Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Drudgery....well, kinda

I feel like a hamster on his little spinning wheel. I do, what seems like, endless amounts of housework, and yet, I have gotten nowhere. Forever spinning my wheel. Do you ever feel like staying at home is drudgery? Why is that I am always doing dishes, even though I have a dishwasher? Do the dirty clothes multiply at night while I am sleeping? {I am SURE that Polly Pocket accessories multiply.} I am convinced that full-time working career moms have houses that are 10x cleaner than mine, but this is probably because there is no one there to get them messy, eh? It's not something you hear moms ever talking about at playdates or over lunch: "Yeah. I'm just sick of picking up toys & folding clothes. I am worn out by the endless amount of work. Sometimes I yell at my kids because I get overwhelmed." Guess that conversation doesn't really leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling. Am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe other moms have children who always pick up after themselves, have clean faces & hands, and they themselves have a non-stop cheerful attitude when it comes to housework. Or is this some dirty secret that I am not supposed to mention? I am wondering if there is some sort of trick to not feeling this way. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW staying at home has it's benefits. For one thing, I never wake up with an alarm clock. {On the rare occasion that I have to, I sleep terribly & am in a panic because I am so not used to it.} I can take breaks when I need to {or even when I don't need to}. I can sneak in the occasional nap when all my ducks, er kids, are in a row. {Although I'm sure this happens in office life as well.} Every day is dress casual. I can make my own schedule. I can have breakfast & lunch outside. I can go for walks when the weather is nice. I get to see my children learn amazing things firsthand. I get lots of hugs & kisses. Lots of great things about staying at home.
And yet, sometimes I feel like the hamster......spinning, spinning, spinning.

33 comments:

Hollie said...

Try doing everything you just said while working a part time job outside of the house, and on top of all that having a husband who is working the opposite schedule as you and is going to school on Saturdays!!!!! Instead of complaining about everything you are doing be thankful that you are able to stay at home with your girls and don't have to work an extra job outside of the home on top of what you already do at home! Some of us have to do both! Thank goodness I have a husband who trys to help out when he can, but between working a full time job himself and going to school it's not often that he is able to!

Alicia said...

There is a book out there that a wonderful gal gave me :0) that is called The Power of A Postive Mom by Karol Ladd. It has really helped me put things in perspective. I'm not saying that I am always gung ho to be picking things up every 10 seconds or doing 3 loads of laundry a day, or filling like I circle the house 10 times a day and it's still not clean!!! I was constantly whining to the dh, "ackkk, I don't even know why I clean, it doesn't seem to help at all!!" I still do that sometimes to this day. But the secret to at least trying to be ok with it all is being content. Here is a little excerpt from the book. "Contentment is the opposite of self-pity. If our hearts are content because we trust in God as our provider, then we'll tend to keep our eyes off our troubles. But if we dwell on our wants or our difficulties (great or small), we will lose sight of the provisions God is granting us."

I am constantly having to think of this verse "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (And this includes having the same old day after same old day!!!!! Love ya girl, know I'm in it with ya!!

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes"
- Marcel Proust

Beth said...

After reading your post I was thinking. I kinda had the same attitude about everything before I went to work from November to February. Before starting my part-time job, I really wished I could be out in the world again, not around my kids all of the time, not picking up around the house, making dinner, and all of that stuff. Since then, I think I have a whole new attitude on being a stay-at-home mom. I dreaded going to work after the first month, being away from my kids, my husband, my house. It made me so thankful for the runny noses, the messy hands, the toys all over the place, my messy hubby. I no longer wish I was working outside of the home. I think if we all got a taste of working a job (I know some already do) I think our attitudes on the rough days would be so much brighter. Maybe you should try getting into a strict routine with set clean up times. This has been a life saver for me. I pick up when my kids are having a snack, then at lunch time, and then again while they are napping. This whole house wife/Mom thing is not supposed to be easy...it's hard work. You'll have the rest of your life, after your kids are grown, to sit around and do whatever you want...enjoy this phase of life that God has blessed you with.

Skyra said...

Ok, it's not that bad for me... I have it pretty good!

