Monday, September 5, 2011

What Do You DO All Day?

...a woman's work is never done - from an English proverb

When people find out I've been transitioning from full-time work to being a wife at home, I suspect they think I spend my days lolling around. People who know me a little better think I get to read a lot. And sometimes people are brave enough to actually ask the question, "What do you DO all day?"

Believe it or not, I actually have a lot to handle.

Since my transition home is fairly recent (and still in progress), I have had lots of short term projects to do. In the bad old days, my husband and I both got home after dark. We live on an acre of land. Guess how much yardwork got done?

Yeah - that was my first challenge. I have mowed and gardened and retaught myself how to can. By the way, Grandma was right about canning. Once you learn it the first time, it's always easy to go back. And then there was the epic week of weeding and of rebuilding the collapsed side fence.

Now that I'm caught up on yardwork and the housework has developed something of a routine, I'm finding plenty to fill my days. I pretty much always have something to do around the house by way of daily chores. While we don't have children, I do have a husband, extended family and friends to care for and I want this home to be a haven for them. I consider my home my ministry and that is something which takes time. I'm also tutoring a couple of students for 3 hours a week in American History so I'm gearing up a for very fun year.

I have a huge extended family, several of whom are elderly. Most of my relatives aren't invalids, but when you're 80+ years old, it helps to have someone available during the day to run to doctors' appointments, take you to the grocery and so on. I've been spending a lot of time with elderly family and I really enjoy it. You get to know someone pretty well when you spend a couple hours a month killing time in a doctor's waiting room together and the little old ladies in my family are definitely worth knowing. I've gotten some wonderful recipes and housekeeping ideas as well as an entire wealth of family history.

In what's left of my time, I've been planning for the future and setting up to do some work from home.  I have no intention of completely checking out from the world around me; I just feel called to order my life a little differently so that our home life can be healthy and I can use my skills for God without losing my mind. My husband and I have been talking over several ideas for the future, some of which I love to talk about and some I'm not ready to yet. When I worked full-time, I practiced law as an advocate for children and disabled adults. There is some work in that arena that I can still do from home and which would be fairly flexible to schedule. This would allow me to help people who need it as well as bringing in a little extra income.

I also truly enjoy writing and blogging. I'm a new blogger (and still loving it!) and for the first time in my life, I have been given the gift of time. God has put me in a place where I have time to explore and to see where my love of all these words might take me and what I might do with them to serve Him.

Do I get to lollygag around and read books? Oh occasionally I do. All work and no play makes Amy a dull girl (and would probably turn me half-crazy besides). However, being a full-time homemaker entails something far from a life of indolence. As with any calling, we do what we do to the glory of God. Setting the tone here at home requires even more responsiblity than I envisioned when I set out to do it and is not for the faint of heart. And yet I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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8 comments:

  1. Thanks Amy for sharing your stay at home activities. As a working mother I do wonder sometimes what women at home do (yes, I'm guilty) all day. With so many people working many elderly family members are really struggling and it is the few women like you that are making a differences to a few and this alone is wonderful. I sometimes wish I lived much closer to my parents then i could help them, but we live far to far away for much help.

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  2. I get asked that question a lot, and it seemed to appease people when I said that I worked 10 hours a week. But still, people don't seem to get that there is always something to do - especially the garden! And then, you can work on and improve the skills God has given you. Like for me, I write. I'm really thrilled for you, Amy. You're a great role model!

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  3. Thank you for your visit and comment on my blog recently; nice to "meet" you here and read about your recent lifestyle changes. Having time is indeed a gift! I love that you spend time with the elderly in your family. So many wonderful opportunities are in front of you.

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  4. Good thoughts on the subject! People are always funny when they think that just because a person is a happy, joyful person, that they are not working hard. You can work hard (and should work hard) wherever you're at--home or work, to the glory of God.

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  5. I used to get ask that question all the time. One answer that sometimes helped was: "I do all the projects you wish you could do but can't because you're working!"
    I just became one of your followers and I'd love a follow back at BibleLoveNotes.com.

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  6. I consider my home a ministry too. Even if we an bring our little ones to Christ, we are doing a lot. Hospitality in our profession is key. Thank you for your thought.

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  7. How nice to hear of a wife at home and how you minister there! Even those who understand stay-at-home-moms don't often "get" the importance of the stay-at-home-wife.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comment. I appreciate your blog!

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  8. Love this! Really, don't we all just sit around and eat bon bons!

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