Your home: the best company to work for

Do you love your job?

No, I mean, really love it? Or are you just doing it because someone has to stay home with the kiddos, and well, the laundry isn’t going to fold itself?

Many of us have “bonus” jobs – we work from home for pay in various ways, and some of you even leave the house to work. But today, I’m only talking about your job as a home manager.

Because there are two important parts to my original question – it IS indeed a job, and it’s hopefully one you love.

Running a home is not unlike running a business, and you’re doing yourself (and your family) a disservice to treat it otherwise. If your home was Home, Inc., would it succeed? Would its accounts balance financially? Would your team members thrive and find satisfaction in spending most of their waking hours there?

And are you happy with your job? Are you aware of the weight and magnitude of the role God has given you – that you’re privileged to guide and grow a small fraction of the next generation? Does it thrill you to pieces that as a home manager, you get to provide a haven for the very people you happen to love more than any in the world?

Give yourself a little motivational kick today by reminding yourself that running your home is indeed a job, regardless of the lucrative lack of pay. But you’re also blessed to have one of the most important jobs on earth.

There are accounts to balance, supplies and tools to be organized, brainstorming sessions to be had, plans for leading your “team,” training sessions aplenty, and benefits to enjoy.

Being a home manager IS a job. And it’s one of the best out there. Grab your cup of coffee, clock in today, and do it well.

I don’t pretend to think it’s easy to think this way. How easy or hard is it for you to have a good attitude as you work at home? What tasks are the hardest to enjoy? The easiest?

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. Morning,

    Great article! The hardest tasks to balance is when to implement tough love and discipline – I *hate* having to implement consequences when kids choose to push boundaries. Have to do it, of course, but wow – it’s draining (but really successful in the end).

    Easiest task? Laughing with them. 🙂

    Enjoy, Barbara

    Barbara Lings last blog post..Time Sensitive Insane Luxury – 200K Ancient Territorial Princely and Noble Title

  2. Yes, discipline is a very difficult one. I just keep reminding myself that it’s much easier to deal with a 3-year-old lying about drawing on a wall than a 16-year-old lying about sneaking out in the middle of the night.

    If I focus my energies on her character NOW, there’s less chance of needing to do serious intervention later in life.

  3. Sometimes, I wish I worked outside the home. It’d be easier. But I’ve been a SAHM for the better part of the last 12 years – so I don’t know that I’d be able to. My biggest problem now is my health issues that make my life difficult so I don’t know if I COULD work outside the home either. I think my biggest issue with being home all.the.time is no time tom myself.

    Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near Yous last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Lupine Edition

  4. I looooove being at home. Love it. The hardest thing for me to do in my home is the cleaning. I’m able to keep it tidy and straight. I loooove tidy and straight, but the actual cleaning is hard to get to alont with working part-time (husband is self employed and I help him with the bills, payroll, etc), homeschooling, children activities (and we limit that to one activity/club/whatever and one instrument/music lesson), and life in general. Right now if you came to my home, it would be in order. You wouldn’t immediately notice anything. But stay a while and you would *see* I haven’t dusted in 2 weeks and the microwave needs to be cleaned. I’m giving it a thorough cleaning sometime within the next 2 days. I can’t wait…

    Kats last blog post..Wasting my time / 30 days A New Habit

  5. Thanks for the wake up call :o) I work from home as a graphic designer and a blogger, and having my two-year-old at home with me makes it quite a balancing act. Add cooking, cleaning, trips to the park, to that, and it’s a wonder I make it some days. Thankfully, a big smile and “I love you” from my baby girl, who loves hugs and kisses, is all I need to remind me that there’s no place I’d rather be :o)

    Jennae @ Green Your Decors last blog post..Start Them Off in Style: Stella Stackable Units

  6. Hmmm…the hardest part – probably depends on the day. Today is one of those days where the hardest part is simply being awake. Maybe it’s just learning to accept the bad days that come without feeling like I’m somehow failing my family because I’m not on my game as much as usual. The easiest part – watching my kids enjoy life, play together, laugh, thank me for lemonade, etc. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to enjoy that.

  7. Just a note to say hello. I am home as well and I love it. Will be dragging my feet next fall when I return to work as a PE teacher.

    Rachels last blog post..Hot, sexy yoga clothes

  8. Yes, running 2 biz from home with my husband and raising a 4 year old is BUSY to say the least! The thing I enjoy most is getting to spend so much time with my daughter. One thing that helps me be able to get some work done (a few hours a day when she is home) is I put a desk in my office just for her – it is filled with “create” supplies – markers, colored pencils, scissors, paper, journals, etc. She loves “working” right next to me.