Not sure if it's because Matt is home on Thursday and Friday's during the day with Jacob and he does laundry, cleans floors and dust -- it's GREAT!

The only days that no one is home is Monday-Wednesday from 7- 3:30. I guess it works for our family because Jacob cleans up after himself (we make up a clean up song -- he loves it), Matt does housework on Thursday and Friday and I do the balance at naptime on Sunday from 1-3.

My advise to you is:
1. Make a list for Rick to do around the house(I understand he works fulltime BUT, he lives at the house too.
2. Make a to do list for the girls (simple things but helpful to you.. example: have Tati help you out the dishes away -- she's old enough. Have Sienna pick up her toys before she goes to bed)
3. Make a list for you to do during the week -- make a list that you can actually get done during that week).

Beck, Keep in mind, that you are VERY busy during the week... and you homeschool on top of it all. I'm very proud of you and you should really take a step back and look at your life and look at everything you have and ENJOY LIFE. Who cares if you do not have the Cleanest house (I have NEVER seen your house dirty or that messes).

I think no matter what full time moms wish sometime they could stay home and sometimes stay at home moms fill overwhelmed. Life isn't perfect... Just enjoy it!

This email most likely doesn't make sense but, it's OK.

love you, Skyra

Skyra said...

After I think about being a stay home moom.... I really do not want too. I have the best of BOTH world... Working a job that is great (7-3 hours) and getting paid really well -- which means I do not need to live paycheck to paycheck. And being able to be home with my son by 3:30 every afternoon and spend time with him. It makes the time spend with my son very special. Also, I like that he gets to spend time with my babysitter's daughter ( 5years old)and son (who is 7 months old) he gets to interact with other children.

Having a full time job isn't a bad thing... I feel like some stay at home moms think that it is...

Ok, sorry... that's all I have for now.a

Dan Barnett. said...

To all who would complain:
I understand you're hampster description. It isn't unique to moms of any type. Our lives just seem like that. I would ask all you moms who seem to vent about these things(marriage, work, kids, etc.) if your husbands ever hear about it before everyone else does. If you are going around telling all your friends about how much your life sucks, does your husband know you feel that way?
Sometimes you may need to sit back and realize all you have. Hollie makes a good point, though harsh it may seem. We always want better don't we? I know I do. We already have more than we should. About the comment, that someone would not like to be a stay-at-home mom: I understand if you aren't married, but I don't know your situation. That is your first job. Just to have a 'cushion' to live on is not a reason to focus on work. Some have to, but if your #1 job is neglected something's wrong.
I know Becky wants to vent, and that's cool. Look through another lens as well. It helps a lot. But seriously, my biggest point is, who knows more about your frustrations, us or you husbands?

Anonymous said...

First of all, your husband goes to work, probably with a pretty good attitude. The least you can do for him is have a good one too. My hubby says all the time he would LOVE to stay home with the kids while I went to work. He misses out on so much with them. I am not saying I never complain or vent but I agree with Dan, I do it to DH. Friends too sweet neighbor gets alot but so does DH. He helps me now on those days I have had it. Don't sweat the small stuff, your kids are only this age for a short period of time, Laundry will be around... FOREVER. A dear neighbor helped me get organized and I tell you what, not only does my house look better (my closets too) but I am not nearly as stressed or burnt out. I am able to cook meals for my hubby (when I see him) and spend time with the kids daily. Most of the things I do (cause I have learned to stay on top of it) take 10-15 minutes, even putting laundry away. I never see Scott out of seven days a week I think I see him three, if that. Between driving an hour and a half to work each way, and cleaning the church, and helping lead the high school worship team my days are endless. I hardly see him towards the end of the week. From Wednesday on, he is at he church. I only see him Monday and Tuesday. Well Sundays too but in the evening we are with Lost and Found. Be thankful you have a hubby who wants you to stay home, be thankful you have a house to clean, clothes to wash. Floors to vacuum and mop. Life could be so much worse.

Hollie said...

