22 June 2017

Stay at Home Mom/Housewife Guilt

Yesterday I really needed to do laundry and I needed it done by the end of the day (no sitting forgotten in the washer), so I tossed a load in and set an alarm on my phone.
BUZZ move it to the dryer, throw another load in the washer.
BUZZ move it to the dryer, throw another load in the washer, fold what just came out of the dryer.
BUZZ move it to the dryer, throw another load in the washer, turn on some music to distract the kids, fold what just came out of the dryer.

And as I'm chugging along, I see the huge pile of "miscellaneous" laundry - wash cloths, dish towels, a blanket someone peed on, the towel I used to clean up the mysterious liquid in the kitchen - still sitting in the corner of the laundry room, starting to stink. Crap, I need to wash that as soon as I finish the girls' laundry. Oh yeah, that reminds me, I should really wash everyone's bath towels. And sheets too. I try to stop myself from figuring out the last time I washed everyone's sheets. And the white curtains in the dining room still have a huge red stain on them from Theodore's ketchup hands. You know what? I should probably just wash all the linen in the house, really. I've never once washed the curtains in the living room and we've been living here over a year now. The blankets on the couch, the blankets I didn't wash after we got back from our camping attempt, yeah, I should basically just wash all the linen in the house.

That was yesterday. (For the record, I didn't end up washing anything outside of our clothes and some cloth diapers.) But still, one chore led to another and another and I didn't take a break until I went to Zumba and worked out for 60 minutes straight. I felt overwhelmed and I wondered how working parents handle it all. If they can do it and be gone for 40 hours a week, I should be able to stick to a laundry schedule when I'm home all day!

The laundry is just an example, but it works for any chore and any room in the house. Dishes in the sink turns to scrubbing the counters, which turns to scrubbing the cabinet doors, which turns to reorganizing the cabinets, fridge, pantry, etc. There is always something more to do and some days it feels never ending.

And then take today. I went to the YMCA this morning, then we got home and I made some lunch, put Theodore down for his nap, and now I'm blogging. When I'm done here, I'm going to go read a book until my hairstylist friend arrives to salvage Abigail's hair. (We now know that cutting hair is not Abigail's calling.) I feel so lazy, but nothing is pressing on me to be done! The kitchen is clean and the toys are still picked up from yesterday. There is just no massive mess to spiral into a million other things. Now I feel a new kind of guilt: Can a mom of three really read a book in the middle of the afternoon? Don't I have an entire house worth of linen to wash? If I have so much time on my hands, maybe I should get a job or something.

Until tomorrow, when I need to steam clean the basement carpet.


Iseoni Austin said...

Someone once told me "I do everything you do but with 8 less hours a day"
That HURT.

Then I realized
...if I worked outside the home, we'd have more money and PAY someone to do basic cleaning.
...if I worked outside the home, I wouldn't provide 8 hours of educational, enriching child care. (ok and occasionally just keeping them from dying)
...if I worked outside the home, i wouldn't be preparing healthful meals
...if I worked outside the home, my kids wouldn't get 1:1 attention, nap in their own beds, see each other or me

Because if I'm not there doing all of those things, someone else would be. I'd just be paying them to do it. Currently, I freelance write during naps. It's not much, but it keeps me feeling connected to the work world.

Still, what I save when I budget, when I take care of the things so my husband knows he isn't coming home to a disaster and does well at work, when I make sure my children are emotionally filled....thats WAY more than one can make in a 40 hour work week.

Cindy said...

Think about this: moms who work outside the home get an hour for lunch, they get 1-2 breaks during the day, they stand at their co-workers desk and talk, they get pay raises, awards, vacations... they get to go to the bathroom alone!! :) You put in just as much time during the day and you're able to read a book when you want to. It's okay! Do you know how many moms wish they could stay home? (I was blessed to be a SAHM for 18 years.) Savor every moment. Don't think about how the moms do it. Instead, think about the blessings your kids are receiving having you at home every day. You'll have plenty of time to wash the curtains when they're adults. The days are long but the years fly by.

It's okay to enjoy your days and not always be working. You're doing a great job!