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Monday, April 16, 2012

Is Being A Stay-at-Home Mom/Wife Working?

I've been hearing a discussion in the news a lot lately--Is a person working when he/she stays home to care for his/her family?  Those of you who know me know that this is a discussion I can get quite passionate about.  I have both worked outside of the home and inside the home.  Now that I am working part time I find others wanting to define me by my "work."  I still tend to define myself by the title of "Stay-at-home mom" or "domestic engineer".  :)  Why do people not consider caring for your family "work"?  I have done both and I find myself "working" as hard or harder now that my choice is to stay at home.

I know not everyone can make this choice in today's economy.  Not everyone would want to make this choice.  I believe this is an individual decision for what works best for your family.  But, if someone choose to stay at home and "work" to care for their family from home--This is REAL WORK.

Here are just a few of the things that I am responsible for.  If you can think of others, please comment and let the world know.  
  • Nurse--first aid, searching for the best natural products, scheduling doctor appointments, going to appointments, following doctor orders, keeping vaccinations up to date
  • Receptionist--answer phone calls, make appointments, juggle schedule, arrange transportation, handle mail in and out
  • Teacher--help with homework, communicate with school, arrange family field trips, volunteer on PTA,  read, keep up on AR level appropriate material
  • Event Planner--Birthday parties, play dates, family trips, extra-curricular activities (library, park etc.)
  • Meal planner--make menus, grocery shop, help prepare meals, plan snacks, make sure we have plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Entertainer--play with kiddos, play Wii, find family appropriate movies, etc.
  • Banker/Accountant--make bank deposits, balance checkbook, try to stay within budget, look for more economic ways to handle family needs
  • Family Therapist/Counselor
  • Referee for sibling fights
  • Housekeeper/Laundry Attendant
  • Spiritual Advisor--pray, devotions, take to church, teach children's class at church, work on Scripture memorization, lead Moms in Prayer, answer any and all questions

When my children were younger, there were other activities I did.  As they age, what I do with my day will be changing again.  One of the requirements of staying home to work is being flexible.  Your job is always changing.

I know some who understand staying home when you have babies at home, but don't consider it real work once they are off to school.  I used to think that, too.  However, now that I have school aged children, my opinion has changed.  I find we are busier now and they may even need me more as they age.  Needs definitely change, but they don't need you any less.

What can you think of that a person does to work for their family at home?  No one will ever convince me that what I do every day is not REAL WORK.  I work just as hard as those who leave home for work and no one will ever convince me otherwise.

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