Jump to content

Menu

S/O How hard do you work?


SemiSweet
 Share

Recommended Posts

The SAHW thread go me wondering, as so many people were listing off things that SAH entails. I have 3 little people and honestly I do not feel like I work that hard most of the time, not to say I don't have rough days. I worked full time as a single parent and my life is immensely easier now, obviously. But I definitely don't feel like I'm always "pulling my weight". So that tread made me feel like I'm a total slacker and the kids and I cleaned the house top to bottom today. :rofl:

 

When I detail out the things I do, it seems like a lot but it doesn't take that much time, I do have a decent bit of free time, though I'm currently taking a heavy load of classes (15 credits a semester) so that impacts it. Anyways, my question is, are you always working that hard? Or am I just a slacker? :D

 

This is mostly meant as a lighthearted thread, but I am curious about how much people accomplish in a given day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work as hard as I can but I don't lack for some downtime each day, mostly because I'm a nazi about scheduling it in so I don't burn the house down and run away.

Edited by Arctic Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one thing I do is all that hard, but I'm still worn out and tired! These days the thing that gets me is all of the driving. Some days I'm driving kids back and forth between school, home, and activities from 2:00ish to 8:00 or even 9:00 at night, almost constantly. 15 minutes at home between trips doesn't count for much. So driving is not all that hard but it takes so much time that is then not available for picking up the house, meal prep, schoolwork supervision, etc. Track season ends tomorrow and I'll get a little time back.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My four kids are all adults now. I work a lot harder now than I did when they were young.  I spent a lot of time reading to them- like I really spent a couple of hours a day reading aloud. I made easy meals.  The housework standard wasn't all that high, partly because I was teaching kids to do things and I didn't want to expect perfection (that might have been a mistake!). 

 

Now I make much better meals(more work), the house is a LOT cleaner, I do a lot more 'home management'- I handle taxes, financial planning, bill paying, hiring and supervising workers for projects, etc. And I typically spend a couple of hours a day working on a renovation project or doing yard work.  I'm dead tired when it's bedtime. 

 

Now that I think about it, maybe I'm not working harder, but it's different than when the kids were little.  When they were young I didn't try to 'do it all' as far as have a perfect house, gourmet meals, and all. I just wanted well educated kids and let other stuff slide. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we are doing school I am teaching the kids most of the day.  I get up at 7, if I can, and do a workout and shower before the school day starts.  School starts at 9 and finishes when we are done sometimes by lunch, but my high schooler is often not done until 2 or 3.  Then I spend almost every afternoon transporting kids to various activities.  I take kids to doctor and therapy appointments, which is often at least once a week sometimes more.  I take care of making sure bills are paid, repairs are getting done, etc. I also spend a lot of time, at least 10-20 hours a week on volunteer work for various groups.  When I have time I try to keep the house clean, but the kids each have daily household chores.  I meal plan once a week, do the shopping, and make meals every day except Sunday which DH takes on to give me a break.

 

During the summer we have a bit more downtime, so I focus on household things I wasn't able to get to during the school year like sorting through stuff, organizing, deep cleaning.  But I still have appointments to take kids to, and the kids all go to activities and camps that require transportation.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work as hard as I can but I don't lack for some downtime each day, mostly because I'm a nazi about scheduling it in so I don't burn the house down and run away.

I get that! I think that's one reason that I don't struggle much with housework, I cannot handle clutter, I can't function in it and it gives me anxiety, so even if my house is "dirty" it's always picked up, so unless you're really looking it's only dirty to me. I don't schedule everything but we definitely seem to have a routine with general time slots.

 

Honestly though, my dh helps with a lot, he chops all fresh food for dinners, we often do weekly housecleaning as a family. I'm not on my own in the household realm, but he doesn't do the schooling or researching curricula. It's just really give and take here where I think we are fairly equal but perhaps he gives a little more since he's out 8 hours a day and still helps here. We consider my school and the kids school my "job" so the household drudgery is belongs to everyone.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Omgoodness....I feel like I'm constantly running and never quite catching up.

 

I blogged about it today because I wanted to see if I really am as busy as I feel like I am. The answer is yes, LOL! I always felt like a slacker because my hubby works 12-14 hours a day, and during the summer he works 6 days a week. Compared to that, who wouldn't feel like a slacker? But once I itemized where all my time is spent, I realized I work a lot. I make a big contribution. And the things I devote my time to really matter.