    J 🙂

    LobotoMEs last blog post..{ sacred space }

  9. @Dawn – Have you thought about making a point of getting your alone time when it’s possible? Is your husband willing to stay home with the kiddos a few evenings a month? That might help you clear your head and give you some perspective. Just a thought – hang in there. 😉

    @Kat – Um, are we sisters? Because it sounds like it!

    @Jennae – It is indeed hard to balance working hours and parenting hours. For me, I stop working if it ever interferes with my job as SAHM and home manager, and then I work (i.e. graphic design and blog) after running the home/family, and after language learning.

    @Laura – Been there, done that! I find that grace and coffee often help on those days. 🙂

    @LobotoME – Love that idea! I’m in the midst of organizing our craft cabinet, and I think my daughter would love a little desk for her to get her “work” done, as she often calls it. I might have to look into your idea!

  10. Running my home is the hardest job I ever had. I have 3-1/2 yr old triplets and a 6 month old and this is way harder than a room full of 25 1st graders that I used to have! It’s easy to get buried here, my hardest task is keeping up with everything and the clutter — I try to declutter but the interruptions here are unbelieveable and getting any task accomplished is next to impossible. The best thing is being with the kids and seeing their joy in little things. I’m lucky to get to stay home with them and I feel I haven’t missed a thing with them like I would if they were at daycare. I’m going to try to change my thought process about our home and see if things get a little easier! I’m a recent fan of your site and am enjoying your insight! Thanks!

    Mindys last blog post..Ahhhhhhh . . . sleeping in

  11. Thank you for this post today! It’s what I needed to hear. I’ve just been in a frump all week (for the past month) 🙂 I am a SAHM and homeschool, plus I watch my (just turned) 1yr old niece. Things can be pretty hectic. This proved to be a GREAT reminder of the Blessing God has betowed upon me. Thank you!! 🙂

    Ashleys last blog post..Summer Cherries

  12. I loved this post. I think how we look at our job makes all the difference. I start my days with a to do list and a general routine. Those two things are life savers.

    The hardest part for me is feeling the weight of what I do. Shaping my kids childhoods! That carries such an enormous responsibility. I easily lose sight of the fact the God is their primary influence, not me. He is really in control of their lives, not me. My job is super important, but He is their Sovereign. When I forget that, the pressure becomes almost too much. But when He reminds me, I am free to enjoy the gifts He has given and the weight comes off.

    Thanks so much for this great post!

    Tami@ourhouses last blog post..Russian movie viewers can now flock to Moscow Flix website for renting russian DVD’s

  13. Um, that link that attached to my comment? Not sure what that was about.

    Tami@ourhouses last blog post..Russian movie viewers can now flock to Moscow Flix website for renting russian DVD’s

  14. This was great. I think I will print it out and read it on the mornings I need it.

    Rachel@SmallNotebooks last blog post..McDonald’s Iced Coffee: Just Say No!

  15. This is my 2nd attempt as a SAHM( taking an extended leave of absence from my job). Being a homemaker really has it’s fair share of stresses and problems but I rather have it then trade it for office politics and bickering adults in my previous workplace. It is a tough balancing act with little immediate rewards but certainly worth the time and effort I spend on it.

  16. It’s so funny…after recently deciding to pass Today’s Homemaker (the blog I started a year ago) into more capable hands, I went to a homeschooling convention and God gave me a vision for my family and my home that I have never experienced before. Oddly, it served as confirmation that I did the right thing. God has completely changed my attitude about how I use my talents on a daily basis, and I am so thankful! I just thought it was so interesting that you chose to post on this topic today, as it is something so fresh in my heart this week. 🙂

    Sarah Brays last blog post..An anniversary of meager proportions

  17. This hit me square between the eyes! I NEED this kind of encouragement. I love my kids and I want to be home with them but I really struggle with staying at home (see thoughts from my heart) Thank you for this post!

    Jane Anne Owens last blog post..Thankful Thursday #43

  18. I love being a wife/mom/homemaker. Lately though, I’m afraid I would be fired. I’m so pathetically behind on my housework/laundry. And then I’m overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start. That part is very frustrating. I also struggle with meal planning and preparation. It seems like 5pm rolls around and I’m standing at the fridge wondering what I can throw together in the next hour.

    BUT… the kids and I have enjoyed trips to the pool, library, and park. We’ve had a picnic or two. We’ve read books and been watching less TV. So, it’s not a total loss. 😉

    Being home with my kids is a huge privilege. It hasn’t always been easy (in many different ways), but it’s ALWAYS been worth it!

    I loved this post. What a good reminder!

    Jenny Ds last blog post..Funny Boys

  19. What a great post – it’s nice to be reminded of the good things about staying at home. No, it’s not always easy to keep a positive attitude, but it’s good to strive for that. Seeing my girl laugh and snuggling with her make it all worth it and always puts a smile on my face.

    Jenns last blog post..Twitter, anyone?

