House Frau

On Wednesday Everett approached me with a school form in his hand.  He asked if he could spend the day with me on Thursday because it was Take Your Child to Work Day.  My immediate response was one of sarcasm as in “Oh, right – you just want to get out of school!”  Followed by the demeaning thought that well, I don’t have a job.  This was confirmed by Marshall who blurted out just that *snort* “Mom, you don’t have a job.”  Luckily my brain kicked into gear and I proudly told Everett, “By golly I do have a job, a very important job as a matter of fact!  And I would love to have you spend the day with me.”  I filled out his form which had lines for two signatures – one for the parent, and one for the employer.  Guess what?  I signed both lines, because I am my own boss.  Don’t you even think you’re the boss of me Mr. Smoothpebble! 

We started off the day with instructions on how to start the dishwasher (where the powder goes, and what setting to put it on).  Then we moved on to ironing.  He learned how to properly iron a dress shirt, pants with pleats, and other things.  I must admit a little trill of glee escaped my lips when he started to get frustrated with the wrinkles and such.  And at one point he actually had a little hissy fit and had a moment of ironing rage.  What can I say, I burst out laughing and then so did he.  I restrained from saying something like “So, you think it’s all fun and games do ya???”

raising them with skills by you.

important skills to know by you.

Next he helped me hang laundry.  Dang I think every day should be Take Your Child to Work Day!!   Mama's "little" helper by you.

We unloaded the dishwasher, he cleaned a bathroom, mowed the lawn and worked on his book report.  And we still didn’t get to everything on my Stay At Home Mama to-do list.  While we worked I also explained to him our philosophy of why we felt it important to have a parent at home while we raised our kids.  That we wanted to raise them ourselves and not have a daycare provider raising them.  With me being home we feel I’m better able to provide my family with good nutrition and to be available for all of those little moments.   Also, that even though they are all in school now it’s as important as ever to us to be available to go to track meets and field trips and get them to their sports practices, etc. and to be around for the multitude of conversations, and to not feel like we try to cram all of our parenting into a few evening hours.  Please, please, please don’t be offended by this if you are a working parent.  Because I have the utmost respect for those of you who work and work at home too.  I just wanted to impress upon this young man that being a mother and taking care of ones family and household is a noble job.  Who knows maybe he has a little different perspective after spending a day being a “House Frau”!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. ibbyskibby says:

    I think this was probably a very valuable experience for your son. I’m so glad he thought to ask you. My husband stays at home with our son and there are so many reasons why this is so RIGHT.

    I miss lots of the little things that my toddler does. Just today, I learned that he likes homemade granola with milk, but that he just drinks off serving after serving of milk, but doesn’t really eat the granola…it appears he likes flavored milk best.

    I had a bittersweet moment when my hubby told me this little detail, but I recovered immediately by being thankful that I am hearing this from little guy’s daddy, not a daycare provider. (Where, on second thought, homemade granola probably wouldn’t be allowed due to its high nut content and honey sweetener and unpasteurized milk!)

    My husband and I each had stay-at-home moms, and know how important it was to each of us. I have the happiest memory of things like apple slices and cucumber sticks after my long hot walk home from school.

    Good for you, and good for your boy for appreciating it.

  2. MichelleB says:

    A great idea and a great lesson! But I have to be bad and say – he doesn’t already know how to run the dishwasher? However, now that he has this wonderful knowledge, I think he should use it. Often. LOL

  3. Love the cheeky grin and the fabulous idea. You always word everything so vividly and make me giggle. I should try that with my oldest son, who is 15 and all the others too. xo

  4. simplyblogged says:

    How fun! Cute kid and it looks like he had a great time. =]

  5. I love it. Brilliant! Genius!!! And his future wife should thank you as well. I’m now thinking that most husbands with “work at home wives” should be required to spend the day being the “house frau” as well.

    Stay at home Moms do their work so silently and consistantly, it goes unnoticed. Take for instance, M’s brother tells the story of when he moved out of his parent’s (immaculate) home into his first apartment. After a few weeks he noticed that his toilet looked like…well…poop. The boy never ever knew that someone actually had to clean the thing out. His mother just did it quietly and it was totally unnoticed….like so many other things.

    I could keep going, but this is turning into a post instead of a comment. ; ) jan

  6. Ayama says:

    😀 I am so glad Everett had that experience…. By the time I was your young men’s age, Donnie was in small business and we were doing most of those jobs. Little brother and I decided it would be really cool to let her come home and put her feet up after a busy day at work and we could just hang with her, like the “good old days”.

  7. Diane says:

    Awesome. I loved the pics when I saw them this morning but I love them more now that I read the story. I am SO GLAD that you smacked down the first demeaning thought!!!

  8. Heather says:

    I love hearing about other stay at home moms of school age kids. I have 2 teen-aged boys & a 9 yr old girl. At times I feel they think all I do is watch tv & eat bon-bons while they are in school, but being a military family need at least one parent available for stability.

  9. Briana says:

    this is great! I love that you took advantage of this opportunity for your son to know what goes on in your world. And good job holding in the sarcasm. 🙂

  10. Rachel says:

    Such a great thing to do! People still don’t understand what it takes to run a home and manage a family!

  11. wonderful, jackie! my mom was home with us growing up, and i think i’d be a different person if she had a full time job. who knows if kids will be a part of my life in the future, but if they are i hope that one parent is able to spend time with them at home.

  12. jacquie says:

    love that you did this! what a wonderful experience and time spent with you. ironing…that’s one thing i never taught my sons….a gap in their domestic education. oops!

  13. ellen kelley says:

    Super good for the school for doing this..and Fantastic for you that you took the challenge and declared: “Damn, we are something to reckon with. We do have a JOB and it is one of the hardest in the world.”
    I have always loved and respected the words “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.”
    Mothers, fathers and the home are so important. Giving yourself credence for what you do is immeasurable.
    Teaching your sons to appreciate all that you do AND teaching them how to do it is so important.
    Girl children and boy children all need to know that it takes all members to make a family. Cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking, shopping, driving, picking up, supporting, stories read, beds made, people tucked in with love and attention, listening, laughing, holding hands, crying and hugging… ad infinitum…(I know that it is a word..I just probably have screwed it up)…it’s a whole world there in a family, whether there are one or six children.
    Hooray to you and to Everett. Special people, special times and special outcomes.

  14. Melinda says:

    this is so great!
    very proud of you for stepping up and providing him the opportunity too!

  15. Patricia says:

    I think your clarity about your work is impressive. No matter where/how we work, it’s important for parents to articulate the values behind our choices to our children. You did that really beautifully with Everett.

  16. This is sooo cool. Love your posts and I’m with Diane on holding down that first demeaning thought. He learned a lot whether he knows it now or not, it will come back to him.
    I was a stay at home for 14 years with a few odd and end part, part time gigs once in a while, so I can relate with your feelings. hoppefully you can try it with your other sons as well.
    peace n abundance

  17. threesneakybugs says:

    Such an important lesson! Great job.

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