Your home: the best company to work for

This post was first published on June 12, 2008.


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.

And as a mom.

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,

Photo by CJ Peters

supplies and tools to be organized,

Photo by bunnies almost

brainstorming sessions to be had,

Photo by pyrogenic

ample time to plan how you’ll lead your “team,”

Photo by thediesel

training sessions aplenty,

Photo by Ryan Bengtson

and the best part – benefits to enjoy.

Photo by Greg Lawler

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?

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. If you want to treat it like a business, then here’s my business response. For good attitudes, my employees (self included) do nothing for the first hour of work. Rather it’s a time to get the day started on a positive attitude, either by sitting in front of the TV watching ESPN, making comments on, or taking in some extra sleep at their desk. The point is, if I can get them relaxed and loose in the morning then the rest of the day runs much more smoothly. It also helps that it’s a design company so the environment is easy going.

    Marvyn´s last blog post…Sophie Giraffe Toy

  2. Southern Gal says:

    Thanks. I needed that.

  3. i have struggled with this from day one. my husband is very encouraging in terms of wanting me to think of this as a job… but let’s face it, very few women in my generation were raised to think this way. i certainly wasn’t – i always got the impression from my mother that taking care of a home was just one huge chore, rather than a loving task or a job that we’re called to do.
    i do believe that for this time in my life, i am called to the job of being at home full time… but it is HARD to accept it as my job. at the end of the day, i look at the bathroom that i cleaned (now dirty again), the kitchen (same thing)… and i wonder why it is all supposed to be so worthwhile.

    Krista´s last blog post…A weekend we won’t soon forget

  4. hardest task to enjoy – the LAUNDRY by far.

    Denise´s last blog post…Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

  5. After last night, this is definitely a pick me up. Oh and this morning isn’t becoming an easier. But I am clocking in and will do my best to love my job today and everyday.

  6. I needed that too. Thanks

    Janet´s last blog post…A Gift for………….Me?

  7. I also needed to read that tonight. It was good to be reminded that my job is not to be taken lightly… that God has indeed given me such a big responsibility in my kids.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement! The world so often downplays the role of home manager or stay-at-home mom. But it is an important full-time job!!

    Sarah H.´s last blog post…I’ll Be Homemade for Christmas – Gifts Using Words

  9. This year I am a student and I spend a lot of my time at home, where I do a lot of my work. This is my last year as a student, so I try to enjoy every second of it. I know next year I will be working 40 – 50 hours a week, and I will get to see my son a lot less. So even folding laundry in the middle of the day becomes a little brighter because I know I am home, with him.

    Lucie @ Unconventional Origins´s last blog post…Holiday Coping Tips for the Unconventional Family

  10. I just love your blog:) You encourage and bless me! Thank you!

    Nikki´s last blog post…Lottie Moon

  11. We had a party yesterday, and I so enjoyed looking around the house right before it began. Everything was clean and organized. It’s quite satisfying! So, I guess for me, the hardest part of home management is just watching how quickly a house can get cluttered and disorganized after I’ve cleaned it. As far as least favorite tasks go…my least favorite is probably ironing, but when I’m ironing, I try to pray for the ones who fill all those shirts and pants. This turns a tedious job into a time of blessing and thanks. I don’t want to sound too spiritual here, because sometimes I just turn on a movie while I’m ironing and I forget to pray!

    Sandy´s last blog post…Love Thy Neighbor

  12. Love this! Thanks for the reminder and sharing. Gotta go, am on the clock. 🙂

    CarolinaMama´s last blog post…Christmas Crafty Thursday Fun 🙂

  13. I have mixed feelings about this post! I work full time from home (something I’d rather not be doing), but I’m not seeing the kids blossom as much as they did while in daycare or while I was home. (Daycare not an option right now). When I first read your post, I felt blessed because much of what needs to be done IS really up to me, as my husband doesn’t share all my faith and values.

    On the other hand, thinking of my home like ANOTHER job is depressing. I work 2 jobs right now, and take care of most chores, and I’m trying to seriously work on a novel. Making this feel like another job is tiring but I do see the value of it.

    ginabad´s last blog post…A little humor

  14. But where’s the vacation time?

  15. I love my job! I just don’t like my stay at home paid job as much. I do my “paid” job to help us get out of debt.

    I am so blessed to stay home and teach my kids. I LOVE IT!

    Dana @ Letters to Elijah´s last blog post…Live feed: Tub Finished!

  16. Wow, I’m from a dual income 2 child household, and when I stay home with the kids for a week life is INCREDIBLY easy. Try getting a real job before comparing relaxing on the couch to work.

    Doing laundry every two days and tidying up every day hardly constitutes a full time job. Going for walks with the kids and visiting the library are not work. Reading to your kid is not work.

