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For the Love

It's something that I say around the house... usually when I can't believe I am finding a fruit roll up totally smashed into the carpet. "For the love... why can't I just have normal kids that don't mash their sticky food in the carpet?"

It's also why I end up staying home with my kids, and not going back to work like the little devil on my left shoulder keeps telling me to do. For the love of my children. And after a long, stimulating conversation with my brother, Grant, and SIL, Kelly, last night, I remembered that there are two very passionate views on the subject. (There is also a great book out there by Dr. Laura, that I highly recommend.)

Kelly posted about why it's important to her to stay home, and how passionate she is about other moms choosing to do the same. (And she does it in a really non-judgmental way, maybe because she knows I am one of those moms that struggles with staying home, and since we're related, she is trying to keep the peace).

But I've been open about it before- in my early blogging days I posted about a bad day, when I was struggling with it all. And I received much needed and appreciated advice and insight. Thank you, again, ladies. But where the cause for taking care comes easy to Kelly, it does not come easy for me. And thus, a post for those of us who are trying to enjoy our moments with our kids, but also look forward to the day when we can re-enter the world of a Banana Republic wardrobe, expense reports, and the office politics that we miss so much. And really, as I am thinking about it, it is probably only me and my SIL, Deby, that this applies to. I think I have successfully surrounded myself with amazing women who are blissfully happy to stay at home. And I need you all in my life. Really, I really do.

But in an effort to help the single moms, or the moms out there who assist in bringing home the bacon, or those of us who want to feel some financial worth (I know, it is so shallow and lame, but I miss that), there are some options out there that will let us work from home.

Kelly- although her job requires major talent. Major talent. If you have it, you should follow her example and share your results with the rest of us who aren't so talented, so that we can purchase and enjoy!

Real Estate- this is a HUGE hobby of mine. My husband would probably consider it an obsession. Which is why I have to decided to get my real estate license. It's something that I can do with kids at home, at my leisure, as much or as little as I want. There are also other classes available to take in this area as well.

Jet Blue- if you live in Salt Lake, you can take reservations from home. I think the pay is decent, and I'm sure there is a great discount on flights.

There are a million websites out there who claim to pay out thousands to working from home slaves, but I have been too chicken to ever really check it out. Because you usually have to pay to sign up, and that just doesn't seem legit to me. But if you've tried it and it works, let me know.

My other SIL, Cally, has a day care in her home. But, you have to be really nice, and really patient like my SIL, Cally, for this to work for you! (As you can probably guess, Cally doesn't have time to blog her about day.)

It's a sensitive subject. And there's a lot to take into consideration. Good luck, and let me know if you find the perfect balance. I know I'm still looking for mine.

P.S. I just remembered that my friend Laurel is a virtual assistant, and posted about that on her blog. You can read here for more info. (I'm interested!)


Anonymous said…
Don't do daycare!! You will lose all patience you once thought you had! Not to mention losing your mind. Although it has been really hard for me to babysit so many kids it is so much better than working out of the home for me. I have seen first hand the difference with someone else watching your kids compared to you. I know that no matter how long I babysit a child I will never love them like their mom would. So, it's kinda sad to me that they aren't getting attention and love like mom would give them while they're at my house. I know some moms have to work out of the home (my sis being one) but I am someone who would do anything to stay home with my daycare and selling jewelry. But believe me there are days when I am so stressed out thinking all I do is laundry, cleaning, wipe noses, and change diapers and tomorrow it will be the same. I think if possible it's great to stay home and give your kids the love, attention and guidance that they need from mom. Not to mention that if you are working outside the home you still have to come home and do all the stuff you are doing right now...laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. That part is enough to scare me off. :) Good luck!
Neva said…
If you go to work and leave those sweet little boys I will beat you! You think you lose your patience with them now just think what it would be like if you were working all day and then came home to your jobs as a mother and wife. Or on the computer all day working with the boys tugging at you while you trying to book Jet Blue flight. WAKE UP, I taught you better. I stayed home with my children and never ever had a thought of going to work and leaving all of you for someone else to raise. Even when your Dad told me I had to go to work I said NO, I'm not leaving my kids!
So WAKE UP life is too short and the boys will be gone in a blink of an eye and you will be sad and wish they were young again like I wish you were. LOVE YOU TONS! Mandee Bug
Neva said…
P.S. Normal kids mush food into the carpet, it's the abnormal ones that don't
rabidrunner said…
Ahhhh.... Balance. Sometimes I feel as if the quest for this is why we're here. If you had complete and perfect balance, you'd be bored silly. Think of acheiving balance as climbing Mt. Everest (I know that's an item on you life list). What are you going to do once you reach the summit? You cannot live there. It's the valleys below that sustain us and make us grow.

