Monday, June 15, 2015

From What Do You Do? to Why Do You Do It?

A kind Issues, Etc. listener asked how we respond to the question of what we do all day as stay-at-homers.

My sister and I are both going to respond to the question in our own ways, so stay tuned later in the week for Part 2!


My brief answer on the air was that I carry the conversation to a question that I would rather answer which is this: Why do you spend your time at home? I steer that way because then it ends up being a conversation that I really like to have!  :)

I spend my time at home for several reasons. First, though, I should mention that I have the luxury of the stay-at-home option. I thank my husband for this regularly. And he thanks me for what I do. That's cool, too!

Of course, just because I'm able to stay at home would not mean that I am required to do so. Even with my husband being employed, I could pursue work outside the home. I don't, though.

Being at home means I get to spend more time with my husband. This is good for our marriage, and by extension, it is good for the kiddies. When my husband comes home for the day, I'm here. I like that a lot. Being at home also means I get to spend more time with our four children. I like that a lot, too. So that would be Why 1 and Why 2, 3, 4, 5.

Beyond the benefits of the loads of time that I get to spend with my absolute favorite people on the planet (which I consider to be the most compelling motivation for my stay-at-home life), there are other perks, too.

Why 6 - I get to make our home a place that is nice for all of us to live in. I'm not a super-de-duper decorator or cleaner or cook, but I have plenty of time to do all of those things at the level that works for me/us. I really like to make desserts so I do a lot of that. It makes me happy to have our laundry managed efficiently, and I'm glad I have the time to make that happen. I'm not into mopping or pulling weeds, so I don't do those chores often and no one seems to care. :)  I get to determine how I invest my time and attention in the keeping of our house/making of our home.

Why 7 - This may sound backwards, but another thing I like about my stay-at-home status, is that it actually frees me to be away from home without feeling too thinly-spread. If one holds a certain number of "hours away from home" chips (and I do not know what that number would be for anyone else), then I can use them much more freely since I'm not already burning through bunches of them on the 9 to 5 track.

I have a part-time job that is accomplished almost always from my desk (or couch) at home when the kiddies are in bed. Sweet gig! But I travel for this job every now and then. That works! I am usually at our home base, so when I'm occasionally called away from it, I set sail knowing that all are well there and they will be just fine during the few days that I'm gone.  I also serve on a board that requires me to be away from home a few times a year. This, too, is easier to do because I'm not gone often during the other 355 days of the year.

I have more wing-spreading-space and I do not feel at all confined.

Why 8+ -Another neat thing about having a very flexible schedule and plenty of time at home means that I can volunteer for our church, community, etc. Volunteers have it good because they get to pick what they do and how they do it. I can use the Volunteer Spot Sign-Up's at whatever level I choose, and I don't feel over-taxed doing so. I help with our church's women's group when the usual leader is on vacay because she knows I'm happy to use a bit of my abundant time that way. I let folks on our street know that if they need help, please call. And they do! I make meals for people who could use them, and they thank me even though the dessert is probably the only slam-dunk on the tray I take over. I get to do these things quite often because I'm not being pulled too hard in another direction. Again, it is a privilege and I recognize this.

Why do I stay at home? It's good for me/us and it also seems to help the neighbors in the rings beyond our home nucleus. I am thankful for the blessings that come with this life!