I Am NOT A Homemaker

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I’m a firm believer in the importance of introspection. When life doesn’t go as planned I try to analyze what I could have done differently to change the outcome. I don’t do this to beat myself up or dwell on events of the past that haven’t worked out, but to try and learn from it, make adjustments where needed, and try not to repeat the same mistakes. There are times in my past where much of went wrong was out of my control, in those cases it is very therapeutic for me to reflect on the past, take note of what I should have done differently, forgive, and move on. If you get into the habit of evaluating why you think a certain way or why you have chosen your current life path, it’s interesting to pin point certain events or defining moments that have led you to where your are today. One of these moments for me seemed very trivial at the time, but I have realized since then it was a defining moment for me of who I was and who I would become.

Before I began writing this blog post, I was curious to see if there were any other similar blogs out there, so I did a quick Google of “I’m not a homemaker” and found quite a few blogs written by other mothers who felt like the term “homemaker” was demeaning because they did so much more than what the term “homemaker” implies, which I cannot really relate to, so I am going to defer to their expertise on the subject. This is a different perspective on NOT being a homemaker. I am not good at it, nor do I have any desire to learn how to be a good homemaker.

I remember wondering if I would be a stay-at-home mom when I had kids, assuming I didn’t need to work for financial reasons. I thought it sounded wonderful, after all I do love to cook and I always enjoyed being around children, how could anything be better than being a stay at home mom? Then I tried it. I was 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child and the company I was working for went out of business. It seemed ridiculous to try and find a job while I was 8 months pregnant, and I was still finishing business school at the time, so it made sense for me to stay at home with my almost 3 year old daughter, soon to be newborn son, and finish school. I blamed my frustration and anxiety of being home all day on the discomfort of being 8 months pregnant and the stress of studying for finals. Which to be honest were not that difficult, it was really sad how little effort I had to put into my classes and still get an A, but that’s a side note. I was certain I would be happy once I had my son and the stress of finals was over.

At the end of the month, I was finally in labor and so ready to meet my son! When the nurse was checking me in at the hospital she asked for my occupation. My heart sank just a little by the question, this was the first time since I was 18 that I hadn’t been working, and I sadly answered “unemployed”. The nurse gave me a funny look which I didn’t understand at the time and replied “you are a homemaker” and I’m assuming checked “homemaker” on her clipboard. I understood and appreciated that she was trying to make me feel better, but when she told me I was a homemaker, I had this moment of unexplained panic and confusion. At the time I wrote it off as anxiety about being in labor and worrying that something could go wrong. Since then I’ve realized that I was terrified because I am not a homemaker. I will never be a homemaker. Not because I think it is beneath me by any means, but for the exact same reason that I will never be a mechanic; I am not good at it, and I have no desire to learn!  This bothered me at first, I really did think there was something wrong with me that I didn’t want to be a stay at home home, I mean what kind of mother didn’t want to spend all the time she could with her children? After a lot of introspection, discussions with close friends, family, business mentors, and a few bouts of crying, I came to terms with the fact that I am not a homemaker, and that’s okay. Since I have been able to accept the fact that I will never be a homemaker, I’ve been able to happily finish business school and build my career.  The best part? I can still be a good mother. In fact, I believe I am a much better mother as a working mother than I would ever be as a stay at home mom.

For the homemaking skills I lack, such as decorating, day to day play, organizing play dates, basically anything except cooking. I defer to the experts. My mother is an amazing helper and so is my husband. The only reason there are any pictures at all hanging in my house are because of my husband; thank goodness for him! I have wonderful friends who are kind and nurturing and have taken my kids in like they were their own and watch them during the day. I know without a doubt my children are better off being with them all day than they would be home with me. I love my job and I can come home happy to be with my kids and happy to cook (I still love cooking). I agree with the sentiment of the kind nurse who was checking me in, there is no reason to be ashamed of being a homemaker, it is an incredibly hard job, and it’s one that I could not do! I also believe that it’s important for other mothers to know that if you aren’t good at being a homemaker, you aren’t alone, and there’s nothing wrong with you. We all have different strengths and we should recognize and utilize the strengths we have instead of trying to fit into the role we have been told or think we should play.