I don't want to sound harsh but most of you, well the one's who were at mom's group last Tuesday, know that this is something that I am struggling with also. Only my frustration is in the fact that I want to be able to stay home and do all these things for my family! I know my job as a wife and mother is to take care of my husband, kids, and house but the best part of my day, the part where I feel I can accomplish the most, is spent at a bank serving people who I could really care less about! I have been running ragged trying to keep my house in order and all the while getting more and more angry at Jeremy! Dan is totally right in saying that our husbands should be the one’s who we are venting to! Thankfully I have a husband who doesn’t walk on egg shells around me when he can sense something is wrong! Instead he calls me on it, asking me what the deal is. We did talk about what I was feeling and why I was feeling that way and he said the exact same thing Dan did… “Don’t go venting to other people, you need to come to me about these things so that I can be the one who is able to help you through them!” I believe those where his exact words! I am so blessed to have Jeremy! He is willing to help me out so that I don’t have to carry the load on my own! We are a team, and a darn good one at that! So in closing, I think all of us need to get off of the pitty potty’s we sit on and start cleaning them!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wake up call everyone! I know Becky is just venting and we all have "those days". It's true, we always want something better, something different, something new. The grass is always greener on the other side. The reality of it is, that life is hard no matter what you do. Our jobs get routine, boring, and we feel like we are walking in circles doing the same thing over and over, day after day. No matter what our role is, stay at home mom or working mom, we just need to stay on top of our game. Find new ways to get creative and make life interesting. In Jori's case "getting organized" has taken some of the pressure off. Maybe a new hobby to dive into as a reward for staying on top of your housework. I know for me, finding new books to read and motivate me in my latest endeavors is always helpful. I know I've been feeling the same way lately, just fed up with my daily struggles. But then thinking of dear Hollie, puts it all back into perspective. I am so blessed to be home with my baby, available for Kyle, and able to help Matt however I can while he's pulling the long hours. A few months ago, I was not that blessed. And though we struggle financially as we adjust to one income, I couldn't ask for anything more. So anyway, thanks for the reminder guys! :)

Alicia said...

"Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. A "you can do it" when things are tough." - Richard M. De Vos

I think that it is important to remember to encourage one another. The only one that knows what it's like to be a mom is a mom herself and we all know how we feel at times in our daily tasks no matter what our situation is. (Whether we are a sahm or whether we are a mom who also works outside the home) And because we know what it can be like to feel like Becky has described is all the more reason we need to reach out daily to one another and give each other a thumbs up and an encouraging word, to help us keep it going!! I think all of you moms out there who wrote in (knowing most of you) are doing an amazing job!! Its been neat to be able to see all of you in your job as mom and the different ways you can handle that! I for one have learned so much from each and every one, so Thank you! And thank you to all those dads/husbands out there who are our constant support in the trying times!

Proverbs 25:11 "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."

Rebecca said...

Phew. Wow. Lots of commenting going on here. Thought I would chime back in after having some time to think & pray {especially since the power has been out all morning!} I wasn't intending to "vent" & wasn't feeling angry or bitter when I wrote this post. I was feeling burdened & a little discouraged. I was feeling like I needed some encouragement and empathy from moms who might know what I am talking about {Rick is always encouraging me & knows how I feel. I know I am being harder on myself than he is on me.} That is why I asked questions like: Do you ever feel like staying at home is drudgery? & Am I the only one who feels this way? I think if everyone was honest they would say that there are times when you feel this way. I can't imagine that you are joyful 100% of the time. So what I was asking in my original post if you could read in between the lines was, when you go through those down times, what do you to feel joyful again?

I know everyone was just trying to be honest, but I actually felt more discouraged after reading some of your comments than I did before! I guess I need a {{hug}} & a "you're doing a good job", when what I got was a big kick in the pants ;> I was under the impression that like at mom's group {which many of you are part of} this would be a safe place where I could share my frustrations. I know if I were talking out loud to you, you might not have said the things you did or the way you did, but alas, it's the burden of the written word. If you say you don't want to sound harsh, then DON'T! ;>) To all of you who had some practical suggestions like getting the kids more involved, trying to get things more organized, breaking down tasks in 10-15 minute intervals, THANK YOU! That is what I was looking for. The Lord also revealed to me that when I am feeling this way I need to spend more time with Him {I'm surprised no one else suggested it}. Many of your comments have given me a new perspective, which I am honestly thankful for. It was a good reminder to be thankful for my circumstances. I wasn't looking for pity. I personally know many others who have it harder than I do, but that doesn't mean that I don't feel down every once in I awhile.