 

As hs'ing SAHMs, if we stop doing what we do for a few days, the truth will prove itself :)

 

That said, there is a difference between working hard and working a lot/staying busy contributing. I don't necessarily feel like the work I do here is hard, per se, but that's a separate issue.

Edited by Georgiana Daniels
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't work hard and it isn't challenging to me to clean and cook and drive people around.  

 

I have never felt I did a whole lot as a SAHM.  The work isn't hard and I still have time to do stuff I want to do.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look out! LOL! I asked a question like this before. ;) I think my exact question was, "Is it hard to be a SAHM?"

 

I did feel like things were very busy when I still had naps/nursing/pottying, etc. But even so, I had time for park days and playgroups and internet forums and tons of reading, KWIM? And I have worked PT in DH's businesses since I was pg with my first child. And then I went to college for five years, worked PT, and hsed.

 

But overall? No, I don't think I work hard. Less now than ever. My standards have also fallen regarding housework. So now, I think, "Wow. Floor looks terrible. Probably need to scrub that." Then I go back to my knitting. ;)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a workaholic by nature which is one of the reasons why hubby didn't want me to work. The latest hubby leaves the office even on a crazy day is 9pm. I had many overnights or leaving office past 1am days.

 

As a SAHW, I cook and does the finance stuff like income tax and pay bills.

As a SAHM with kids in public school, I cook, does the finance, walk kids to and from school.

As a SAHM homeschooling, I check and grade work that I assigned, I remind my kids to finish their homework from outside classes.

 

My day is very lax though. Example of a no outside class day

7am - wake up, make lunch for hubby to take to work, make coffee for hubby and me, make Milo (like hot chocolate malt drink) for kids

7:30am - kids do leisure reading

9am - kids start book work independently. They ask if they need help.

11:30 - lunch

12:30 - continue with whatever isn't completed

3pm - practice music

4pm - walk to library/park/supermarket

Dinner than playtime until bedtime.

 

My hubby does the vacuuming and laundry because he likes it his way. I only have two kids (10 and 11 years old) who are definitely old enough to clean up their mess.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

**I typed this entire post (way too much rambling), and totally didn't even factor in that I DO "work" part-time planning Disney vacations. I don't really have a set schedule for this, and do it as people call me and want to plan trips. When I am working on a trip, it just falls into my morning routine and I make the reservations, dining plans and fast passes as they come up. I rarely put in more than a few hours/week, although when I have a lot of people traveling at the same time, it can definitely pick up a bit.**

 

Well my kids are grown now (two married with children). We home schooled all the way through high school, so for those years, we spent our days doing school and activities, doing housework, cooking, etc.

 

For the last 18 months or so (up until she passed in March) I've been taking a lot of care of my mother, who lived in a small house on our property. In fact, over the course of the last 15 years or so, there have been some times where I have cared for her pretty much constantly (after heart surgery, after a car accident, after cancer diagnosis, etc.). During those times I was thankful she was right here, and that we were home schooling. My kids definitely learned a lot and pitched in with a good bit of her care, and it was a very good experience for them.

 

Now, my day normally looks like: wake up around 7, make my cold coffee, read my forums for a bit while I drink my coffee, start laundry, go feed animals, move laundry to dryer (start another batch if needed), make beds, doing any straightening that needs to be done.

 

At that point, if I have errands to run, or I am going anywhere with my girls, I'd get ready and head out. If I'm not going anywhere, I usually work in the yard a bit, do projects in the house (organizing or cleaning - I'll rotate bigger cleaning projects), decide about supper and take something out/prep, pay bills or work on budget stuff, etc. Of course later in the afternoon I'll start prepping dinner and cooking (sometimes multiple items if I know I'm going to have days out of the house doing other things). I'll also fold and put away any laundry, and usually do bedclothes/spare blankets one or two days of the week as well. I have grandkids that spend the night usually at least one night, if not two, each week so I also may either have them here, or am cleaning up the playroom after bringing them home.

 

I host our local home school group's Mom's Night Out here monthly, usually have lunch or coffee with a friend or two every week or every other week, may meet my sisters for lunch every couple weeks, ride with my daughters to run their errands or maybe go with them to the zoo or to do other activities with the kids (usually at least one day weekly we do something), and starting this fall, I will have the 3 older grandkids on Wednesdays so my dds can have a "Mom's Day Out" with just their babies while I do crafts and projects as part of pre-k/K with the older ones.

