Sunday, April 21, 2013

Don't tell me I'm not a working mom!

Last Thursday morning, in the midst of another winter storm here in the Dakotas (yes, in April) I drove 25 miles to pick up the 2 brothers of our foster children.  We were scheduled to have them until Sunday while their foster mom got a well deserved break.

So as I'm driving through almost white-out conditions on icy roads, the younger brother, George, says "So Michelle, what DO you do anyway?"   We had been discussing his foster mom's job as a teacher, and so I guess he was wondering what job I held.

I didn't know whether to laugh or spit.  His question was genuine, but somehow, it struck a nerve.

It's not as if I'm clueless about the working world.  I've had some form of a job ever since I was old enough to partner with our neighbors in a paper route when I was about 9 years old. As I hit adolescence, I was the go-to girl in our neighborhood for dog walking, housesitting, and my area of expertise- babysitting.   I worked part time during college then full time plus once I graduated from college.  By then, I was supporting a family, and didn't have the luxery of NOT working. 

I was a single working mom for 5 years (some of those years as a teacher) and continued to work when I remarried because we needed to catch up financially.  Suddenly, my oldest son was graduating high school and my youngest was 8 months old, and I realized that I had never gotten to try out being a stay at home mom. 

After spending the next 2 years paying off as much debt as we could, I finally made the move to being able to stay at home, raising our children, and taking care of my home and family the way I had always wanted to.  No more doing laundry at 11:00 at night, no more putting my kids to bed and wondering if they had had a good day or not, no more feeling as if I'm being pulled into twenty directions, juggling so many responsibilities and not doing any of them justice.  I would finally get to focus on the important people in my life.

So George, what do I do? 

I stay at home and supervise 6 kids and partner with 1 incredible husband.  I get 3 kids up and off to public school, and homeschool another one.  I wrangle with a 3 and 4 year old all day, do laundry for 8 people, plan nutritious meals with homegrown vegys and home raised meat, do farm chores and dishes, home repairs, garden, chauffeur various doctor, dental, and ortho appointments, basketball games and 4H meetings, teach Sunday school and work funerals, update kids scrapbooks, plan birthday parties and all holiday activities, clean the house, mow and do the yardwork, pay bills,....need I go on?

I've worked both in and out of the home, and truthfully, being a stay at home mom is one of the busiest, most frustrating, and hardest jobs I've ever had.  And the most gratifying.

We both felt God leading us to the decision of having me stay home to raise our children, and it's one that we have felt so at peace with.

Loren tells me I get paid in hugs and appreciation. 
After seeing my list, me thinks I need a raise :-)

Homeschooling on the deck!  Littles are doing playdough while Bri tries to do her reading under her blanket.

Look who fell asleep while snuggling with Mom on the couch~

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