I’ve been a homemaker and stay-at-home mom since I became pregnant with my last child. Back then, it seemed easy to see why it was important to be home caring for her and her two older siblings. I mean, someone had to do it, and it may as well be one of their parents. Besides, I always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mommy. Isn’t that what all those years of playing with my dolls prepared me for? And my husband is a driven, hard-working man. So the traditional roles fit us very well. Staying home was a gift, a luxury if you will, to me, but it’s also a gift/luxury I give to my husband and family.
My youngest child is now almost nineteen. I suppose many women would start thinking of a second (or even first) career. But somehow, my husband and I still like my being home. We’re blessed that his income takes care of our financial needs. If it didn’t, maybe we’d make a different choice. My being home makes our life so much easier for us both.
But the inevitable question always comes from people who don’t get it. So what do you do all day? Here’s the short list.
- Keep the house clean (a full-time job in itself).
- Make meals.
- Grocery shop.
- Do laundry. This includes gathering, washing, drying, folding, and putting them away.
- Keep up with the dishes.
- Mow the lawn.
- Pay the bills.
- Sort through mail.
- Empty trash and recycling.
- Keep in touch with friends and family on behalf of both of us.
- Post family news and pictures on Facebook.
- Change sheets.
- Buy household items that are wearing out or need replacing.
- Take elderly parents to the doctor.
- Babysit grandkids.
- Plan Sunday school lessons and other church events.
- Send notes of encouragement on behalf of us both.
- Plant flowers.
- Run various and sundry errands.
- Take the car for maintenance.
- Wait for repairmen.
- Take the dog to the vet.
- Plan family gatherings.
- Do our banking.
- Do the billing for my husband’s company.
- Take my daughter for coffee.
- Have lunch with my son.
- Buy birthday, Christmas, and any other gifts.
- Wrap said gifts.
- Decorate for holidays.
- Orchestrate social events.
- Clean out excess stuff for donation.
- Scrounge up paperwork for tax preparation or changes of insurance, etc.
- Research stuff we might want to buy, or places we might want to go, or things we might want to do.
- Take forgotten items to family members after they’ve already left for school or work.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Order and pick up prescriptions.
- Make appointments.
- Water plants.
- Field phone calls. All. Day. Long. Usually telemarketers.
Obviously, I don’t do all these things every day, but they’re all things that take up my time. And that means they’re things my husband doesn’t have to do. If I was working outside the home, we’d have to do them all in the evening or on the weekend. I so admire women who juggle all these things after work and on their days off. I’ve done that too, and I know it’s far from easy. The luxury of having me at home even though I don’t have kids to care for is that I can do these things during the day throughout the week, so we have our evenings free to enjoy each other and our friends. We can play on the weekend instead of spending it doing chores. It reduces stress for us both and gives us more quality time together.
To us, that’s worth far more than a paycheck.
Are you a homemaker/stay-at-home mom of grown kids? How did you decide to stay home after the kids grew up? How do you spend your time? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.