Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Do You Do All Day?

Since becoming a homemaker, the question I hear most frequently is "So what do you do all day? " This is usually followed up with "Aren't you bored?"

I sometimes answer this question with a lighthearted "Oh, I mostly just lay around the mansion"-- which usually gets a smile and a laugh out of people.

But really, it's a valid question. And I treat it as such since most folks ask out of genuine interest and curiosity, not in a spiteful or critical way. There's no reason for me to respond defensively or get embarrassed. 

What do homemakers, stay at home wives and stay at home moms do all day? Believe it or not, most people have no idea. Many have never seen a homemaker in action.

So what do I, a homemaker with no children,  do all day? 

As I alluded to in this video, I am busier than one might expect! I'm an early riser and I start with quiet time with the Lord, exercise and breakfast. Several mornings a week are reserved for working on projects for my Etsy shop. The other mornings are filled with cleaning, laundry, running errands and sometimes cooking and baking. Afternoons are a little more laid-back. Since I am a morning person, my energy starts to disappear in the afternoon. I often will sit down for a short rest because I need it! Most of my blogging is done in the afternoon as well as any tasks that did not get done in the morning. Currently, I babysit two children one afternoon a week, which pretty much fills the time that day!

I am the cleaning lady, the chef, the financial manager, the receptionist and secretary. My primary role as Operations Manager of our household is to keep my household running smoothly. I stretch our income as far as I can while still planning for the future. Time for clipping coupons, scouring the sales ads for great deals, shopping at yard sales and thrift stores are important to my role as I can save us so much money through these venues!

For fun, I listed all the things I do around the house. All of you, whether a full-time homemaker or not, will be able to relate to these tasks. I list this, not to brag about all I accomplish, but to show the similarities of our lives.

I may not have listed everything, but here's what I was able to recall:
  • cleaning
  • cooking
  • meal planning
  • grocery shopping
  • preserving food
  • stretch our income
  • pay bills
  • increase our income
  • decorating
  • organizing
  • hospitality
  • gardening
  • researching health and nutrition
  • event and appointment coordinator
  • giving gifts
  • laundry
  • errands and shopping
  • help with yard work
  • assist my husband with his business
  • take care of dog
  • planning
  • holding our household together! :-) 
So, are you ever bored? 

Bored, no.

Unmotivated, yes.

While some days I really want to get out of the house (which I do), I honestly haven't dealt much with boredom. I have way too many interests, hobbies and things to do to be bored. There is always something to do and I don't feel like I have enough time to do every little thing I'd like to accomplish.

I do, however, have days where I feel generally unmotivated. I have days where I poke and piddle around and cross very little off my to-do list. I certainly do not do everything every day and I am not super-woman! On days like this, I usually make myself start somewhere and sometimes, I'll do the basics and then take a little time off to do something I enjoy, like sewing or crafting something fun for me, going to the library, the park or even out for ice cream or lunch.

I really love my role as a homemaker. And for the most part, I find it fun and challenging!

Somewhere along the way, I found this list of questions to ask myself when I am bored at home. You don't neccessarily have to do all these things, or feel guilty about any of them. The questions are there to help us realize just how much there is to do at home! This list is not original with me.

1. Are your floors clean?
2. Are your windows clean?
3. Are the beds made?
4. Are the dishes done?
5. Are there extra meals in the freezer for emergencies?
6. Do you preserve your own foods?
7. Do you bake from raw ingredients (from scratch)?
8. Have you entertained at least one person from church in the last month?
9. Is your front porch clean and attractive?
10. Is your yard clean and free from debris?
11. Have you grown a  garden this year?
12. Do you make your own clothes?
13. Has your husband had to ask you to iron a shirt for him this week, or hunt for a clean one somewhere?
14. Are you caught up on your correspondence?
15. Do you carefully shop for bargains?
16. Have you rearranged your furniture in the last three months?
17. Do you make your own gifts?
18. Do you write in a journal, scrapbook or create crafts?
19. Do you bake your own bread?
20. Are your closets organized?
21. Are you well rested and healthy?
22. Do you study a chapter in the Bible each day?
23. Are you finding ways to help younger women learn about caring for husbands and home?
24. Are your photographs all organized and put into albums?
25. Have you made  a quilt?

As you can see from the above list, there is no shortage of things to do at home. Your current season of life will dictate how much you do. Right now, I have more time to do some of these things that are "non-essentials"  than I have or will at other times. Each persons life is different!

For all of us, whether we are at home full-time or not, let's make the most of wherever God has us, doing our very best to fulfill the purpose that He has placed in us and seize the day!

Now it's my turn to ask the question...

What do YOU do all day?


Bevy said...

I WISH more of the second list would be crossed off at least once a month... I was going to say once a week - but in all honesty once a month is more like it.

Wow!! What a great post! This was seriously indentifiable (all but the going out for ice cream/coffee/lunch part whenever I feel the "need").

I would agree most of the said post describes me as a homemaker. Except that I have two little ones around my ankles most of the day or at each other, every day - all day... minus a dog or cat. :)

Mary Ann said...


I would have to answer 'no' to a lot of the questions on the 2nd list, too. hahaha

I should clarify that I don't go to lunch or for ice cream often; that's a very very occasional thing. And usually at my husband's suggestion, since I am too cheap and too busy!

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Mary Ann! I can totally relate. We've been married 15 years and I only worked for a couple of years at the start. I've been a SAHW and now I'm a SAHM.

You are far more gracious than me in considering the genuine curiosity of people who ask that question. I'm guilty of feeling like I am being attacked or made fun of. I've pretty much always answered with an embarrassed "Oh, I never run out of things to do..."

Your post is very helpful. I think it would help me to write down my "job description". Blessings to you today!

Abbie Byers said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I definitely stay busy too. Whenever I seem to get caught up, I get to do everything again:)

Lyn said...

Thank you for your great post. I think I remember the list from Mrs. Lydia's site perhaps? When I read that list a long while back, it helped me too.

Being a long-time homemaker I am grateful for the opportunity to do so, but also realize that it has taken a lot of work to remain home. I don't take the job lightly at all either.

As for spending the day, I don't get nearly as much accomplished with having health issues, but I've never been bored and find there is always, always, something to do.

Serenity Now said...

Okay that second list made me look around and realize I have ALOT to catch up on! hehe
It's funny, I work from home - a full time job no less...but I've come across some people who still don't consider that "working" - so I still get asked that same question. And like you, I usually respond with something sarcastic like "well, after I read the paper, I usually watch a movie in my pajamas while eating bon-bons".
I figure anyone who even asks that question probably has a really messy house and eats out for every meal :)

The Working Home Keeper said...

I love how you described yourself as an Operations Manager! That's my title both in and out of the home. For me, I find that I'm much busier on the days when I'm at home than when I'm at the office. There's just so much to be done around the house - caring for my husband, kids & my mother, cooking, homecaring, decorating, schoolwork, appointments, gardening. Definitely no time to be bored!

Mary Ellen

DarcyLee said...

At this season of my life, I find that I run out of energy way before I run out of things to do. My schedule is much like yours in that I am the most energetic in the mornings and I start to run down a bit in the afternoons, so I let myself rest for a bit before getting back to it. There are so many interesting things to do at home that I rarely get bored. Thanks so much for this post. It was so informative.

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