  20. YOU guys are such an encouragement to me! So it’s very much reciprocal. Thanks so much for sharing your current stories of where you’re at. Your honesty is just what I need to hear, too.

    A few years ago, a mentor of mine told me something that rings true for me every day – that those interruptions we have every 5 minutes as SAHMs aren’t really interruptions, they ARE our day. I may have an agenda to pay bills, clean out the fridge, go to the post office, etc., but my primary job really is to be an influence on my children.

    It’s worth the time to discipline for those little things, because that’s my main job. And it’s worth it to stop what I’m doing and play with blocks.

  21. Perfect post for the first day of summer vacation with three kids home from school and two home based businesses to run. Thank you for the reality check. It is a great job and I am very fortunate that God has given me this position @ Erickson Family Inc.

    pattis last blog post..Schools Out for Summer!

  22. What a great reminder that I need to work on my customer service skills! 🙂

    I work out of the home 2 days a week, approx 12 hours total. The hardest thing for me to do is to “shift gears” on those days!

    bees last blog post..What You Don’t Want to Read

  23. Love your post! I find myself forgetting what my primary job is here at home. My Kids. I get caught up in doing my work stuff, that I look at those “interruptions” your mentor talked about as “interruptions” and not as “my

    Inspiring post, and got me to refocus once again, my priorities as a sahm.
    (now I’m off to go do a dinosaur puzzle, lol!)

    Irenes last blog post..The Stay At Home Survival Guide

  24. What a great article.. I am constantly inspired!! I’m new to your site, 3 days young 🙂 I’m still trying to go through your past posts!!! I am taking your posts and questions and answering them in my journal for future scrapbooking.. 🙂

  25. I never doubted that running the household and taking care of our finances and the kids is a real job. It’s very real, highly demanding, and very satisfying.

    To answer your questions:
    Apart from taking care of the kids, which is in many ways the hardest but also the most satisfying aspect:
    My favorite task: managing our finances.
    The hardest one (impossible?) for me to enjoy: laundry!

    Vereds last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: The Glamour of Air Travel

  26. Thank you. I needed to hear this today.

    Annes last blog post..I am Australian

  27. This is one of those things that, intellectually I get it and believe it, but the day to day grind leaves me feeling like a tree that’s fallen in the woods, and no one is there to hear it; Will my work make a difference? Will my children look back at these times and love and appreciate me (this is especially hard when I’ve spent the day saying “no” a lot, and having to discipline more than usual)? I find the drudge work very easy to take care of, that it is what screams the loudest to me. What is hard for me is to let the dusting sit and take advantage of the moments that may mean the most to my family.

  28. I stay and work at home, so arguably I have the best of both worlds. I wouldn’t trade the life I have right now for anything .

    The worst part of my day would be cleaning. Luckily, I have help in that department.

    The best part of my day would be making some time to spend with my son in the evenings, just the two of us, talking about his day, his friends, the new movie we’re going to catch, anything at all. We truly have the best job in the world!

    PreSchool Mamas last blog post..Beach Art Activity for PreSchoolers

  29. I’m a work-at-home mom and it is easy to sometimes get my priorities mixed up and put my graphic design work ahead of my home management work. My little one is 9 months old now and she is getting so active and is so curious about her world that it is easy for me to get frustrated with her because I’m trying to meet a deadline. I have a CD that is just instrumental gospel music that I put on when I feel myself reaching that stressed point, I put the computer down and spend a few minutes with her, playing with her and getting her involved in another activity then a take a minute to breath deeply and have a word of prayer and then I start to work again while the CD continues to play. My daughter and I both love music and the soothing tones of that CD help both of us!

    I often feel like I’m not getting all the things done I need to get done and not giving my God the time and devotion I want to give him, but I’m working on it and I think I see a bit of improvement.

    The best thing about being home is being with my little girl and being able to be there for all the new things she is learning.

    Blesseds last blog post..When you can’t say no…

  30. My wife stays home with our children. I am blessed to have a wife willing to dedicate herself to something so incredibly important. I believe with all my heart that it will give our daughters more than a second income ever could. In some ways, stay-at-home moms make great sacrifices by putting aside their ambition to raise children. However, it is an investment like no other! My hat is off to all of you that do it.

    Jeff@MySuper-Charged Lifes last blog post..25 Ways to Enjoy An Old-Fashioned Summer With The Kids

  31. I quit my social work job to stay home a month before my first child was born. Six years later and with an almost-six and a one-year-old, I absolutely love my job and have never once regretted my decision to put the career aside for my family. I had a different perspective coming from social work: I could tell which children had been given a loving family start in life and which had been in a group child care setting. The attitudes and demeanors were different. I decided years before children that I’d be staying home, and fortunately my husband’s job supports us very well. I feel like I’m doing an important job teaching and training my part of the next generation here, and I have no desire to re-enter the workforce anytime soon!

