September 07, 2007

Old Fashioned Girl

I'm an old fashioned girl. I wish I had been born in a different time. The things that make me happiest are simple. I adore my family first and foremost. I am passionate about crafting, cooking, sewing, art, baking, gardenening and decorating. Being domestic is at the base of everything I love. These things are valuable to me. But clearly not to everyone I know. With Fall now upon us and both of my girls in school full time, the questions have begun.

What will you do now? When are you going back to work? What will you do all day? Sadly, there are people that think a stay-at-home mom has little value in today's society and a stay-at-home Mom whose children aren't even at home during the school day, has considerably less. Never mind that I do important things. Never mind that I freely give my time to my community, family and friends. I have a job. I just don't receive any monetary reward for it. The rewards I receive are far greater.

When did this noble profession become something that must be defended? Why should I have to explain myself to you? I love this job of being a Mommy and a caretaker. Most days it seems like what I was born to do. I was a full-time working Mom for the first 8 years. I choose this.

52 comments:

  1. Don't worry, I chose it too.
    I always hated when people asked me, what do you do? Well, I cook, clean, make sure homework is done, drive to school, drive to after school activities. Help with the school projects, be room mom, garden, be the nurse, and 100's of other things.
    Your children appreciate it!!
    Rosemary

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  2. You mean the "oh, your just a housewife" comments? I can't believe you don't appreciate the "what do you do all day" and "don't you get bored" questions?

    For me, the time I spent working before children was just a time filler. Oh, and by the way, I hated it. I love every part of being a stay at home mom and I wouldn't trade it for anything either.

    So Jen, you had better get to work! Can't wait to see what you pick first.
    Heather

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  3. Oh ladies I am not "one of those people" I admire SAHMS so much! You are the most underpaid workers in the jobforce! When I had my son I was a single mom and I didn't get that chance to be a SAHM and I would have loved every minute of it if I had.

    My hat's off to you ladies! You are greatly appreciated. ;)

    *muah*
    Michelle

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  4. I could have written this post word for word. Now that my last baby is in school, I'm so looking forward to filling my "empty" days with lots and lots of art, and getting to help out at school without needing a sitter. It is a wonderful thing, and your children will always be grateful

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  5. I understand completely where you are coming from, My Mother still ask's me when am I going back to school and I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years. It will always be this way I am sorry to say. I will go back to school or work the Day my kids are on their own leading Responsible lives... That is what I signed up for. Hugs Jamie

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  6. I've never understood why people think it's okay to even ask rude questions like that or offer advice about what you should be doing with your time. I think I would be tempted to just quietly respond, "My family is special."

    I applaud what you do and recognize that your efforts and hard work are vitally important.

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  7. What's really sad is that working mom's get the same kind of thing in reverse. Women are tough on themselves .. when we should be more supportive of lifestyle choices.

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  8. I agree with you! Being a homemaker and sahm is the most fulfilling job in the world, and the hardest.
    Don't feel guilty and enjoy the blessings!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I used to teach then decided to teach my own at home when the oldest was ready of K. All my teaching friends are wondering what I am doing at home 14 years later???? Uh...still teaching (at home) and loving every second of it. Thanks for educating those who are so narrow-minded!

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  10. Oh joy, my favorite questions. (not.) Someone once suggested responding with a big smile followed by "Wow, you must be so embarrassed that you just said that."

    LOL

    I am not sure I have the guts to do it though.

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  11. Great post. Loved the conviction.

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  12. Dear Jen, I stopped by your blog today and could relate so much to what you said. I think the tide is really turning though. There is such a large group of women who feel as we do, that we can have an impact at home. I got something in the email yesterday that I thought applied to that very subject. I posted on it today on my blog. Check it out if you like. Dont ever let anyone make you feel like you arent doing what you should! You have many women who are glad to stand with you:>)

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  13. You are right where you are supposed to be. I was blessed to be able to be home full time for five years with my kids. And even now, though I am an interior designer, I get to do much of my work at home, around my kids. I wouldn't have it any other way. There is too much at stake.

    Good for you. Enjoy the quiet home, what a blessing that you don't have to rush off to a paid job!

