“What do you DO all day?”

LaundryI was at dinner with a friend.  She is a very successful executive, lives in an affluent area, doesn’t have kids and is really fun to be around.  We were having a glass of wine when all of a sudden she said “you are such an outgoing and talented woman, what do you do all day?  I mean I know you stay home for the kids, but what is next for you, what’s next, what makes you feel fulfilled?”

I chose to down the rest of my glass as thoughts raced around my head, trying desperately to formulate a very intelligent answer.  I didn’t succeed.  My very deep ability to reflect and formulate a well thought out response simply abandoned me.  We all have reasons for doing what we do.  When I was a single mom I had to work for financial reasons.  I now have a choice that many women do not have and I currently stay at home.  Some mothers work and juggle their careers and their kids and after school activities. Some mothers work out of their home.   We all have one thing in common.  Sacrifice.

This did not come out in my brilliant answer.  Sorry ladies, I put us all back a couple of decades!

“Laundry.  I do laundry.   I do loads and loads every week.  I put clean clothes in small baskets for the kids to put away and they stay in those baskets until they make it back to the dirty pile.  That’s what I do.  I’m a hamster in a wheel.”

I truly have the chance to redeem myself.  I’ve gone through some emotions thinking about this answer and I’m happy to say that I now understand myself better and the choices ALL moms make, whether they work or stay-at-home.

“I am a mother.  I have made a conscious decision to sacrifice myself for the good of mankind.  I don’t always use my interpersonal skills to sell a company’s product or service.  Sometimes I use those skills to put more good into the world.  Through my children, these three boys, I have the chance to give back..   It’s a ripple effect.  The kindness, the guidance, the character that I instill in them will be magnified and ripple into future generations.  So although sometimes it is difficult and my days can be full of mundane tasks, deep down I know that there is nothing more important than the sacrifice that I am making for future generations.  What do I do all day?  I live a life of love and sacrifice.  I am a mother.”

My dear friend is correct though.  Although I am a mother for life there is an aspect of “what’s next.”  My children are getting older and are more independent.  Am I ready to retire?  Should I commit more time to the blog?  Write a book?  Go back to work?  What is next?  I don’t know, I really don’t, but I will make an effort to enjoy the journey.

I would love to hear your thoughts on motherhood, staying-at-home, working, just all of it.  What makes you happy?  What fulfills you?  What’s next?  If you’re not a mom I would love to hear about that also!  This is YOUR life.  These are your choices!


4 thoughts on ““What do you DO all day?”

  1. AnnMarie

    I am a mother of 3 and work full time. I didn’t always. But I have always worked – for financial reasons since i was 15years old. I was always able to juggle – most woman can;some can have 3 balls in the air some 10-100; I’m in the middle. I have been fulfilled greatly with the push to go back to work. I didn’t go back full time until my 3rd was in full time school. I can’t juggle that much. (hee hee). But it was time. For me. Whether you are a working mom(p/t or f/t) or stay at home – whomever you touch, come in contact with, advise, teach, communicate with, encourage, discipline, punish & reward, do leg work for- there is a ripple…. a big ripple. Your validation is when the boss, coworkers, clients, friends, spouse, children, children’s teachers, children’s friend’s parents – say to you you “thanks”, “you’ve been a great help”, “i love you”, ” you deserve a raise”, “great job”. This ripples to others … forever. I have always been the type or person where my internal dialogue says “whats next?” Depending on the stage of my life determined when I moved onto the “whats next”. I love being a mother first & foremost, but i think if i didn’t have to go to work for financial reasons i would have eventually because that’s just me!

  2. Dottie

    Here is an answer by another….http://findingjoy.net/24-awesome-things-moms-do/#.VzyE4L6PE3g
    BUT….I would answer : Chauffer, psychologist, companion, educator, doctor, laundress, negotiator, homework supervisor, 24 hrs a day on call even when sick…and last but not least…The most fulfilled person in the whole scheme of things…..Would not give up one day for the world….and some day…all you mothers out there….will be wishing back just one day to hug them, kiss, them, love them and tell them they gave so much more to you than you did to them.

  3. Cathy

    Good for you! I struggled with this through my 20’s. I started out living ‘the dream’ – i was all full of light and love and high expectations for staying at home. And I HATED it. I don’t judge others any longer!! Of course I did when I was 20. When I was 20 I knew everything about everything. 🙂 Now I know nothing and most things. One thing I absolutely do – as a mom even(!) – is feel like your friend. I wonder what moms DO… how you can feel fulfilled? I admire the heck out of it because I just couldn’t. It is EXTREMELY sacrificial to forgo the adult world and the applause and paycheck – but mostly the social and “atta girls”. It just wasn’t something I could do, even though I had the choice!

    Also – if you want help with your site, that’s what I do! I’m going to get a group of us together – the midlife bloggers/ gen x bloggers – whatever we are… 🙂

    Loved your answer! And completely agree with that sacrifice part – and the impact you put into the world.



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