In regards to the working at home thing, it’s not as easy and/or glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. In my situation, I still need to get a babysitter. If I don’t, I work at night or early in the morning when the kids are in bed. I will either lose sleep or time with the Spouse. A stay-at-home-job also hangs over you like a cloud. It’s always there and you cannot get rid of it. Sometimes I find myself thinking, “I have two hours, I better work” rather than, “Maybe we should go out and paint rocks.” Another thing to mention is that the additional income will most likely put you in another tax bracket. This will subsequently reduce the take home pay of the working Dad. And finally, I’d like to add that it’s difficult to quit once you’ve gotten started.

We were raised in an era in which women were taught that we can have it all. The truth? We can't have it all. But that's okay -if we had it all, we'd be bored silly at the top of some dumb mountain.
Mandee said…
Seriously Mom, let's not rip me apart on my blog. I would suggest e-mail or a phone call next time.

And to RR- I knew you would have insight into "balance" and the challenge of working from home. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
I totally agree with RR...the at home job is always there. When your kids are sick - it's there, when you want to go to a baby shower - it's there. I really feel isolated since I have started working from home because you have to stay at home to work from home. My advice: Don't do it if you don't have to.
Mandee said…
Like I said, Cally- you are really nice, and really patient. I know I am NOT those things. I could only ever do it for friends and family.
Anonymous said…
That was meant to be humorous, sorry
Deby said…
Well, I did the single working Mom gig for eleven years. (Wow) I am not kidding you when I say that I was just beat most nights. But, that interaction with other adults and eventually moving myself up the corporate ladder enough to provide a comfortable life for the two of us was a HUGE source of personal pride and satisfaction for me. I volunteered in the classroom, taught art history once a month for five years, had a girl scout troop and did the best I could to find a balance that worked for Katya and I. You do what you need to do.

Now that I am doing the stay at home thing, I do indeed miss the accolades, the mentally challenging projects, the nice paychecks and disposable income. But, I do enjoy staying at home with my two little ones(although I never turn down someone's offer of babysitting) and being there for Katya for all those games and shuttling her to and from practices.

I still feel that working part time (say 20 hours a week) would give me such satifaction and bring in a bit of cash. But then you have to be realistic and think of the loss of the head of household with dependants (which is significant) as well as where the kids will be when you are at work. How much would you have to pay someone that you trust to watch your kids? Not to mention all the colds that they don't bring home from daycare.

So...I sit and daydream and research new careers for myself for when the kids start school. That way I can get back to the workplace, have some more income and make it worthwhile tax wise.

I do envy women that love being home and wouldn't want to do anything else. I work on my attitude daily and try to find one thing everyday that I am grateful for staying at home for. This is the hardest job I have EVER done.
Likely said…
Mandee, I just read Kelly's blog on SAHM (and my comment was WAY too long) and wanted to give you a shout just like she did.

I totally appreciate your honesty about your mothering experiences in your blog. I do think that working before you have children throws a totally different factor into the equation. I honestly feel it is so much harder to be a full time mom than a full time employee.

You, my friend, have FIVE children to take care of!!!! There better be fruit rollups in the carpet! You are doing a great job Mandee. Let me know if you ever need to vent about anything.
Anonymous said…
I just want to weigh in. I have gone to school full time 40/week for the last 2 years. It was really terrible when soleil turned 2 and I was not there all day. I cried all morning that day. But I go to school now 2x/wk and love it. Since I can make my own schedule once licensed, I plan to just do 2 days per wk. I can be a smarty, and be at home the majority of the time. I say, wait until the littlest is 3-4, then work part time at your dream job (real estate?). Because being a good mother does not require you to completely forget about your potential for the next 18 years.
xoxo your SIL
Mandee said…

Thanks for the weigh-in, and another great career choice... dental hygienist! You are a smarty pants!
Rachie said…
Mandee, I know you have struggled with this for a long time. I talk about quitting all the time. I say to myself...when Ryan gets that promotion or when I have my next baby. I don't know what my problem is. I like being home with the kids. I also like a little "me" time. Even if it is working...I get to close the door for a few hours and think about something other than laundry, dishes, the next meal, etc.

Working at home is nice because I don't start my day until 10 AM and I get to wear whatever I like. But, like RR said it hangs over you.

