do what they want, and this really is what I want to do.