Photobucket Housewife. Stay at home mom. Home school teacher. Author. Under each of those job categories, there are many other subcategories. And none of them pay nearly enough in money. But…they have their own rewards if I really think about it, if I really step back and take time to appreciate them. One thing that is seriously lacking in a lot of ways though, is respect, from me for myself and what all I do as well as from others.

When I graduated from high school being a stay at home mom and house wife were the two things so far from my mind. I was going to have a career. I was going to earn my own money. I was going have kids and pets and a fantastic husband…one day. Oh, and he was going to make a ton of money and we were going to live in ‘that’ neighborhood. You know the one I’m talking about.

Pipe dreams. And I didn’t even have to smoke it.  Photobucket

However, once I fell into the ‘wrong’ crowd and you’d probably be surprised at my definition of the ‘wrong’ crowd, I began to see things a little different. I wanted to stay home with my kids, but I worked then and I work now.  I’ve worked since I was 14 years old. And believe me when I say that I’ve never had a job working for anyone else that is as hard as the one I have now…working for me and working for my family. That’s what all the cleaning, the laundry, the cooking, the chauffeuring, the raking, the fielding phone calls, the home schooling, the organizing, the budgeting…it’s work. It’s hard work. It’s not sit on my ass all day at the computer or in front of the television or shopping work.
Photobucket  It’s wondering what the gunk is in the shower drain. It’s scrubbing the grout. It’s sweeping the floors everyday and wondering how so much crap gets tracked in. It’s wrestling with the blanket from hell because the washer keeps throwing it to one side and becoming unbalanced. It’s trying to save money on groceries and still eat moderately healthy. It’s finding happiness and smiles wherever you can. And you know what?

I wouldn’t trade any of it.

I can sit on my ass all day if I want. I can watch Food Network all day if I want (it’s usually on anyway in the background for the noise). I can cook all day or bake or make coffee. I can nap. I can go lay out in my backyard. I can read. I can go wander the mall or take a drive and get lost, though I do have to find my way back in time to pick up my daughter from school. I can do anything.

I spend hours a day home schooling my son. It’s tiring, frustrating, and I hated math then and I hate it now. But I love the smile on his face more when he gets it. He doesn’t like sitting down to do it, but he likes it better than spending 6-8 hours a day in a classroom. He likes sleeping late and watching Sportscenter before getting out of bed. Who can blame him? I can’t.

Up until summer of 2009, I had a job of some sort. From 2000 to 2007, I had a job, full-time working from home for someone else. The money was great. The job sucked. I did it though. When we moved here in 2007 and I got serious about starting something for myself, starting my writing career, I started looking for something else I could do from home. That something ended up being editing and proofreading. It got to where though, I was able to write as much, to do everything at home and the editing had to go. I haven’t regretted it. Sure, the money is tight. Living on one income in today’s times is hard. Hard. Hard. Hard. It’s a choice. It is full of sacrifice. It is having to make difficult choices and having to say no to family, to the kids, to friends, and to ourselves, me especially. DH has always played softball and golf and doesn’t do without NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB Extra Innings. He won’t give those up without being dead.
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I have lost myself in crafts, taken cake decorating classes, read more books than a small town library could stock, learning a lot about cooking, and have found another calling in life…writing.

Sometime, there’s this feeling that no one respects those of us that make the choice to stay home and raise the kids, teach the kids, keep the house, etc… How much are we actually making a difference? Are we? Is what we do as important as a woman that goes off to a full-time job? I do believe the answer to all of those is yes. I’ve been on both sides of the debate and both are valid and have merit. I can defend each one equally and I have great admiration for women that have careers they love or those that have the EDJ that they hate but go to everyday. Been on both ends of that one, too.

Women in general, and for the topic of choice in this blog, house wives and stay at home moms, have to be the ones though that start with the respect. Giving it to one another, but also to ourselves. We are the ones that end up on the bottom of the totem pole when we need to be at the top of it. If we can’t or don’t or won’t take care of ourselves then who will? It also sends the wrong message to our kids… Remember that saying… If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy? There’s a lot of truth in that.

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We don’t receive validation or admiration from anyone, not like those in the workplace do or even those that have jobs at home where they work for someone else. So if the respect is gonna come, it has to start with us.

I love this song by SheDAISY. As I was sweeping and mopping yesterday, it was on and it got me to thinking. Housewives do need a miracle. And we do still need to consider ourselves women, laugh at the situations sometimes, wear the sexy bra and panties under the sweats, remember that we’re not just here for everyone else…

God Bless The American Housewife by sheDAISY

Look at me,I’m gorgeous in my housecoat with my coffee cup
I bend down to get the paper,every neighbor tryin’ to check me out
Look at me,I’m lovely as I wave beside my minivan
Look at how my diamonds seem to sparkle on the garbage can

Chorus:
God bless the American housewife
How she does it all I’ll never know
God bless the American housewife
She could use a miracle for sure
God bless the American housewife
Cleanin’ up the world for you and me
God bless the American housewife
(Ah Ah Ah Ah AH)

Look at how my children play Commando in the cul-de-sac
Look at how my husband has survived another heart attack
Look at all the other mothers envious of all my things
Have to call the plummer Cause my daughter flushed my wedding ring

(Repeat Chorus)

Look at me, I’m beautiful and glamorous in rubber gloves
Look how my tiara can be bent back to the shape it was
I can do the laundrt and make dinner while I’m on the phone
Look at me, I’m sexy as the devil when I mow the lawn

Chorus 2x

How she does it all I’ll never know
God bless the American housewife

Have a wonderful Thursday! I have glamorous things to do today! What about you?  Grins…

~lissa