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  14. I'm right there with you...at least a hundred people have asked me what I will do know that the kids are both in school. My mom is the only one who has blatantly said "don't go to work!" She worked while my brother and I were growing up and regrets it tremendously.

    Like you I have a job, and I'm darn proud of it!

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  15. I could have written your post myself. My one and only little girl started kindergarten this week and I know what it's like to get the questions. The sad, very said thing is I starting to feel a little guilty that I'm at home because so many are asking me when I'm going back to work. If I have a choice, never. I work part time from home with flexible hours, and I just want to be there for my daughter when she gets out of school for the next decade. I want to make sure she comes home to a clean house, with good food, clean laundry, and love. Is that so wrong?
    I can't stand the societal pressures that make people believe they should be busy and over-scheduled all the time. It's ridiculous. I'm with you. Send me back in time when it was perfectly normal and accepted to be a housewife and homekeeper.

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  16. Hooray for you! I intend to continue staying at home when my littlest starts school next year. Very quietly and without drawing attention to ourselves, we keep the world turning. It takes all kinds of jobs to do that and I for one am very proud and happy to do mine.

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  17. I just wanted to say, that I too have had this experience and it was horrible. I have always worked and last year I quit my job to stay at home to home school my older daughter and also care for my younger daughter. My family and friends were not suportive at all. I felt guilty for not working even though I was much more tired at the end of the day after being at home all day. They all asked me when are you going back to work? Must be nice not having to work, etc. etc. It is not a good feeling to be made to feel that you are less then someone else. However, all that really matters is that you, your husband and child are happy. You do not have to answer to anyone. Most comments come from jealousy I think. Maybe you have some friends that are like minded that can help keep you lifted up?
    Good luck and be happy!
    Jenn

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  18. My children are adults and I am still a stay-at-home mom. It is the place where I am the happiest and the most productive. Why would I want to leave?

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  19. you go girl! it has been my "profession" for going on 18 yrs. So glad that I am a proud stay at home mom.

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  20. I've done both, now that my kids are older I am still home and get those crazy questions. I don't think people realize how much money you are REALLY worth! And WHY does it all come down to money?

    Well, all I can say is this very taxing job we have strengthens character and hearts deep inside our children. Bar none, it is the single most sacrificing act a mother (or father) can make not only for their children but for OUR SOCIETY!

    You don't need to say more! The story will be told years from now, I promise.

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  21. You are WONDERFUL! No one EVER on their death bed said, "Gee, I wish I spent more time at the office."

    You are what makes this world go round. Take a bow (or a bubble bath). You deserve it!
    Penny

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  22. I'm an old fashioned girl at heart too! What you are doing is so vitally important to your family (as you know) it's so aggravating that the world doesn't value the things in life that are truly valuable.

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  23. I could have written this myself as well. Love your blog!!!

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  24. Wow! I so relate :). SAHM is a 24/7 job (this coming from someone who worked 7 days a week for 7 years!) That was EASY compared to loving and raising 4 beautiful children. It's sad it isn't valued. But I've learned that what others say don't really matter, it's your children's love, creativity and nurturing that beams back to you that tells you your soul's journey is more important than status! Yay to all stay at home Moms. Most people couldn't cut it ;)

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  25. I could have written this post Jen. I know I was born to be a mom and homemaker. I love everything domestic. I think that is why I like blogging so much. It has helped me connect with others that share this feeling and has helped me feel a bit less "peculiar."