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5 Steps to Get Organized in 2017

It is that time again! New Year’s Resolutions! 2017 is going to be different. It is a brand new year and this year you are taking control of your life! Are you pumped up to organize your house yet? An organized home has huge benefits, both for your mental and physical health, that’s right, organization is a matter of your health!

First of all, having an organize house saves you time. How many of us have spent an afternoon trying to find the craft box for the picture frame craft you had planned for your kids and their friends the next day? I know I have spent way too many hours of my life trying to find things, and that ends with organization! How about money? Have you ever bought multiples of a tool just because you couldn’t find it when you needed it? Sure, you can sell it on Craigslist for half of what you paid for it, but now that time going to the store and that extra money you spent on the tool you already have is forever wasted.

Organization also reaps huge benefits on your state of mind and your overall mental health. It is said that an organized house gives you a sense of calm and a sense of control, and who doesn’t need to feel like they have more control over their life? You will likely also have the added benefit of increased concentration without having the clutter in the house distracting you from getting that report in on time, and of course you will be more inclined to have people over at the last minute because your house is already organized. I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me quite as happy as an impromptu afternoon drinking tea and talking to a good friend or neighbor!

Now are you convinced to get organized in 2017? Are you hesitant because it seems like a huge, insurmountable, daunting, and miserable task? Ah ha, I guessed it. That is my problem with getting organized as well. I’ve broken it down into 5 simple steps so it doesn’t seem quite as daunting to get your house organized.

1. Dedicate a Day or a Weekend if Needed. 

Personally, I need a weekend, but you might not be starting out quite as disorganized as I am. If you have young kids, find someone to take them for a day. We are lucky because my mom lives close and loves to have the kids over for a sleep over on the weekends whenever she can, so I’m going to just ship my kids off to Grandma’s for a weekend of cookie making while I organize. If you have older kids, enlist them to help. Give them small projects to do, or if it’s easier to not have the distraction, send them away for the day as well!

2. Team up with a Friend. 

This is also great for finding a place for the kids for the day if Grandma doesn’t live nearby for you. Team up with a friend who is also dedicated to getting organized in 2017 and have them take your kids one weekend and then you can take her kids the following the weekend! Also, it is great to have someone to keep you accountable, it’s like having a workout partner, you are more likely to keep working out if you have a partner who is going with you, it’s all about accountability. Help each other out and be there for moral support.

3. Get the Gigmi App. 

The Gigmi app is all about organizing your stuff. Know your stuff! Remember the example I gave in the beginning of the tool you needed but you couldn’t find so you went and bought another one and now you have 2 of them? That’s where Gigmi comes in to rescue you! With Gigmi you take a picture of your items, give it a quick description and put it in the box. Now when you need that hot glue gun for the craft project you just have to type it into your app and it will tell you which box it is in and where it is in your house. This will help you stay organized for years to come, so you won’t ever have to do this huge project again! Go to your Google Play or Apple Store and download Gigmi. It also has a web platform at http://www.gigmi.com

4. BOX IT UP! 

Here is crazy statistic I found on Get Simplifized a professional organizer. The average 3 bedroom home has 300,000 items. Can you believe that? 300,000. That is just too much stuff. Get a shelving system in your garage if you don’t already have one and box that stuff up! If you don’t use it regularly, there is no reason to have it out lying around your house causing clutter. I have 3 boxes with my kid’s toys in them at all times, and I rotate the toys on a regular basis. This way old toys are new again, and they are much more interested in their “new toys” that you just unveiled from the garage. Aren’t we mom’s tricky?!  With Gigmi you will be able to quickly find the items you boxed up and you won’t ever spend afternoon looking for that pesky glue gun again!

5. Plan an Awesome Reward for Yourself. 

Maybe having an organized house for 2017 is enough of a reward for you. It’s not for me! I need something awesome to look forward to! If I’m spending a whole weekend or even just a whole day organizing my house I want a huge box of chocolates and a girly mom only movie to watch. Team up with your organization friend and have a girl’s night to celebrate this new organized life you have created!

What are you going to do to celebrate your newly organized house?

Share in the comments!