Why I Treat Homemaking Like a Career
The title “stay at home mom”, does not do the work justice. Being a Hebrew homemaker and mother is a huge undertaking. We manage our homes. We provide for our homes. We are childcare providers, preschool teachers, grade school teachers, high school teachers, chefs, housecleaners, coaches, and so much more! We do all of these things from the time we wake to the time we go to sleep.
All that said, I have struggled to appreciate the true value of this work. Unfortunately, our society does not value this type of work because there’s no way to capitalize on it. Homemaking doesn’t generate cash.
There have been times when I’ve struggled to find the joy. There have been times when I have felt discontent with my work. I have questioned the worth of it. I have felt inferior. It’s easy to feel that way when you’re at home. Childcare is exhausting. It’s emotionally exhausting and it’s physically exhausting. Even so, we are called to work six days and rest on the seventh.
Learning to consciously value my time and work, like I would if I worked outside the home, has helped me truly appreciate the hard work I do. It has become more fulfilling and I’ve even noticed myself becoming more productive.
When you start viewing your time and work at home as the necessary and invaluable work it is, it becomes so much more meaningful.
I’ve been practicing a few things that have helped me do this.
1. Get Dressed
When you’re at home it can be so tempting to leave your pjs on all day (and there’s nothing wrong with that!). But getting out of my pjs and into an outfit helps me get my mind ready to take on the day. It lets me know that today I am going to get work done. Pajamas create a lazy day mood. Good for Shabbat, but not for the other days we were commanded to work on!
2. Limit Screen Time
I know. I’ve been saying this a lot! But scrolling Facebook and randomly surfing the internet wastes a lot of time. It’s not productive. And I’ve found that it makes me sluggish. It’s very tempting to get lost in social media, since I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck. But If I were working outside of the home, I’d be expected to put the phone away and work. So I put the phone away and work because I value my time.
3. Define Your Responsibilities
In a home, there are daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to be completed. It’s a good idea to define these tasks (I like to put it on paper) and commit yourself to completing these tasks. Don’t over schedule, but done be afraid to push yourself a little as well. I tend to avoid rigid daily schedules, but having a list of daily tasks has worked well for me. Tasks can be anything from homeschooling, to cleaning, to blogging. Whatever you need to get done in a day, write it down and make sure it gets done. Get yourself into a good routine.
4. Have Goals
Goals push me to keep developing myself. A goal can be something like learning a new skill or it can be something more intrinsic; like becoming more motivated. I write my goals in my digital journal, and evaluate them at the end of the week. I ask myself questions. Did you accomplish your goal? Why or why not? Where can you improve? How does accomplishing your goal make you feel? What can you do differently?
Hebrew mothers are educators. I take education seriously, as did my mother. But education doesn’t have to be just book knowledge. Exploring a forest, building blocks, socializing, and other types of play are educational. We as moms are helping our kids learn and grow. That portion of the homemaking job is a huge responsibility.
Being a mom is hard. It can get lonely at times. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing. It’s easy to feel like you are not up to par. But the truth is, mama, that you have been given power and strength and a sound mind. You have what it takes. You are a great mom. We all struggle from time to time. I know I do. And it’s easy to let that doubt cause you to want to just quit. I want to encourage you to push through that. Because nothing of value comes without a little bit of struggle. Overcoming proves your strength. And looking back at where you came from makes the journey purposeful.
I treat the job I’ve have been entrusted with like a “real job”, because it is one. Society may not value the work of a stay at home mother, but we are not called to live by the standards of our society. Mothers matter so much. Let’s start believing in ourselves and knowing our worth.
If you are blessed enough to be living this lifestyle don’t take it lightly. It is a privilege and a huge responsibility. But Hebrew women are strong!