I honestly think that if I stopped working I would still have help. I would get a babysitter to come over for a few hours a week so I could run errands, docotr visits, grocery shopping. That does not mean you are letting someone raise your kids if someone else is watching them for a short time. I think it is good for them to know that other people love them.

I wish we had a job for you at FC...maybe you can have mine when I quit.

I love you to pieces!
Anonymous said…
I just had another idea. What about starting and managing a CO-OP preschool? We have one of these in BFL, and I thought it was so smart. Where Mothers share the task on alternate days to provide the necessary preschool environment for their children. Ours is only open 8am-1pm 3 days/wk, and it is a completely shared responsibility not to mention affordable to families. It's a community service, a way to bring mothers together, and helps the kids prepare for school. Look into it, might be a good one.
Coco said…
I am a friend of Rachie's and was browsing her friend's blogs and couldn't read this one without posting.

I am a working mom. Right now, not out of choice, but out of letting my husband finish his degree. I am the mother of one, and when I have more I hope to have the choice to work or not. I don't think it is as bad as some make it out to be to work, especially if it is part time. Life and women are not the same as they use to be and I don't think it is bad to desire the recognition for your hard work and to accomplish a task that will stay finished, and also socialize with other adults. It doesn't make you any less of a mom. I actually think some moms are better moms by taking the time for themselves.

Take my thoughts for what they are worth. I don't want to feed the devil, but I want you to know you are not an awful mom for feeling that way, and if you feel 15 hours a week away from your kids makes you a better person, then really think about it, not for the money but for the sanity. (Sorry to all your friends who feel strongly the other way, don't send me hate mail).
Mandee said…
Tiff- I think you are right. Had I not had a good job before I had kids, I don't think I would struggle with it so much. Or maybe I would.

Rachie- I often wish I had kept my job at FC. I miss it. Lots, sometimes.

But my last 4 years at home have been great- and I wouldn't trade the good or bad moments for anything. I just keep reminding myself of that. And I will find my niche somewhere!

Jenee- great idea. I used to do trades with other women I know. It was just for a few hours a day, and I didn't take advantage of it like I should have. I should try to figure something out for this fall. Especially while Max is at pre-school.

Coco- thanks for your 2 cents, and please come back and share often! It's good to meet you. And thanks for your understanding for those of us who like to work.
k8shoe said…
Mandee- You are the best! I'm glad to know that I am not the only mom who struggles with wanting to work again. I am looking forward to the day when my kids are in school so that I can go back to school and work. But until then, I have to keep reminding myself that this is the such a sweet time and how lucky that I am that I can stay home.
Anonymous said…
Mandee-You need Shauna's perspective on this subject.

Joey Romine
Gonzalez said…
This is definitely a HOT TOPIC...Rachie and I discuss this issue whenever we are both sick of our jobs (pretty much on a monthly basis). I have a PT job (JetBlue)and I am very lucky because I get to work 1/2 of those hours at home. I usually go into the office in the wee hours of the morning so I can be home with my kids after they wake up and then work a little when they are napping. (That's why I'm posting this at 5:30am) It's a great little setup...although I am ALWAYS tired. I have come to the conclusion that for me, I will always need something to keep my sanity. I love and TOTALLY appreciate the fact that there are women out there that can stay at home and be a loving mother and a great wife...and I really wish I was one of them. But for me, mentally mostly, I need the little break that work gives me. I enjoy having a little bit of "me time" no matter how selfish that sounds. I feel I am a better mom to my children because I am able to get out a couple of days a week and be myself (adult self, not mommy self) and have conversations with adults. Another reason why I continue to work is so that my husband won't take my motherly duties for granted. He is a great father/husband, but something in the back of my mind keeps telling me that if I quit my job he will expect more out of me. He has always appreciated what I do and sees how hard it is to balance a family and a PT job. I know...sounds dumb!
Mandee said…
Amber, you hit the nail on the head. I have a good, good friend, Joey Romine's wife, who I have discussed this subject at length with. (I was really hoping she would comment.) She went back to work, working a great, flexible job, and I have been so jealous. Because both of us, like you, feel like we are better moms when we have a break. When we have "me time". And sometimes, 2 hours alone at Target just isn't enough.