 

All in all, I am pretty lucky, and enjoying life with all these grandbabies nearby!

Edited by StaceyinLA
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get that you want to keep this lighthearted, and I'm trying to respond in kind. But "hard work" is relative and subjective.  What seems hard to some may seem like a breeze to others. And then the ugly comparisons start.

 

In my life right now my "hard work" is mostly frustrating work - dealing with health insurance or medical billing issues - seems it's rare for something to go right in that regard lately.  Or, driving people to and fro.  Or having difficult talks with the more challenging of my two children.  That sort of thing.  I'm sure to some people that seems like nothing and they'll think I'm a slacker.  Oh well!

 

I don't find cleaning house to be hard work, even if I do a deep cleaning.  That doesn't mean I get to it as often as I like - there's a difference between something being "hard work" and having the time to get it done.  If a young person needs to have a heart-to-heart talk RIGHT NOW and that means the tub doesn't get scrubbed out, well, again, oh well.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my life right now my "hard work" is mostly frustrating work - dealing with health insurance or medical billing issues - seems it's rare for something to go right in that regard lately.

:grouphug:

It took hubby 6 months of persistent phone calls to get billings sorted out for our kids' psych testing bills. Everyone in his office has similar horror stories.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get that you want to keep this lighthearted, and I'm trying to respond in kind. But "hard work" is relative and subjective. What seems hard to some may seem like a breeze to others. And then the ugly comparisons start.

 

In my life right now my "hard work" is mostly frustrating work - dealing with health insurance or medical billing issues - seems it's rare for something to go right in that regard lately. Or, driving people to and fro. Or having difficult talks with the more challenging of my two children. That sort of thing. I'm sure to some people that seems like nothing and they'll think I'm a slacker. Oh well!

 

I don't find cleaning house to be hard work, even if I do a deep cleaning. That doesn't mean I get to it as often as I like - there's a difference between something being "hard work" and having the time to get it done. If a young person needs to have a heart-to-heart talk RIGHT NOW and that means the tub doesn't get scrubbed out, well, again, oh well.

That's a great point, there are certainly different types of hard. Teaching my newly minted teen algebra is way harder to me than keeping my house clean, because it's frustrating. So there is definitely a difference there. I've done many different jobs, with and without kids and they all varied in types and degrees of hardness. One would think my single parent military days were my hardest, but that's not necessarily true, depending on how you define hard.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am busy all.day.long.  Teaching 4 kids takes up to 6 full hours each day.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner. 3-4 loads of laundry each day, cleaning, taking care of the garden, music lessons, teaching co-op, volunteer work.  I rarely have time to myself.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now, it's physically hard work. DH is still recovering from surgery, so in addition to school work and normal house work, I'm also working on the household projects. Last week and weekend I painted a hallway and living/dining room, ripped up the carpet, rolled and taped the carpet to put out in the trash, and installed new flooring. I also had a sick, cranky toddler playing Legos on my lap while I was putting floors down.

 

Besides working to pay for all this, DH does what he can. Right now he's having a Pokemon tournament with the older two boys so I can rest for a minute (and apparently play a Star Wars card game with DS2, oh joy). He makes coffee. But pretty much everything else falls to me right now.

 

It's temporary. I hope.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now, it's physically hard work. DH is still recovering from surgery, so in addition to school work and normal house work, I'm also working on the household projects. Last week and weekend I painted a hallway and living/dining room, ripped up the carpet, rolled and taped the carpet to put out in the trash, and installed new flooring. I also had a sick, cranky toddler playing Legos on my lap while I was putting floors down.

 

Besides working to pay for all this, DH does what he can. Right now he's having a Pokemon tournament with the older two boys so I can rest for a minute (and apparently play a Star Wars card game with DS2, oh joy). He makes coffee. But pretty much everything else falls to me right now.

 

It's temporary. I hope.

:grouphug: I moved our household back from overseas last year and painted the whole house, those seasons are rough. Hope your dh has a nice, fast recovery.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like I have it very easy.

Lots of down time,

Easy to parent kids with no difficulties,

A husband who works close to home with a 40 hour week,

Extended family that doesn't add to mental or physical work to my day, 

A wonderful to live in city with everything close by and handy,

No financial worries. 