    • I probably shouldn’t even dignify this post with a response, but I must. Seriously? You must have a whole lot of help. However, you do admit that when you are home with your kids its for a week at a time. I’m sure its fun when its temporary. I think its terribly sad that you spend that week “relaxing on the couch” instead of engaging with your children – if I read that right. I’m lucky if my butt hits the couch on a weekend, let alone
      I have worked full time outside the home, stayed home full time and now work part time out of the house. I do professional work and by far, my outside the house work is WAY easier than staying home with 2 children full time. I think the biggest misconception many people have about staying home with your kids is that it is EASY! Knowing you are solely responsible for every bit of their time, nutrition, sleep, development, hygiene, emotional & social well being with absolutely no consideration for yourself – no coffee breaks, no lunch breaks, no opportunity to talk on the phone, clock in, clock out, be praised for a good job, receive compensation that says “job well done”, often times no adult conversation, no sick days, no vacation (parenthood is a 24/7 job – harder than any other 8-6 I’ve had). Basically working for a non-profit as the available funds are usually reduced with only one income makes just the financial piece a challenge. When my kids were in daycare, one of the greatest benefits was that I got to go to the bathroom when I wanted/needed to and I didn’t go to bed every night having to plan what the next’s day agenda was for my kids, in addition to my own life, and my job as a household manager. My daycare took care of everything. They potty-trained my child, fed her, taught her to read, made sure she slept and paced the floor with her when she didn’t, they dealt with tantrums and taught her to share. They found the creative activities for her to do – taught her how to use scissors and build her hand muscles, so she could learn to write, they called in a custodian to clean up when she threw yogurt and mac and cheese all over the walls. One of the best perks of working full time and having my kids in daycare was that I had less laundry to do (the daycare did their own sheets when my child was potty training) and my house never got dirty because we weren’t home much and the hours we were we were sleeping. In a lot of ways, my life was a whole lot easier. But, then again, someone else was raising my children and someone else taught my child to write and go potty and watch her take her first steps.

      I’ve had some hard jobs both physically challenging and mentally challenging and by far, my job as Mom has been the hardest – maybe because I take it more seriously than any other job!

      For whatever reasons you make the choices you make, God bless you for it. But, please….before you make snide comments, try the job…. when you’ve stayed home with your kids for a whole year, then maybe you will have credibility to speak criticism into SAHM’s lives.

      • Traciatim, If I read this before I had my son, I probably would have agreed with you. I didn’t think that stay-at-home moms do much. But after I’ve tried the job for a year, I can say this much – I was used to working many hours, working toward deadlines and under pressure, the jobs were intellectually stimulating and challenging but NOTHING is as hard as staying at home with kids (and I only have one!) .

        Emma´s last blog post…Feeding your baby – how much and how often?

  17. There it is, I’ll just stop blogging now. You’ve said all I wanted to say. 😉

    Thanks for such encouragement – you said it very well. And on that note, I’m logging off to go make breakfast for my peeps.

    FishMama´s last blog post…Budget Living: Counting the Cost

  18. I’ve been having similar thoughts. Being a home manager is a job. The best one for me. It’s also a lot of hard work, at least for me. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

    stephaniesmommybrain´s last blog post…Have you ever… ?

  19. Thank you! I really needed that. I dont have all day to be home and keep my house running smoothly but it has thankfully given me the encouragement to work a little harder this weekend to get it back up and running.

    alva´s last blog post…HOLIDAYS

  20. loved this post- we’ve been sick this week and have fallen a bit behind, so it was such great encouragement! it’s so easy to get stuck in the mundane of everyday and forget what simple joys are all around us in our homes!


    jodi´s last blog post…Crawling Back Out

  21. My sweet 1 year old associate here at Home Inc, is in a very clingy stage. Last night, feeling frusterated that I couldn’t “get anything done” it occured to me that my job IS to lay on the floor and let the kid crawl all over me. To hold him, put him down, pick him up again immediately, put him down, hold him….you get the idea.

    I do love my job…..I LOVE it. But I have to continually remind myself “what” my job is. The Job description keeps changing…..but it only seems to get better and better! Thanks for this great post. It is perfect timing for me!

    Sara´s last blog post…What Do You Do For Christmas

    • This is so true and I, too have to remind myself of this sometimes. They are only this age for such a short time, and we can never get it back. So, if the laundry goes unfolded or the dishes sit in the sink because I am playing with my son, oh well! They will still be there later when he is napping!

      Christy´s last blog post…Great news…

  22. Really a nice post. Yes, I love my job.

  23. Thank you so much for this post. It moved me to tears–I’ve been so busy doing things outside the home (because of a need to do things more “important”), that I lost sight of what is actually most important. My family and my home need me right now, and that is the best job I could ever have. Thank you so much for reminding me of this. Now I’m off to clean my “workplace!”

