“What do you DO all day?” A common question people ask many stay at home moms. At the end of my day, I do sometimes wonder, “What HAVE I been doing all day?” The sink is still piled with dishes, the living room is littered with toys, beds that now have warm bodies snuggled deep inside went all day without getting made up, and I vaguely remember brushing my teeth, but I definitely never got a shower.
When I take stock of my actual accomplishments for the day, this is the list I come up with: I dressed and undressed Barbie what seemed like a thousand times, helped a second grader solve a page full of math problems, shuttled kids to ballet and gymnastics, wiped an endlessly runny nose, changed diapers, threw a few things into the crock pot and turned it on (magically, dinner came out hours later), picked up numerous things off the floor only to find them back on the floor moments later. Sound familiar? Maybe you would add “get up and go to work” to the list. If you’re a mom who works outside of your home, you’re amazing. I have no idea how you manage to do all of these things, go to work, and maintain a grip on your sanity.
But if these menial tasks that threaten to overwhelm me were all there is to it, I would have given up this mothering thing long ago. Motherhood is a serious job, one of the most important in our society. Think of who we would be without our own mothers or those who treated us like they were our mothers. We would be insecure, selfish, and probably hungry among other things! Mothers sacrifice to bring life into the world and work tirelessly to mold those little lives into good people who will go out from their homes and make the world a place we all want to live. Without mothers, our society would break down completely. i would argue that motherhood is the most important in the world.
So what do I do all day? I feed, heal, secure, protect, correct, advocate, nurture, sacrifice, give, teach (and, yes, learn), drive, schedule, and a million other things. And at the end of the day I clean up after it all. In short, I love. That’s what mothers do. We LOVE.
Whether you spend the bulk of your day in your home with your kids or earning money to make sure they have dry heads and full bellies, take heart, being a good mom is one of the most important jobs you have. You won’t roll out any product or service that can be sold for a profit, and it won’t bring home a paycheck, but it’s the most valuable way you can spend your time. And while it can often be thankless, remember, the sacrifices you are making now have lifelong significance to that runny nosed two-year old and generations to come.
A mom’s (or dad’s) daily checklist
- Hug my child and said, “I love you.”
- Listen carefully to what my child has to say
- Read to my child or let my child read to me
- Expect obedience from my child
- Show patience with my child
- Help my child learn something new
- Act to shield my child from harmful influences
- Avoid punishing my child when I was angry
- Thank my child from something he/she did
- Laugh with my child
- Praise and thank my child more than criticize
- Give my child some age appropriate responsibility
- Model attributes I want my child to emulate