 

But what I do have our kids who want me to read them, "Bonnie Prince Charlie". 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the reason why it may not seem like hard work to some is because SAHM's have something many paid workers don't, and that is autonomy. Life feels a whole lot better when you are running it to your schedule and not to someone else's.

 

A lot of this depends on circumstance as well. Not all SAHM's circumstances are the same. I don't think we can say, even for one mom, that its 'easy' or it's 'hard'. It changes - through the day, by age, stage, life events...

 

Yes! My DH likes to say that having a good boss can make a hard job seem easy and having a bad boss can make an easy job hard.

 

The only person I have to answer to is my husband. In a good relationship, one's spouse would be the very definition of a good boss, therefore making even hard days seem relatively easy. I hope no one thinks I'm saying a husband should hold his wife accountable for every little thing, etc. or that he is "above" her per se. I think it was Chesterton who pointed out that being a SAHM means you are queen of a certain dominion, and I definitely feel that way. I can't just run totally wild with my ideas or my habits without making sure DH and I are on the same page, but I have a huge amount of autonomy, and I know that even when I screw up (which is a lot), the person who I have to confess my negligence to, happens to be the most understanding and forgiving person I know.

Edited by Epicurean
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the reason why it may not seem like hard work to some is because SAHM's have something many paid workers don't, and that is autonomy. Life feels a whole lot better when you are running it to your schedule and not to someone else's.

 

A lot of this depends on circumstance as well. Not all SAHM's circumstances are the same. I don't think we can say, even for one mom, that its 'easy' or it's 'hard'. It changes - through the day, by age, stage, life events...

Tyrant infant schedule haha :-)

 

But yes, i agree. My life is the bee's knees! When things are hard it us because of either health (or sleep!) issues, or because people are emotionally draining, not because i am being worked to the bone. Oh, or its mind numbibgly boring. But still, not being worked to the bone.

 

Like the bill burr joke. You wouldnt complain about being a sahm to a coal miner 😠Hes like "you can send the kid to bed on some trumped up charges..." lol

 

I feel like i may have changed my opinion on this. Probably because it gets easier around here as the boys get older...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That said, life REALLY is not a contest.

 

Not to be the best, and not to suffer the most, and not to cross some imaginary line if working enough to satisfy the peanut gallery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It ebbs and flows for me.

 

There's years where I feel like I hit the floor running the moment I wake up at the crack of dawn and I never get to decompress until very late at night where I stare at the ceiling thinking about all I failed to do that day.

 

Then there's summers or even a year where my work is mostly relaxed and maybe doing mostly nothing and I'm still whooped tired and staring at the ceiling thinking about all I failed to do.

 

But I feel better able to cope and I get more done when I accept that the ebbs and flows are okay and beneficial in their own ways.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do I work hard?

Heck no.

I just read Little House in the Big Woods.  Ma and Pa worked hard. 

Me? Nope.

Doesnt' mean life is easy.

But the amount of leisure I have is insane, really.

I mean, I think I've posted here like ..........500 times!!
(*whistles innocently*)

Edited by poppy
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember times when it felt like I got out of bed, and the next thing, it was 10:00 PM - without any down time for me.  That was probably one reason why I loved extended breastfeeding - I got to rest.  But the little ones got bigger, and it got easier.  Summer's were more restful than the school year.  The work just never ended.  There were really busy times, and then less busy.  I felt more rested and had more free time with two children and working full time than I did staying home full time with five children and homeschooling.  When I worked, the house didn't get so messed up because there was no one in it most of the day. My days were more physically and mentally tiring staying home/homeschooling as opposed to working.  That's how it felt to me.

 

I've got it easy now.  My youngest are 15 and are capable of basically running the house.  I 'almost' feel guilty.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the best thing about being at home and "working" for yourself and your family, is that you avoid a huge amount of the potential frustration and annoyance of dealing with other people (e.g., management, co-workers, public, etc.). You get to deal with your children, whom you love, and while they can be annoying and frustrating, it's not the same thing as the stress that effects many, many people in workplace environments.

Edited by wintermom
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the best thing about being at home and "working" for yourself and your family, is that you avoid a huge amount of the potential frustration and annoyance of dealing with other people (e.g., management, co-workers, public, etc.). You get to deal with your children, whom you love, and while they can be annoying and frustrating, it's not the same thing as the stress that effects many, many people in workplace environments.

I think this makes all the difference.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, it depends on how well I can focus on my work.  On bad days, I spend too much time on the internet.