    Amy G.s last blog post..It’s Friday!

  32. Thank you, all of you, for sharing your perspectives and your stories. I’m reading them all.

  33. I’ve just had an aha! moment. I am a teacher and think of myself as a homemaker only when I’m off for the 10 or so weeks a year that I’m a sahm. Duh! I need to think of it as my job year-round. Then perhaps, it wouldn’t look as if a tornado has struck during the school year! 🙂

    Omaha Mamas last blog post..To Do

  34. CiderSapling says:

    This post is amazingly good timing for me. Two days ago, I thought to myself: “This is my job. And I hate it.” So I’ve spent the last 48 hours figuring what I hate about the job and how to fix it. I will not give up on being a SAHM. I don’t truly hate the job but hate what I perceive as my failure to succeed at my job. I look around and see the piles of laundry, dishes, toys, dust and think “Wow, I’m really terrible at this job. If it were a ‘real job’ I would have been fired by now.” In the last 48 hours I’ve rearranged my priorities, set aside what the strictures I feel society is placing on us, and put my kids back at the top of the list. Sure, laundry, dishes, etc. all needs to be done. But at the end of the day if I can say that I spent quality time with my children, loving them, teaching them, guiding them, and enjoying them, then my day was a success. The laundry might be a bit wrinkly from sitting in the basket, but it can wait while I acheive my primary goal: raising my children.

    I love interacting with my kids, I hate the redundant chores like laundry and diapers. This evening, after rearranging my priorities and my perspective, I love my job again.

  35. @Omaha – Great revelation!

    @CiderSapling – What a wonderful change in perspective. I agree, I don’t always love those repetitive chores either, but when you look at the big picture – that parenting your kids is your priority, and that even laundry is blessing your family, things change.

  36. Thanks for this to-the-point post!

    I decided to be home full-time after the birth of my first son. I LOVED it. I loved being free of my job. I liked being on a relaxed, open schedule. Life with a baby was an adjustment but we had pretty smooth sailing. I started writing again and was enjoying some newfound independence.

    Then we had our second child two years ago, and everything totally fell apart. (Mainly me.) If I were to use your work analogy, I would say that in retrospect, we weren’t prepared for the project ahead and we’ve spent most of our energy just trying to get back on our feet.

    Things are better now… and continuing to improve. I sometimes DO think of being a mom as a job, and it can help motivate me. But mainly for motivation I push myself to be honest and find it within me to move from my heart.

    If I’m not able to do it, then I try to shore up support for me (some down time, being with friends, meditating, writing, etc.), so I have more to give to my kids and family.

    It breaks my heart when I struggle through the days, but as time goes on, I develop more and more techniques for getting us centered and connected, and “back in the black.”


    Stacy (mama-om)s last blog post..HirryCwinton and HarackBama

  37. Great post. I’m home full time and I think that it does get dismissed as unfulfilling unless you are “mommy material”. I’ve never been a kid person, I basically am only interested in my own kids, and I’m pretty ambitious. But being home full time can be very fulfilling for everyone if you have the right perspective. I love having the opportunity to direct my own life, and manage my goals and my goals for my family.

  38. I loved your article. My least favorite task is getting the laundry done. I wish I could also find more time to iron our clothes. Thanks for giving all the stay at home moms a boost.

    zobarss last blog post..Orange is beautiful.

  39. Loved this. And it is, by far the best job I’ve had. My benefits are priceless!

  40. Even though I am not a mom yet, I love reading your articles and applying ideas to my life. I am newly married, and while I like to think I did a pretty good job “managing” my life, I got a little overwhelmed when I started to manage his too! I don’t have a job right now because we are moving extra frequently as of late (military). Reading this, I realize I was getting depressed that I didn’t have a “job”, a reason to be productive–thank you for reminding me that I do, even without kiddos!

  41. Honestly? Some days I don’t like this job that much. It is so never-ending and tiring and sometimes I find it boring. Thank goodness there are days that are amazing and fill me with gratitude to have this life and to be a mom and wife. But on the bad days, I remember why I had an out of home job after both kids #1 and #2 (and at about the one year mark with each is when I wanted to go back to work, but it’s not happening this time!)

  42. Thank you so much for this post. It really came at the right time for me. I have been struggling with this exact same thing.

    Beth´s last blog post…No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk

  43. I love love love this post. Thanks.

  44. Thanks for the great post. Good advice! Work day to day can be extremely difficult. Is the answer to enjoy what you do or do what you enjoy? It’s tough. Thanks for you insight though.

    I stumbled upon this blog like I did yours. Though their insight on work was very meaningful:

    Thanks for the post! I’d love to see more like it.

  45. Great reminders. (The pictures seem to have gone missing though.)

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