Twenty four hours in a day. Twenty four hours. That’s all any of us have. My day starts at about 7–8 am on any given day and generally doesn’t wrap up until the earliest at 11 pm.
Ya’ll that’s a long day.
I have and always will be a very scheduled person. I use every Monday to plan out my week. I sit down in the beginning of the month to pencil in what my appointments and obligations are for the month. Needless to say I have a real hard time flying by the seat of my pants.
With that being said, even being a stay at home parent I have a schedule and things I have to accomplish every week. Most stay at home parents I know this to be true of.
Why is it then that most people think the opposite? Why is there a narrative that parents who stay home only have to worry about when to schedule their next soap opera or what candy or potato chip to grab next? I will tell you I am more busy now than I was when I worked outside of the home. There are many days I blink and its already ten at night.
The thing is that many people fail to realize how much actually goes into running a house and homeschooling a child. You have to be scheduled, if not it won’t be successful. So how can we fix this? How can we value the time of parents who stay home as much as those who dont?
For one recognize the effort it takes to accomplish the every day mundane things that are running a home. Understand that just as you would want someone to applaud you for the time it took to accomplish a project within a company, commend your spouse for the time it took to do the budgeting that day, or paying all the bills. Do not downplay their contribution, recognize the time it took and be grateful to them for it.
Next realize it is unreasonable to expect them to drop everything to help you, simply because they are at home. Here is the hard truth with this one, just because you have a person who stays home it does not suddenly make them your personal assistant. Please do not assume that they have nothing going on that day because you work and your time is more valuable than theirs. I am constantly busy, seriously constantly. Between putting myself through school, homeschooling my son, paying bills, doing chores, writing this blog, running my own small business, and being a wife and mom, my time is stretched thin. Remember that because your busy may look different than their busy, doesn’t give anyone the pass to take advantage of another.
Last but certainly not least give them some of your time. Sometimes being the one to stay home can be lonely. Your life at times can feel like this hamster wheel that sometimes you feel you may never escape. Your life can feel confined to your four walls. When you work outside of the home, it doesn’t give you the pass to not give them any of your time. Some may feel that because they deal with the stresses that is the outside world, they can check out for me time. Where I can agree that having time to yourself is normal and healthy it shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone else. Parents and spouses who stay home look forward to their partner coming home every day. To hear that they need time to themselves all the time is disheartening and in short selfish. Your stay at home spouse needs your love and support. The biggest way to show that is by giving them your time.
There it is the truth. Being a stay at home spouse and parent does not suddenly give me more time than anyone else. I still have just those twenty four hours. No time warp.
Just twenty four crazy busy hours.