I believe the verse that Alicia posted that "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" but it is also true that "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up." Pr.12:25

Erin said...

Ok...Ok...I will chime in for a moment, and add just a tad of honest insite.

You probably all think that I have the messiest, sloppiest house on the block. Especailly when we lived in the apartment b/c I wouldn't allow ANYONE to come over. EVER! I became sortof a recluse of sorts when it came to letting others in.

Let me tell you why I was like that. I hold myself to a much higher standard than even the world would hold me. Lets be honest. If anyone out there who claims to be my friend really cares just how messy things are in my house...are they really my friend? Do you all care? Wouldn't you rather want to know how I am doing because you are my friends? Not how my house is looking?

So my question is...who has put the pressure on us to live up to the Betty Crocker lifestyle? In my case...it was me. I thought that if you realized that I didn't always have things in perfect order somehow you would "disown" me.

So...here's my advice. Step back and take hold of what you have(boy this would be great advice for myself!). You have far greater things than to worry about how "clean" your home is. All the previous posters on here are parents, so here is the question...which is more important? Spending time cleaning...or spending time with your kids? Easy answer right?

YOUR WORTH IS NOT IN THAT OF HAVING A CLEAN HOME! OR THAT OF LIVING A PERFECT LIFE! GOD USES THOSE WHO AREN'T TRYING TO BE PERFECT WHY????? BECAUSE THEY ARE REAL!!!

So...I applaude you in being real. I am really struggling myself to stay afloat these days. But I am choosing to talk about it, because if I don't...I will drown.

TTYL

E

Beth said...

I agree with Erin's post, spending quality time with my kids is much more important than having a spotless house, however, I would just like to add that for me personally, walking around in clutter all day long takes a toll on my mood and also makes the house feel like the walls are closing in (especially in the winter!!!!). I am a neat freak, no I don't think that my worth is in how neat my house is or that's it's always picked up and swept everyday but when I keep a neat house it makes me feel better. So, I can get why Becki (even though she has said before that she's not a neat freak) feels down when it seems like her house isn't in the order that she wants it to be. The time I take to pick up my house doesn't take away from activity with the kids because of when it is scheduled and it makes me feel like I can breathe easier. I am not trying to live up to a "Betty Crocker" lifestyle, believe me, but I am trying to manage my home so that everything runs smoothly and I can spend my time more wisely. The saying holds true, "When Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Kids pick up on the moods of their Moms and it's just a way that I have found that keeps me from that dark cloud over my head feeling.

Rebecca said...

Ditto. Thanks Beth for reading between my lines ;>)

Rick said...

Just a thought for the people on the going to the husband first with venting: shouldn't the first "vent" go to God? then husband? then maybe friends? in an ideal world? As for the impression that venting is some kind of evil: anyone ever read Psalms?? King David wrote many psalms and he really goes off and does some venting and yes, even goes to the "pitty potty". The key is how David resolves those feelings and sometimes we need to get to the end of those feelings and then look to Him.

oh yes, one key word came to mind: EMPATHY. Many people and especially women look for empathy first. It is a lesson that has been tough to learn. When your husband or anyone just flat tells you to stop it, then they might not be "listening" and that is the difference between good leaders and managers in any relationship. {Wait, aren't husbands supposed to be the leaders of their house??hmmm???) How many times has anyone just wanted empathy? To know someone 'heard' your emotion?

Here is the pot calling the kettle black as I know sometimes I just want to "fix" my wife, when all she really wanted was someone to listen, connect with her emotion, and hug her. Life goes on, she gets a new perspective and things change. We all have loads to carry and different amounts of loads we can handle, so perhaps it would be prudent not compare and play the "whose got the biggest burden game". The net effect is we all have burdens and need someone to connect with the emotion, comfort us and point us back to Jesus Christ who carries that load with us.