 

I am usually doing something "productive" and usually for someone else.  As a single mom, I take care of all the day-to-day housework and most fixit tasks.  (I do have maids clean surfaces about once a month.)  I enjoy cleaning and laundry, but feel guilty when I take time away from "work" to do it.

 

I have a full-time job (work at home) with backlog that is hardly ever caught up.  This is really stressful and keeps me up when I should be sleeping.  I don't handle it well - I'm not consistently efficient.  But yeah, it is definitely a full-time job that often requires overtime.  I'm also required to do a bunch of continuing education in order to maintain my professional licenses.

 

My two kids are in B&M school.  One of them has learning issues, so I do a fair amount of afterschooling.  I spend more time than I probably should on curriculum research/planning etc., while also doing all the things b&m school moms do.  Over the years we've done a lot of therapy (but are not doing it now).  I spend time on my kids' unique needs re professional services etc.  They attend various camps throughout the summer while I work.

 

My kids are in lots of extracurriculars, which creates work for me.  They have 1-2 activities most evenings/weekends, plus some supplemental work / practice at home for some of them.  Some of them require me to do volunteer work.  I would do volunteer work anyway, as I feel like it makes a person more complete.  I'm an active officer and founding member of a charity (used to be on several boards, but had to drop most of them to save my sanity).

 

I have 2 fish and 2 birds, but they really aren't much work (usually).  My kids want a bunny and eventually a dog.  :/

 

I have ageing parents like most people, but I have 5 siblings to help out, so my family duties aren't significant at this point.  I help some folks out with their taxes every year.

 

I'm probably forgetting some things.  :P

 

So yeah, I have a lot of work, and on a good day, I work pretty hard.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It all depends on what you call hard. I homeschool 3 kids, have a toddler, and try to be part of our oldest dd life (a young adult). Between teaching, grading work, taking kids to places, keeping house etc it just seems there's never a dull moment. Dh works out of the house, and I am sure he has his fair share of busyness. We are both tired, in different ways... I always tell him it's not a competition of who feels more tired. We both do a lot, it's just life with 5 kids. We wouldn't change it for anything though

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the reason why it may not seem like hard work to some is because SAHM's have something many paid workers don't, and that is autonomy. Life feels a whole lot better when you are running it to your schedule and not to someone else's.

 

A lot of this depends on circumstance as well. Not all SAHM's circumstances are the same. I don't think we can say, even for one mom, that its 'easy' or it's 'hard'. It changes - through the day, by age, stage, life events...

 

See, I don't see it that way.  I see it as drudgery.  Cleaning, cleaning, providing taxi service, more cleaning, cooking, etc..... Truly autonomous means I can do it for myself and my own satisfaction.  Nothing about staying at home has been about me.  It has 100% been about my kids.  If I hadn't had a special needs kid who needed me home, I would never have stayed home and would never have homeschooled.  My kids went to daycare until the age of 5.  I fully intended to send them to school and keep working.  But when my son was asked to leave 2 different schools by 2nd grade, we knew one of us had to stay home.    He was 7 when I started staying home full time.

 

He is now 18 and I am returning to work.  If I can get a job!  11 years at home is a bit of a detriment on your resume.  But I am determined to go back to what I love to do and what I miss!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't work hard *every* day (or even *every* week day) which makes the days I work very hard easier to accept.  :)   Of course, my definition of "hard" may be different from others' definitions of "hard".  These days, I consider our household complex, which, to me, means a lot of juggling things in my brain.  My brain is rather overtaxed.

 

I'm trying to guide an almost 18yo through finishing his AA and finally getting his drivers license, organizing my first hs high school year, planning an almost entirely separate course load for my rising 8th grader (when they've been grouped for most things forever,) working with a 3rd grader while investigating resources to evaluate potential learning issues, and my 5yo is going through some sort of regressive tantrum stage, which may or may not be related to our juggling a baseball and two softball schedules at the moment, so almost every night is spent on a field.

 

Plus planning 3 co-op classes, an additional private class (trade of services with another mom,) supporting my husband in current business decisions, working on long-term financial planning involving multiple sets of braces, researching scoliosis treatments, getting roped into fundraising activities for the fire department now that dh and dd are starting fire school this summer, and helping my SIL find a place to rent nearby for the summer. Oh, and I'm putting a lot of effort into brushing up on my French before dd starts studying in the fall.