  24. I, too, want to thank you for this post. I really needed to read it today. I am blessed to be able to do a job I love and a appreciate the reminder that I do love it and it is worthwhile.

  25. Thank you so much for this encouragement. The hardest thing for me is cleaning something, going back 10 minutes later and you can’t tell I did anything. Have a blessed day.

    BJ´s last blog post…Good Morning.

  26. I feel very honored to stay at home with my boss, a 19 month-old ball of energy. He’s the best boss I’ve ever had.

    This is the best job I’ve ever had and I try not to ever take it for granted. At the end of every day, I may not have all the dishes clean or laundry done, but I can point to one moment and say that I wouldn’t change a thing because I got to see ‘that.’

    Yesterday’s moment … playing in a ball pit.

    Nata-Leigh Preas´s last blog post…The Summary of the Cookie Exchange

  27. what a fantastic post!!!!

  28. I think this post is great! I have been thinking about this very topic recently as I live in Canada and a new report has just come out from Unicef ranking Canada as the lowest in a list of 25 developed nations in terms of their treatment of young children. On one hand they rank having a long parental leave as a good thing and then are looking at things like daycare workers being certified. I think the whole thing needs to be revamped. If a SAHM would be valued more women might actually feel good about choosing to stay at home. If I had a business cleaning peoples homes others would say “that’s great she’s a housekeeper” but when I say I clean my own home for a job it’s disdained. I find this time of year hard when I go to my husbands company party and all the glamour moms who work full time smile at me patronizingly and say “how nice” when I say I am a SAHM. And then make a comment like “I just couldn’t stay home as I need mental stimulation” Talk about a shot! Okay, now that I’ve gone off on a tangent I’ll stop. Thanks for the post.

  29. Thought-provoking! A great way to think about homemaking…if I looked at things that way, I think it would help me to have a better attitude about it and also just to do a better job. I am not very good at organizing my time or sticking to a consistent sort of schedule that will help with the organization. Laundry is hard for me, too, I don’t have the ideal set-up right now, so that doesn’t help. I am very thankful for my husband who helps so much with the things I have trouble getting to, like supper dishes. One of the things that has helped me the most to find joy here at home is simply to ask God to put it in my heart! Naturally, I am not a very homey, nurturing, self-disciplined person but I’m finding that God can change my heart when I depend on him for the strength I need to work this “job”.

    Becky Aguirre´s last blog post…Christmas is coming!

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This article was just what I needed today. Trying to juggle home life and two home-based businesses can get a little crazy and crazy was just what I was feeling this morning. Thanks for the encouragement.

    patti´s last blog post…Your Home: The Best Company To Work For

  31. It’s good for me to think of “clocking in” in the morning. I realize I need to give the same effort I would at my regular work.

  32. WOW! I needed that. I love my job but often do not look at it the way you posted. You made my day. THANK YOU!

  33. Thanks for this post. There are often days when I wonder “what am I doing? Is this what I’m here for?” Then there are those moments when your child says I love you out of the blue. Melts my heart. The hardest task for me is spreading myself too thin among all the obligations – I am learning to say no but it’s not that easy.

    Jen@OurDailyBigTop´s last blog post…Celebrate 12 days of Christmas

  34. Hooray for this post! I really appreciate the value you put on managing a home and raising a family. It seems like homemaking is often looked down upon by most of the world (except on Mother’s Day, of course). This post really reminded me of a book I read called “I am a Mother” by Jane Clayson Johnson – one major point in it is telling women to to make an effort, when asked what you do, to not say “I’m just a mom”. Instead, as she says in the book, we should remember how important our roles are and proudly assert, “I am a mother”. Just making that small change in my attitude has helped me a lot! Thanks for making me pause and reflect on my job!

    Heather´s last blog post…My List of Things That Must Go – Part 2

  35. All lot of people I know, including my husband, thinks that being a home manager is an easy job but the satisfaction that I get cannot be measured in monetary terms. I can see a vast difference in the ability and intellect between kids who are taken care by their moms and those that are fostered out or brought up by maid. 0-2 yrs old are fundementally important years which I would not want to trade off with any paid job outside the house.

    Dominique´s last blog post…Roy’s 2nd Birthday Cake

  36. Nice post. It’s all to easy to slip into thinking that our job goes unnoticed and unappreciated and your post is a good tonic for that.

    Mistress B´s last blog post…Note to self……….

  37. Another thank for you for this. It really touched me. Lately, I’ve gotten really bogged down by the drudgery of the “job”; the dishes constantly needing to be done, never being “caught up” with the laundry, the Christmas decorations sitting in boxes waiting to be brought out, the perpetual mess surrounding the kids and the puppy. Everyone once in awhile, I think it’s important to remember why we do it. And no matter how little acknowlegdement we get for it, we can still take pride in a job well done.

