November 14, 2012

SAHM vs. Homemaker

There is a difference between being a stay-at-home mom and a homemaker.

At least, there is for me.

I did not choose to stay home for my kids because I wanted to be a domestic goddess.

I chose to stay home because I did not have a job that payed enough to justify putting my child in day care. I would have been working just to pay for child care. But beyond that, I've always felt like my biggest calling in life was to be a mom. I am not career-driven.

However, this does not mean that I am inherently inclined to domesticity. I take CARE of things, not necessarily make sure they're squeaky clean, folded neatly and smelling fresh.

In fact, when I got my first apartment, I pretty much only did chores when I HAD to. Mark had to coax me, and even teach me, some things (especially cooking).

It's not that my parents didn't teach me how to keep house. They totally did. That was the problem. I had LOTS of chores growing up, so by the time I was an adult and didn't have to do them for my parents, I didn't want to do them for myself.

I was all, I'm the boss of me now, bitches!

Slowly over the years I got better. I learned that doing the dishes after dinner is a good thing and keeping up on laundry is far less overwhelming than letting it go for weeks. When Camryn was born, keeping the floors clean for her sweet little crawling baby self became important to me.

Still, I've never kept an immaculate house. That, my friends, is a LOT of work! It kills my back to scrub the tub and dusting is like, my most loathed chore. My step-mother had a zillion knick-knacks so I had to move each one to dust and I HATED it. To this day I am not a big fan of knick-knacks.

If I'm being completely honest, which I always try to do here, I don't SEE a lot of the dirty. Out of sight, out of mind. That is, until it gets bad enough for me to see. So that should mean I do regular maintenance, right? Yeah, totally logical. Yet, no.

Well, I DO do regular maintenance. My house is almost always presentable. But there's a lot I let go. And I kick myself for it because a really clean house would be nice. But on the other hand, it's so frustrating because it won't stay clean for more than 5 minutes!

It truly is a never-ending, and mostly LOSING, battle.

I also want balance in my daily life. A balance of have to and want to. I mean, there are more important things in life than cleaning. If a friend calls me up and asks if I want to go shopping with her, you'd better be damn sure I'm gonna say yes to my friend and put the chores off.

I want to take care of chores and responsibilities, AND have time for more enjoyable things.

I prioritize and I balance. So dusting my picture frames isn't on the list of priorities for months at a time. So what? I keep up on the cat box, vacuuming, dishes and laundry ALL THE TIME. I try to keep the house as de-cluttered as I can. I yell at everybody about their damn socks all other the place!

It's good enough.

That said, steam cleaning the carpet is on the to-do list RIGHT NOW. So there.

PS: If anyone ever came to visit I'd clean for them too!

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