 

There's still the cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc., but I'll fully admit I'm slacking in those departments.  I'm leaning heavily on my big kids for help there, and we have different definitions for "adequate".  I'm living with theirs until I get some brain space back.

 

It isn't always this way, though.  I'm not going to pretend there aren't days that I don't stay in my pjs and watch tv while eating cookies and let the children go all Lord of the Flies before having pizza delivered.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes I work all day and never sit down.  And others I spend a lot time reading.  Depends on the season.

 

Right now I am tending a garden keeping it weeded, watered etc.  When fruit and veggies ripen I will spend some days never leaving the kitchen cooking/canning/freezing.  

 

In the winter I spend several hours per day taking care of animals (busting frozen ice on waterers, trudging through snow with feed etc)  Right now caring for animals is less than 30 minutes a day.

 

I'm sitting on the couch right now because it is raining.  Yesterday I spent 6+ hours transplanting tomatoes and picking strawberries.  In a few minutes I'll get up and deal with said strawberries and wash about 40 eggs that are sitting on my counter.  And make creme fraiche.

 

In the summer I tend to work until almost 10 at night every night.  In the winter I am watching tv/reading by 6 or 7.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the things that are hard about it isn't so much the actual details of how many tasks one is doing in a day.  The difficulty for me, sometimes, is how freaking boring and annoying many of the tasks are.  And it's like you are always "on call". 

 

Things have gotten a heck of a lot easier since my kids are a bit older now.  I don't have to change diapers, dress people, feed them constantly, etc.  I'm also not tied to my house to the same extent. 

 

The stuff that ESPECIALLY annoys me is when there is a holiday or day off and I'm still doing these tasks while everyone is sitting around and enjoying the day off.  Same with vacations.  I'm still in charge of many of these same tasks while other people in my family are having all the fun. 

 

There are other factors too.  Stuff like how clean does one keep everything. I'm not that particular so no I'm not cleaning most things every day.  As a contrast, my MIL cleans every single day even though she now lives alone.  She wants everything to be perfectly clean all the time. 

 

And I don't like being a taxi driver. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, I don't see it that way.  I see it as drudgery.  Cleaning, cleaning, providing taxi service, more cleaning, cooking, etc..... Truly autonomous means I can do it for myself and my own satisfaction.  Nothing about staying at home has been about me.  It has 100% been about my kids.  If I hadn't had a special needs kid who needed me home, I would never have stayed home and would never have homeschooled.  My kids went to daycare until the age of 5.  I fully intended to send them to school and keep working.  But when my son was asked to leave 2 different schools by 2nd grade, we knew one of us had to stay home.    He was 7 when I started staying home full time.

 

He is now 18 and I am returning to work.  If I can get a job!  11 years at home is a bit of a detriment on your resume.  But I am determined to go back to what I love to do and what I miss!

 

Drudgery sums it up.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can accomplish a few things well in a day, but not all of the things I really ought to.  I do work pretty hard, but I have some down time too.  Otoh, a lot of "working hard" isn't necessarily physically taxing -- it's not exactly physically demanding to teach.  I do a million little things that add up but which nobody ever sees.  They see the meals that get made, math lessons taught, clothes washed, all of those big things, but there are little messes that get wiped up, toddlers taken to the potty, mental energy expended to make grocery lists, etc.  I also do a fair amount of stuff for our support group, usually in a chunk of a couple of hours once or twice a month, plus occasional emails as they come in.

 

What I can't do is everything.  I can't teach my children the way I'd like (which includes a lot of facetime with the teacher), play with my small ones the way I'd like, clean the house the way I'd like, cook the way I'd like, etc., etc.  I have three fulltime jobs -- house, teaching, and small boys -- and I prioritize some over the others.  Right now, I am taking full advantage of being done with teaching for several weeks so that I can focus on tidying the areas of the house that have been neglected.  We manage the basics -- meals, dishes, sweeping, tidying, laundry, etc. -- but organizing stuff, clearing out outgrown clothes, deep cleaning, etc. is really hard to do in small chunks of time.

 

And I suppose I wouldn't have it any other way.  Except that I wish my babies would stay babies longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ironically, I was thinking I don't work too hard, but then I thought back to when I was employed. I worked a seasonal office job where my employer liked me enough that he kept me year around, even though he was hardly around 8 months of the year. With his permission, I brought quilts (to hand quilt) and stacks of books to read AND got paid pretty well to answer a few phone calls a week. So, looking back, I work wayyyyy harder now, lol.