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  26. POSITION:
    >
    >
    >
    >Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Momma, Ma
    >
    >JOB DESCRIPTION:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an,
    >
    >often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent
    >communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable
    >
    >hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour
    >shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to
    >primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports
    >tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed.
    >Extensive courier duties also required.
    >
    >RESPONSIBILITIES:
    >
    >
    > For the rest of your life: Must be willing to be hated, at least
    >temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue
    >repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and
    >be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this
    >time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
    >Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small
    >
    >gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers! Must
    >screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of
    >multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize
    >social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be
    >willing to be indispensable one minute, and embarrassed the next. Must
    >handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap,
    >plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the
    >best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete
    >accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities
    >also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the
    >facility.
    >
    >POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years,
    >
    >without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so
    >
    >that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you
    >
    >PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a
    >continually exhausting basis.
    >
    >WAGES AND COMPENSATION:
    >
    >
    > Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A
    >balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that
    >
    >college will help them become financially independent. When you die,
    >you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this
    >reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could
    >only do more.
    >
    >BENEFITS:
    >
    >
    > While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition
    >reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this
    >job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs
    >for life if you play your cards right.
    >
    > Forward this to all the Moms you know, in appreciation for everything
    >
    >they do on a daily basis, and let them know they are appreciated

    from ellie
    elliemader82@yahoo.com

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  27. I quit a week before I got married and have been at home for 24 1/2 years and have 4 children who three are adults now. It has been a hard job and my husband would agree with me! But the best!

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  28. You and me both, girl! I wrote a blog about that not too long after school started. Don't let it worry you. I recently talked about getting a part time job and my girls freaked out! They need mommy as a home base. Maybe if some of these workers were more available to their children and more in tune with what they were doing there would be less teen violence, school shootings and adolescent crime. Keep on Keepin' On! You're doing the right thing.

    The sad thing is that working mothers feel guilt about working. Why we can't all join together as women and support one another is beyond me???

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  29. Amen. I mostly-loved the time I spent at home with my oldest kids were little. And even the stuff I didn't like, I knew was worthwhile. Good for you!

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  30. And I say, BRAVO! If you have the means to make that choice you are very fortunate indeed. Truth be told, a lot of us are not brave enough or selfless enough to make the same choice. Most stay at home mom's I know could run a Fortune 500 Company. Enjoy this precious time with your family.

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  31. Well, I must add on my thoughts. Bravo to you. Bravo to the women who have no choice but to work and manage to fill both roles. Every woman's situation is different and nobody has the right to make another person feel like they aren't fullfilling their purpose. I firmly believe that the home is where children are made into the people they will become. Creating that atmosphere is WORK. Period.

    OK, LOL climbing down now..love the blog. ;)

    Sandi

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  32. I've been a stay at home mom & I've been (am now) a working mom & I've got to say, both are hard & both are fulfilling.

    I just don't get why people think that its appropriate to ask questions about your most basic life choices???!!!! When it comes to kids, it seems like people think that its open field--when you are pregnant, have a baby, choose to work or not...they just think that its OK to butt in!

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  33. Jen my dear blog friend! I can't believe that people question this noble job. I am not a mom but have a beautiful, loving sister who is SAHM to my 2 nephews and neice! If it wasn't for her...commitment to her family and children, these children would be raised by someone else. With undoubtly less values and standards than hers.

    She too choose, to stay home, she left a 7 figure job to prusue mommyhood. She tells me all the time this is DREAM JOB! She feels like this is what she is meant to be doing...unlike her unfurfilling job in the past.

    Jen! I admire both you and sister and ALL the other SAHMS! Your, our children are better for it!
    Many hugs to you!

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  34. You go, girl! I chose this position 7 years ago. My youngest just entered college and I still feel I can best serve my family by being here.

    I must make it look glamorous, though. My future daughter-in-law says this is what she'd like to do when grandchildren come!

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  35. Nevermind that you're home when they get home...nevermind that you volunteer at the school....

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  36. I chose to stay at home with my kids. I loved it - being able to help out in their classrooms (at that stage of their lives they loved seeing me show up!), taking them to school and picking them up... I wanted my kids to have MY mark on them, not someone else's. I think that's important. Now they're grown up and gone, but I still love being at home doing my thing.

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  37. Me wonders where that lovely apron (pic) on the mannequin came from ... ? Any hints?

    Ellen

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  38. Ejoy you life and take pleasure it it. I'm a teacher, so I get similar rude comments about all the time we get off. For goodness sake, I earned that time. I have a degree in teaching, anyone could get one too, if they so choose to. I love my summers off and cry every year when I have to go back. Taking care of a come, cooking and managing everything is a full time job, add Children and yike it's over time. Congrats to you for being able to do it.

