Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Being a Stay at Home Mom

By Christina VanGinkel

I am so tired of hearing people sigh, and give me funny looks when I answer that I am a stay at home mom when asked what it is I do for a living. I have been a stay at home mom for nearly as long as I have been a mother, which is fast approaching twenty-four years. Taking into account the time I was pregnant, it is in all reality almost a quarter of a century. You would think that I would be getting used to all the comments and looks after such a lengthy time, but I never do. The most recent time it came up as an issue was at my husband's Christmas party where several of the contractors and their wives gather. In all actuality, some of the other wives do not work, but only because they have retired from long, fulfilling careers. The younger ones and those middle aged, all seemed to work. If there was another stay at home mom among the group, they did not announce themselves, probably because they were scared into a corner from all the comments several of the women were making towards me. For the record, I love being a stay at home mom, and when my job as a stay at home mom ends when my youngest is out the door to college in a few years, I hope to meld into retirement as a stay at home grandmother!

Comments and questions such as, what exactly do I do all day, am I bored, how many soap operas do I follow, and do I really pack my husband's pail, always get my ire up. I know they should not, that maybe the people asking are just curious as to what it is I do accomplish with my day, but still. My answers the other evening were as follows: I do all sorts of things, including laundry, feeding dogs (we own four), vacuuming, scrubbing floors, dishes, and cooking some, though it is not my favorite thing to do. And oh yeah, I write articles, I work on selling one of the seven books I have authored, write a few more articles to help pay the bills, scrapbook, and scrapbook for others to help pay the bills. I have also sold the occasional craft design to a major publication here and there throughout the years.

I am never bored. Ok, I was bored when I had dial up, but once I got DSL, and became more efficient, I rarely get bored. I do not watch soap operas as I do not care for them nor do I have enough time in the day. Moreover, yes, I do pack my husband's pail. When my son was in private school, I also drove him to school, and home, as his school was across the state line and no bus service runs in our rural area accept for the public schools. I also keep the books for my husband's business, and do all the part's purchasing for the said business. Now that I am a grandmother, whenever my daughter and her husband are not on the road for work, I keep my grandson every chance I can. I also run my youngest son to the ski hill every weekend day, and during football and baseball season, I drive him to practices when my husband does not, and I never miss a game.

What else have I done in all those years? Well, for starters I have changed many diapers, burped quite a few fussy babies, rocked away countless years with an infant or toddler in my arms, and as I currently do, I have held down the occasional writing or designing gig to help finance my job as mom. I absolutely love being a stay at home mom. It is rewarding, never dull, I can take a tea break whenever I want, there are no time clocks to punch, but be warned that almost every shift does run twenty four hours long, as even when you climb in bed, the kids are still there. If you are thinking of a career in motherhood, in this modern day world that we live in that demands a two-income household, do not despair. Being a stay at home mom does take a lot of work, but the rewards are priceless!

1 comment:

abs68 said...

Hi I too am a stay at home mom and have been for about 4 years now. I am 37 years old and find it to just be about the most challenging job i have ever had and I have had many. I also get annoyed by the comments of people who ask what I do and congratulate you on you very long career as a stay at home mom. It is so challenging and rewarding though our society has a long way to go in appreciating what we do. Children are after all the most important commodity we ofer in this world more imprtant than all the money out there we can make. These small/big children are the future of our world and the upbring and caring of them is instrumental in the future of our worls. If we raise our children with our love they in turn will make the world a far better place. Good luck in your future endeavor as a stay at home grandma.