 

To the original question, I do work hard, but I LOVE it (especially not having any little kids now), so it doesn't feel like work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, I don't see it that way.  I see it as drudgery.  Cleaning, cleaning, providing taxi service, more cleaning, cooking, etc..... Truly autonomous means I can do it for myself and my own satisfaction.  Nothing about staying at home has been about me.  It has 100% been about my kids.  If I hadn't had a special needs kid who needed me home, I would never have stayed home and would never have homeschooled.  My kids went to daycare until the age of 5.  I fully intended to send them to school and keep working.  But when my son was asked to leave 2 different schools by 2nd grade, we knew one of us had to stay home.    He was 7 when I started staying home full time.

 

He is now 18 and I am returning to work.  If I can get a job!  11 years at home is a bit of a detriment on your resume.  But I am determined to go back to what I love to do and what I miss!

 

Yes, it's the mind-numbingly repetitious drudgery of the days. Sisyphean wiping of the butts and picking up the plates of mostly rejected food and the cleaning of the milk cup that isn't supposed to be on the couch yet always winds up spilled on the couch and the reminding of the differences between LCM and GCF and finding the history book and the socks and not being able to pee without screaming or crying breaking out... The solution that for us is least damaging to the kids is most damaging to me, and with an age span of 10 years between oldest and youngest, by the time 28 years of this is up, there will be nothing left but an empty shell.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel I work pretty hard. I do work part time outside of the home. I'm very involved in church and community events. My down time is none existent with schooling. Even right now I'm lesson planning while looking for info here. Luckily I do have mostly older kids who work independently well and don't need much mom during this season. My husband pulls his weight as well which is super helpful I know many don't have that luxury.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And then the remembering of all the details.  One kid had his final choir concert on Sunday.  The whole choir stuff I'm remembering when the concerts are.  I'm the one altering the clothing for it.  I'm the one getting up early on Saturday to bring him to rehearsals.  I'm the one bringing him to the late night last minute rehearsal announced with no warning.  I'm the one waiting for 2 hours while he's in the rehearsal.  Not that waiting is so difficult, but it's too long and yet too short.  Too short to go home or go somewhere, but too long in the sense the time doesn't pass so well.  There's also nowhere to sit there so I have to sit on the floor or in my car.  My husband just shows up for concerts and enjoys them.  After the concert we go home and everyone expects dinner.  Who is making it?  Me.  Who is cleaning it?  Me.  All while in a lot of pain btw.  It's just these things that irk the crud out of me from time to time.  Like nobody seems to notice I do all of this and that it wouldn't run smoothly if I didn't.  I don't get a thank you most of the time.  Then of course my dad wants to come so that means he stays for days and expects to be fed.  I have to make sure stuff is clean and bedding is changed.  I must be "on".

 

And that's only one of 5 different activities my kids are involved with. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This move has me exhausted but in general I don't feel anything I do is work.  I have an easy, happy life.

 

ETA:  I totally believe this is because I choose to have an easy, happy life. I don't dwell on things that aren't fair, and I choose not to fight about things that aren't important.

Edited by Katy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It isn't a steady all day thing, there are times to sit and do paperwork which is still working just not physical, and of course I am working when I am teaching just again not physical. I liken it to the kinds of hours dh spends in meetings at work.

 

Between laundry with three teen boys plus dh and I, homeschooling high schoolers who while pretty independent also study heavy topics that require my input and teaching as well as a lot more time involved in grading their work, managing the household, running the errands, doing the shopping, it is a time commitment of working that rivals that of working full time outside of the home. It is just different work. I am also a 4-H leader which takes up a certain amount of time per week, and during rocket season, as rocket mom to the team, I spend another eight hours per week running them back and forth to their launch site, and mentoring them. Cooking and food prep takes time because I cook from scratch, and because we live rural, there isn't a store "around the corner" so all of my shopping includes a good bit of commute time.

 

We just graduated our third, and he is headed off to college in the fall. I'll be down to cooking regularly for only one teen boy as eldest ds will also be back to college as a sophomore and only eating here on the weekends. That is going to feel like a vacation, LOL!

 

I work pretty hard, it is a different kind of work than dh, and I'm not as organized or as efficient as I should be so the house is never neat. It gets disinfected regularly, but it doesn't "look" clean all that often. So I am sure some people would see it and think that I do not work hard.

