Thursday, March 10, 2011

Providing value...

I remember the day I decided I needed to be a stay at home mom.  I was picking up the kids after working a day shift at the hospital...which I didn't do much because I wasn't a fan of daycare.  I was about 38 weeks pregnant with my last son and I looked and felt like Jabba the hut.  I walked in to pick my two up and there was my middle son...in jail.  He was in a play pen in the corner and obviously in trouble.  "He has been biting" the daycare lady said, "So we had to separate him from the other kids".  That was it for me.  No more daycare, no more work, no more jail.  I was so mad...mad at him, mad at me and mad because I was as big as Jabba and could hardly move.  I remember thinking...what am I gonna do with three kids?  This one is gonna be the death of me and I have another baby coming.  I called my husband at work and said "I am quitting work...your son is biting all the kids in daycare and he is in jail.  I can't take it."  My husband, calm as always, said  "OK honey, take the kids home and we will talk later" to which I responded..."I am not kidding, I am done working."  And that was that.

I became a stay at home mother...I had 3 kids ages 4, 2 and a newborn.  It was beyond stressful for me.  The oldest, now known as the Queen, knew everything then too...at the age of 4.  My middle son, was busy and active and never shut up...he didn't stop for a moment.  He woke up every morning crying in his crib.  And the youngest...I walked around with him nursing so I could keep him quiet.  Sounds like bliss, huh?  I figured the kids and the house were my  job now.  If I wasn't going to be a nurse in the ICU, I would take all of those skills and be a mother and housewife.  I learned quickly that it doesn't work that way and I wasn't terribly happy.  I was the momma from the quote, "If momma aint' happy, nobody's happy."  One year later, I went back to work on a PRN basis and Jim watched the kids during the times that I worked.

Now I have teenagers and only two of them at home.  I also have a job as a consultant.  I am not so busy now so I have time to play.  I also have time to mop floors, do laundry, water plants, cook great meals and even decorate should I choose to.  The problem is the "choosing to".  Now at 46, I would rather meet up with friends and walk, have cocktails, listen to music, exercise, blog or be at home reading with the sun shining on me and Pike's Peak in the background.  I would rather do those things...

As I mentioned yesterday, Tuesday was magical.  It was exactly what I wanted to do and I could argue, needed to do.  On Wednesday morning, I felt the familiar twinge of uselessness.  I wasn't mothering and I definitely wasn't cleaning or cooking...and haven't been since I came back from Florida.  I decided to be "useful" on Wednesday and make sure that my husband and kids knew what I have been doing.  I needed to prove my value.  I called my husband and listed all the "housewifey" things I did and the "mothery" things I did.  I told him of cleaning the kitchen, exercising, gettting organized, billing my clients and at the end, I mentioned that I will be looking for a job.  "A job" he said "You already have one."  I replied "Yeah, but I haven't been working much and it's not fair to you  and I haven't been keeping up on the house and the laundry...don't get me wrong, I have been having a blast, but I'm not holding up my end of the bargain."  We continued to talk and I asked him what I ought to do.   He replied, "I've been traveling alot and everything here just goes on like I never left" and then,  " I'm the luckiest guy in the world."  Wow... Am I that valuable...do I provide that much value beyond the cooking and cleaning and watering and driving? 

When I sit at the counter and listen to the boys discuss their day or the homework that Dad needs to help them with...I don't think I am doing much.  Or when I make dinner...meatloaf and mashed potatoes...thrown together at the last minute because I don't want to cook...or even when my husband comes home and talks about his day and while in my head I am already thinking about going to bed, I guess that is valuable.  Being there must count for something, huh?  I generally think that I must be doing something while I am there...doing dishes or mopping or cooking...not just listening.  These days, I just haven't been in the mood to multi-task...I have been just there and it does get noticed.  Yeah!!!

I know the floor needs mopped, the refrig and panty need cleaned out and the laundry is wet in the washer needing to be moved to the dryer, but the sun is shining and Pikes Peak is as majestic as ever.  I think I'll grab the newspaper and read it in the sun...for just a few minutes...and then I'll get going...or maybe not.

The chores can wait...right?
We'll tawk later,
I love you all,


Elizabeth said...

I so needed to read this today -- you just can't imagine. Or maybe you can. Thank you --

Terry Joy said...

You are so welcome. I am so glad I could be of service. You know us moms!!!

Mr. Shife said...

The chores can definitely wait, and I do believe you deserve some time in the sun because you have worked hard and are still working hard taking care of your family. I definitely have a new found appreciation for parents that stay at home since I am doing that now with my little man. And I laughed out loud about your son biting the daycare lady because I am pretty sure Kyle would do that if he was at daycare. Have a nice weekend.

Ms. Moon said...

You are doing exactly what you need to be doing.