Alicia, I think you did a great job to that end.

Anonymous said...

One last comment, I am not saying at all that I am happy 100 percent of the time, I am however saying that you have to make the best out of the situation that you have. Do I get overwhelmed, absolutley. Do I sit in the middle of my kitchen floor, crying out to God? Frequently. However.... my kids sense my frustration, my upset, my anger which in turn is not helping them at all. So, if I try daily to be positive, my day goes a lot better so does theirs. THere is nothing wrong with venting, every person I know vents, but every person I know has thier own totally different crosses to bear. I guess we should try and remember that. The grass is definetely not greener on the other side it is green right where you are, you just have to dig sometimes to find it.
Jori

Dan Barnett. said...

I agree there is nothing wrong with venting, and that God should hear first. My concern is how many people know more about your frustrations with your life, kids, husbands, than your husband knows. I would be so hurt if Beth was having a problem with me and 10 other women knew about it, and I didn't. Just a caution.

Anonymous said...

Who said she didn't go to her husband first? WOW! you guys complain about stresses of daily activities in your household, but you do find time to sit and blog?????People choose the lives they lead and then they want to complain about it. I don't understand...

Beth said...

Blogging takes how long?? Not much time at all. I don't think anyone said that Becki didn't go to her husband. A little on edge are we?? Take a few breaths, calm down, maybe go clean something and you will feel better.

Dan Barnett. said...

My exact word were, "Just a caution." Take a chill pill and quit reading into peoples' words and adding your own.

Michael said...

You guys take these blog way to seriously. Why does everyone get offended with what other people write. Watching these posts are better than the soaps my wife watches during the day. JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!

Dan Barnett. said...

Let me help you with a little story. There was a donley who fell into a well. The farmer had no need for this donkey, so he didn't feel like taking the effort to get him out. He called his neighbors over. They brought their shovels, and with the intention of just burying the donkey they began to scoop dirt into the well. The donkey realized he would die if he sat there. So with every scoop the donkey climbed on top of the dirt meant to bury him. Eventually the determined donkey had climbed his way out of the well. Take what's given and use it right. I don't think you're wrong in posting your feelings. After all, this is your space to do whatever you want with. Hope this helps.

Michael said...

I've got a story to about an Emperor who walked around naked but thought he was wearing new clothes. He didn't realize that everyone around him was making fun of him. Do you have your clothes on?

Hollie said...

Oh, what have I started?!? I have said that I was not going to add anything else, I've said what I wanted to say and don't need to defend myself anymore, however, I only have one more thing to add... in the words of my DH...
"As inspiring as the story of the donkey was... at the end of the day when the donkey was out of his hole, everyone still just called him a jack ass!"
P.S. Yes Michael... I am wearing clothes! ;o)

Rebecca said...

Don't worry Hol. I guess technically I'm the one who started it. ;>)

Ok. Now let's all go hang out at Beth's blog ;>)

Erin said...

Since when did Hollie start wearing clothes? Hmmmm.....nothing like twister!

I think this is absolutly hilarious! Maybe we could keep it up to about 45 comments???

Dan Barnett. said...

Well, as I was looking through the hole in our dining room wall, it was when she was on the computer. She wa reading a comment from, hang on, oh yeah Michael. :-)
Ok another donkey:
Even the donkey knew the palms were not for him, but for the one he brought into Jerusalem. Better? Don;t be scared, Hollie. I patched the hole today. JK

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Dan,
I don't know who Hollie is and what do you mean that you were looking through your hole in the dinning room. Dude must be tripping?

Beth said...

How could you not get it?? I think everyone got it. Although, Dan, you really shouldn't have spoiled our little secret.

Hollie said...

Hey Dan... Thanks for patching that hole! Now, the whole glass to the wall is another issue! ;o) As far as the "jack ass" comment, I hope you aren't upset with that! I was simply telling Jeremy about that story this morning and he looked at me with this strange look and said that! I could not stop laughing! I just had to add it in here! Hope there's no hard feelings neighbor!

Dan Barnett. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Oh, you're neighbors. I get it now!