 

Today began at 6:30 a.m. with chores at my friend's farm. The boys and I take care of her four horses, flock of hens and ducks, and five llamas plus two dogs while she is traveling. We'll be out there again today at 5:30 p.m. So for the next five days it adds a layer of busy to the work. However, we love her animals so it isn't "hard work" in that sense. Shoot, for me I have to admit I'm spoiled because with the two teen boys with me, I don't have to sling hay bales or carry water buckets. I get the light work like feeding barn cats and herding chickens into their stable after free ranging all day.

Edited by FaithManor
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we are doing school I am teaching the kids most of the day.

This is what I do most of the day. Homeschooling has evolved into a 30+ hour a week job. I don't have those kinds of kids that just dutifully do their work perfectly on their own. They are finishing up 7th and 10th grade, and it's a lot of work to go over their work with them, not to mention grading/evaluating difficult subjects like writing and science.

 

I imagine that by the time I'm done with this gig, I'll probably be spending more than 40 hours a week on school alone -- essentially a full time job.

Edited by Serenade
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And then the remembering of all the details.  One kid had his final choir concert on Sunday.  The whole choir stuff I'm remembering when the concerts are.  I'm the one altering the clothing for it.  I'm the one getting up early on Saturday to bring him to rehearsals.  I'm the one bringing him to the late night last minute rehearsal announced with no warning.  I'm the one waiting for 2 hours while he's in the rehearsal.  Not that waiting is so difficult, but it's too long and yet too short.  Too short to go home or go somewhere, but too long in the sense the time doesn't pass so well.  There's also nowhere to sit there so I have to sit on the floor or in my car.  My husband just shows up for concerts and enjoys them.  After the concert we go home and everyone expects dinner.  Who is making it?  Me.  Who is cleaning it?  Me.  All while in a lot of pain btw.  It's just these things that irk the crud out of me from time to time.  Like nobody seems to notice I do all of this and that it wouldn't run smoothly if I didn't.  I don't get a thank you most of the time.  Then of course my dad wants to come so that means he stays for days and expects to be fed.  I have to make sure stuff is clean and bedding is changed.  I must be "on".

 

And that's only one of 5 different activities my kids are involved with. 

 

Oh, no kidding.  Getting people to and from their activities, classes, etc., can be exhausting for me. There are days when it seems everything has to be perfectly choreographed for it all falls apart.

 

The waiting... it used to bother me but I would take reading material - homeschool related or just for pleasure - and find a place to sit while I waited.  I used to feel guilty if I wasn't productive during that time but I stopped that.  I was there out of necessity; sitting around was part of my job, like a limo driver's. 

 

One winter my kid had a 4-hour class about 20 minutes drive away. But the class ended late at night, and when it was over, the building would be shut down, lights out, locked up within 10 minutes of class ending -- even if it ended early, which it frequently did. And that winter there was a lot of snow threat which could mean early closure.  So though in theory I had plenty of time to go home while he was in the class, I hung out at a Barnes and Noble.  I enjoyed my coffee and my reading time.  Only 5 minutes away, so he didn't have to wait around or risk being shut outside the gates in an industrial part of town, in the dark and cold.    (It was a class geared toward adults so there was no expectation of anyone sticking around to keep an eye on kids.)

 

Another part for me is the difference in my husband's and my sleep needs.  It has been proven over and over that he needs more sleep than I do.  So long ago I gave up my resentment over him sleeping when I took the kids to an early-morning thing.  Since his job requires analysis and deep thinking, it is no good to let him get sleep-deprived.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Physically, it's not hard at all. I have one kid and our home is only about a thousand square feet, so cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling aren't exactly labor intensive. Dh works way harder than I do in that respect. 

 

Psychologically, however, it can be hard. Dh is bipolar and has COPD, so I have to make sure he stays on his meds, monitor his mental and physical condition all the time, drive him to the ER if he can't breathe. His company cut all their overtime until Fall at least, so money is tight right now and making sure there's enough to pay for everything can be a strain. With my epilepsy, my OCD, and my limited schedule, I can't really work, and sometimes I feel bad about that. Dd has a rare genetic disorder and I constantly worry that she's going to develop some new issue.

 

I wish I could trade some of the psychological strain for physical drudgery. I would do it in a heartbeat. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...