We’ve all probably heard the old philosophical quote “if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? In this mother’s life, it’s more of a question of if you stay at home raising children, and no one sees what you do all day, do they still know of the tireless work you’ve done?
Our job as stay at home parents is to keep the kids and the house functioning and basically facilitate every relevant need that arises to either subject during the course of the day. It just feels so fruitless some days when there seems to be nothing to show for all the manic efforts conducted to achieve a job well done. As a former career gal, I was used to the annual review process and work which had measurable progress via reporting tools. I thrived on all the structure, comfortable with job outlines and department meetings full of problem solving.
The position as “mom” can be quite a transition from my former environment. Sure, many of the same requirements are there such as initiative, follow through, persistence, detail orientation. However, it lacks the same evidence of a job well done on a day to day basis. If the house is still standing and the kids are in one piece at the end of the day, then it appears I have “succeeded”. As moms can testify to, it takes so much more to pull that off than it would seem.
Running a home and raising the children can be much like putting out fires all day long, some days quite literally. Many days can end in exhaustion, but by the looks of things it feels like we haven’t accomplished much. Upon closer consideration, it’s quite the contrary. For if I hadn’t done much, I can tell you that the house would be a disaster. The couch would smell like sour milk, the kids would be starving and bored and probably fighting, the fridge would be empty, laundry would overflow, little ones would be wearing filthy diapers, the cat would be dehydrated, my husband would have nothing for dinner upon arriving home, and the dog would still be lost and wondering the woods near our house. If it weren’t for the twigs and thorns stuck on my sweater, one would never know I had to jump a wire fence with a hot dog to fetch our dear pet.
So while we’re not building monuments, or supporting vital
systems for a company, we are building and supporting lives. We are the
cornerstones of our homes and the supporting structure for our children and
spouses. We are single handedly “revolving” our children’s worlds, doing
everything it takes to bring every day to a successful and productive close.