Stay at home mom.
There are several words used to describe the same profession. And let’s face it, this profession isn’t very glamorous. It’s not fancy or high paying. You rarely (if ever) get a day off. Some days you don’t even seem to get a single minute to yourself. Most days it’s a completely thankless job. It’s tiring, exhausting and can even be downright unpleasant.
So why would anyone want to be a homemaker?
Oh, believe me, there are days I ask myself this same question. Times when I haven’t accomplished a single thing all day and the house looks like a tornado went through it. Times when I’m just so tired and feel so alone and when all I want is some adult conversation or time to breathe. And maybe even to be able to go to the bathroom without every.single.tiny.person in the house needing me at that moment… Oh, yeah. I’ve had days like that. Every stay at home parent has had days like that.
But I wouldn’t trade my days at home with my sweet, infuriating, wonderful, exasperating children with any other job on this planet. When I think about the responsibility — the blessing — I have been given it just stuns and humbles me. I have been able to watch my children smile their first smile. I have been there for first steps, first words, first kisses and hugs. I have watched them learn and grow and develop little personalities. I am here to teach them right from wrong. To show them by example. To teach them about God and His love. To be their nurturer, encourager, friend and mother. I am able to bless my family by providing the safe, clean and loving environment in which we live.
That is why I wanted to be a homemaker. A happy homemaker.
Is it easy? No way. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life. When I found out that I would be able to stay home with my daughter, I started making all of these plans. I remember thinking about all of the time I would have to be crafty, finish projects, make delicious meals from scratch every day, volunteer more at the church, finish researching my family tree, have a perfectly clean house, catch up on my scrapbooking… the list went on and on. I mean, I would be able to stay at home with one little baby. Why wouldn’t I have time to do all of those things??
And now, three years later, I’m still waiting on the day when all of those things finally happen.
But that’s ok. The crafts can wait until I can do them with my daughter. And maybe my son will one day enjoy researching our genealogy together. And I figure I’ll get that perfectly clean house when I’m in heaven.
But until then I’m going to be a happy homemaker in spite of it all.
It isn’t easy. And it would be a lie to say that I’m happy all of the time. But I have joy! And you can too.
So here is the first step to become a happier homemaker:
Check your attitude.
If you have a bad attitude it will affect the rest of your family. Your tone will help set the attitude of everyone around you. The old adage “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is certainly true. Sometimes it’s not easy to smile but it will definitely make a difference!
So how can we change our attitudes?
1) Don’t be a martyr.
Probably one of the biggest gripes homemakers have is the constant cleaning. We all know that cleaning house isn’t exactly fun, but if you look at it as a way to bless your family (and yourself!) then it’s much easier to be joyful about it. Be thankful you have a home to clean and a family to serve. You can show your love for your family by the things you do for them. And if you’re waiting on big thank you’s and help from everyone else… well, you might be blessed with those things, but you might also be waiting a long time for it. Being a grump and a martyr about doing housework does nothing but hurt you!
2) Talk to God.
Ask God to help you change your attitude. Talk to Him when you’re feeling angry, upset or otherwise have a bad attitude. Ask Him to show you ways to combat the negativity you may feel and work through it. This helps me when nothing else can.
3) Just breathe.
Yup, simple as that. A few slow, deep breaths and a mental count to ten (or twenty) can sometimes keep a tense situation from turning into a Mommy Meltdown. Remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes and get your head back on straight. You know, before you start screaming at the kids or banging your head against the wall. Your blood pressure will thank you for it.
And sometimes, yes, sometimes you just snap at your kids before you even think about breathing or praying. (Ask me how I know.) In those times just remember to give yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Apologize and move on.
Because, mama, those same kiddos that feed off of your bad attitude also watch and see how you handle those situations. They’re always watching; always learning from you. Teach them well.
~~ Join me next week for Step 2 on How To Be A Happy Homemaker. ~~
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