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  39. There is no place I would rather be! Luckily, I live in a community that supports and apprieciates the stay at home mom!

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  40. I think it's wonderful that we live in a time where we have the choice to do what is right for us. We need to respect the choice of ourselves and others. "To thine own self be true." Don't worry about all the bubbleheads out there who think they know what's best for you or don't agree with your choice. Only YOU know that! People ask me what I do now that I'm retired. There is not enough time in the day to do all that I want to do. I can't imagine looking after a husband and family. You go girl!

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  41. Amen! I too am a Stay At Home mother and my youngest just went to school all day. Perhaps if more mothers stayed home with their children these days, our society wouldn't be in the situation it was. I am and will always be a mother and a wife and my job is my family and home.

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  42. How sad it's become that mothers have to justify why they want to be there for their children. I'm having a difficult time understanding how an asst. principle of children FORGOT she had her 2 yr old daughter in the back of her car when she went to work. The little girl died for the heat. Mom didn't forget the doughnuts for work though....I'm confused. My children are adults now. I was lucky and able to work around their schedules. The jobs weren't always impressive but you do what you have to do for your family...not your ego. I totally understand when Mom has to work but people shouldn't begrudge those that are able to stay home.

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  43. I get this all the time. It's sad really. I just think that alot of people just don't have a clue what it's like or they feel bad about the choice they made. I know my husband and daughter appreciate everything that I do and that's the only thing that matters.

    Manuela

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  44. Beautifully written & heart felt by all "old fashioned girls"!!

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  45. I think being a stay at home Mum is one of the most important jobs a woman can do and I certainly hope that when I have children I am able to do it. My Sister had her first child nearly two years ago and she is passionate about the importance of staying at home to be with my nephew. She stills needs to make some money to assist her husband so has chosen to take a child minding course so she can earn something looking after one or two children in her own home while still being with my nephew. It really bugs me so much that wanting to be at home taking care of kids and making home a special place is looked down upon by so many people.

    I say good for you for having such passion for what you love doing.

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  46. Now that I am expecting my first child, I would gladly give up my paying job, which by the way, is not always very rewarding, to stay at home with him/her. And I would also gladly punch anyone in the nose who made me feel inferior for that decision. You are the lucky one.

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  47. I haven't taken time to read the other comments, I just had to say AMEN! I have been a working mom for 10 years and plan to stay home full time next year. My girls need me to be available when they are home from school and activities, and I want a home that is a retreat from the world, not a continuation of the chaos!
    I love "making a home" and have so much to do I can't imagine ever being bored!

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  48. I just wanted to say great post! It's obvious you are a wonderful and devoted person by your eloquent words. Thanks for helping reaffirm why it's so important to me to be a SAHM.

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  49. I have always worked full time and 2 daughters. With the 1st one I worked a retail job where I was off one day during the week. I was at the store on one of my weekday day's off and and older woman said it so good to see a young mom who stays home with her children. I didn't tell her I worked full time...too embarrassed. Why is it that women are so hard on themselves. I used to have so much guilt over working full time and you feel like you have to defend your position to stay home. I would bet it's other women who lay on the guilt the most. I now have a very flexible job that I love and am able to very active in my kids activities and school. It's all about balance!

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  50. Jen, bravo! I can see why those comments would be hurtful, and I can also see why you, and anyone else would get such fulfillment and happiness about being a stay-at-home mom. Even though I work outside the home, I so love being at home, caring for my family, taking care of my daughter, decorating, baking, cooking. My favorite place is my home, and my favorite people are my family. I think your decision is a wonderful one and I'm really happy that you love it so much.

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

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  51. I just discovered this blog and may I say, that I LOVE IT. I feel as though I could have written this post (and many others). I have been a stay at home mom since my daughter was born last year, and its as though I finally discovered what I was meant to do. All the years that I worked outside the home, I never felt satisfied or fulfilled in the way I do now. The *only* thing, besides the occasional very hard day at home, that bothers me about my new life is how little societal support there is for the SAHM and homemaker. I feel invisible, and I've lost friends, and on paper, I'm worth....$0.

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.