Shauna, really? No comment?
Anonymous said…
mandee, we know i am not one to hold my tongue. i can't stand it, i have to say that there's right and wrong as lds moms.

the right thing is rarely the easiest thing. and when the lord asks something of us he will prepare a way to fulfill. of course if you are gone doing your own thing and your patience isn't tried all day you will FEEL like a better mom, but the better mom is not absent.

i'm NOT judging. i just think that lds women forget how clear the family proclamation is about this, and we are supposed to be standing up in the world for traditional values. i can't understand how it's up for debate.

pres. hinckley has said repeatedly that his heart breaks for women who have to work, and women that in any way can swing it, should be home.

spencer w. kimball, giving advice to a symbolic new bride said:

"And furthermore, Mary, with your wholesome attitude toward family life, I know you will desire to devote your life to your home and family; so when you resign your job and no longer have that income to spend upon yourself, it will mean many adjustments for you; but I understand you have considered all those things and are willing. You see, Mary, it was never intended by the Lord that married women should compete with men in employment. They have a far greater and more important service to render, and so you give up your employment and settle down to become the queen of the little new home that you will proceed to transform into a heaven for John, this man whom you adore. John will work hard and will do his best to provide you with comforts and even luxuries later, but this is the perfect way, to “start from scratch” together.

And Mary, you have much to learn in these coming months. Perhaps you, like most of the other young women of the nation, have prepared yourself for a career that you will not follow. One college president said about ninety-two percent of all the girls in his college studied languages and mathematics and business, and then when they were married found that they not only had limited use for their specialized training, but they had also failed to train for the great career to which they were now to dedicate their lives. Mary, you are to become a career woman in the greatest career on earth—that of homemaker, wife, and mother. And so, if you have failed to prepare for motherhood and homemaking when you could, you may make up somewhat by devoting yourself to those subjects now. In your spare time you could now study child psychology and child discipline, the fundamentals of nursing, the art of teaching, particularly how to tell stories and teach children; and you will want to get all the theory as well as the practice now in cooking, sewing, budgeting, and buying.

John’s limited income will spread far if you can learn to buy efficiently and cook expertly so that there will never be waste. And his small income can go far if you learn to make some of your own clothes and those of the children and utilize scraps and pick up bargains. And if you learn the rudiments of nursing, you may be able to save much in doctor and hospital costs by recognizing symptoms and treating minor afflictions, and you may also have the satisfaction of even saving the lives of your own precious family by your being able to do practical nursing. And so your economies will largely make up for the loss of your own income.

You wouldn’t want to work outside the home anyway, Mary, for women are expected to earn the living only in emergencies, and you must know that many are the broken homes resulting when women leave their posts at home. You see, if both husband and wife are working away from home and come home tired, it is very easy for unpleasantness and misunderstandings to arise. And so, Mary, you will remain at home, making it attractive and heavenly, and when John comes home tired, you will be fresh and pleasant; the house will be orderly; the dinner will be tempting; and life will have real meaning."
Anonymous said…
and i hope we don't read that and think, "that's outdated", because that's what the world says about our beliefs. truth is eternal.
heather said…
Pour out your heart to Heavenly Father. He totally understands all of your feelings. The struggles that we have in life keep us humble and turning to the Lord for help. Spend more time in the scriptures and on your knees and the answers and peace you seek will come. I promise. I'll be praying for you and your beautiful family.
kelly said…
wow! what a post... this really hit home for me as i have been trying to find my own balance. it's nice to hear from someone having the same struggles, sometimes i feel like i'm hanging out in a very lonely crowd. i know the importance of being home with the kids, in fact i love it. i know the importance that the church and people in the church put on a "woman's role." but it's hard. it's hard being home with no adult contact. it's hard being home, not really producing anything. it's hard being at home, and as sweet as my husband may be, no one is giving me a pat on the back, and telling me "way to go." i had a taste of the working world. and although i hated my job, hated my boss, and was so ready to quit... i definitely miss it. i miss feeling productive, like i've added value somewhere. and i realize that what i'm doing is the most important job in the world... but when the kids are screaming, the house is a mess, and i haven't had a second to myself, working doesn't seem so bad. right now i'm working from home, which is a good and bad thing. as everyone says, when you work from home, your never truly done working. yet, it was a great opportunity that i couldn't pass up. plus, living in california... any extra cash helps. thanks again for the insights!
Anonymous said…
Jet Blue would be a great job! You have a few weeks trainging at an office and once you know what you're doing they send you home! They give you free flights and you have sick time and vacation time! One of the stay-at-home moms that I sat next to on one flight ws telling me that you can break up your sick time... so instead of working 4 or 6 hours that day you work 2 or 3 and call in sick for the others. Great company, great benefits! And if you didn't like it quit. Something to think about, its a dilemna!

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