    Mary´s last blog post…A winter walk in the fields

  38. In response to an earlier post, I too thought that staying at home would be easy. After I took a job working online, I have found that now because someone is always home and the dogs (we have 2) are always out now with me, the house is terribly hard to keep clean. Before, when we both were at work, the kids were at school and the dogs were kept in their room all day, the house was very neat and clean. My friends talk about this all the time. When you stay at home, and actually live and use your house all day, it is a whole different story!

    Chris´s last blog post…New Amy Butler Patterns In The Shop

  39. Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been a SAHM for 5 1/2 years now and it’s starting to feel a little bit like Groundhog Day. I have 3 beautiful children that I love dearly, but I have to admit I feel like life is starting to get stale. Thankfully God is so good and he’s put several post like yours in my path this week. I appreciate the encouragement and the acknowledgement that being a SAHM is a job that requires good management.

    Candace (Mama Mia)´s last blog post…Because Between Making Toys Santa Likes to Read Blogs

  40. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE staying at home with my boys and try to cherish every minute of it. It is THE most important job in the world and THE most important thing I’ll do this side of heaven. Teaching these little people what’s important, respect and truth. I want to spend every moment I can raising these boys to be God fearing young men. I love to keep everything organized, scheduled, and in running order. My least favorite thing is handling the finances. Thankfully my great husband does that for us!

    Alisha´s last blog post…Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Small Children

  41. Thanks also for this post. I think it’s hard to think of staying at home as a “regular job”, because it is so different from most “regular jobs”. I think for me the hardest part was the absence of peers & built-in social network. And, while there are many perks & freedoms that go along with it – like staying in your pajamas till noon if you want or taking a long walk whenever you want – I still cannot go to the bathroom without shouting “I’ll be right back, honey – mommy’s here!” And my schedule is fairly inflexible based on naps and meals. So, it’s a teeter totter sometimes between the benefits and challenges. Doing this job for one week would not give you a real insight into how it feels to be doing it full time. I also think that the SAHM label is worn out. Most stay at home moms I know DON’T stay at home most the day. They are out at the parks, taking classes, running errands etc., etc. So, I prefer “Stay With Kids Mom” label – as I feel very fortunate to be handling the task of nurturing & raising my own child. That being said, it certainly isn’t always easy. It’s challenging to stay enthusiastic reading “Good Dog Carl” for the umpteenth time – along with other things that tend to become very repetitive. Thanks again for this post – I think making our very “domestic” job sound more “corporate” helps to legitimize our position a little more (at least in our own minds) – in this very business-oriented culture we live in.

  42. What a great reminder, thank you! It helps me so much to think of being a SAHM as a job. Otherwise, I find myself wondering aimlessly (so to speak) and just trying to get through the day. When I start watching the clock for when Daddy gets home, it is time for a reminder just like you posted!

    Holly Neitzel´s last blog post…tiny Decor Growth Chart

  43. Being a former banker and career woman, I have always considered my job as a home manager a career. It was my husband who first pointed out that I am the CEO and CFO of our home.

    Sometime it is a bit overwheming, but for the most part it works out great and I enjoy it. I think that is typical of any job.

    Loved your post today.

    PS-I’m very proud that I’m hosting my first giveaway on my blog this week!!

    Mommy2Twinkies´s last blog post…Six O’Clock Scramble Giveaway!

  44. Great post! Thanks for the reminders…it’s easy to get in a rut.

    Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead´s last blog post…The Benefits of Goals

  45. I love my job. I get to watch my kids grow and I know that I had something to do with it. I do not want to pay someone while I go to work to raise my kids. I would rather stay home with them while I can.

    I do feel that my house is never clean, that I can never keep up with it. There are days that I need “adult” friends and that I need to have conversation with someone besides a 4 year old.

    Over all I do not have any complain about, I just need a break sometimes.

    When my kids go to school I am getting a job.

  46. By far, the hardest task for me to keep up on is laundry. And de-cluttering. I don’t have a “place for everything” yet. Most things have one, just not all. It’s slow going, but I’m ok with that for now.

    One of the things that has encouraged me the MOST is remembering for whom I’m really doing this. And it’s not my husband or my kids. It’s my Lord. When my oldest was a baby, I remember railing at God because I felt like my gifts were going to waste being a SAHM.

    Then, very clearly, the verst that talks about “do everything as unto the Lord” popped into my head, and I distinctly remember asking Him, “How in the HECK do I change poopy diapers ‘unto the Lord?'”

    The answer came just as quickly, the thought came to mind that I was changing Jesus’ diapers and washing His dishes. Everything you do for the “least of these,” including your own family, is done for God.

    That has taken a HUGE load off of my shoulders. As long as I remember that I don’t live to please a man or my kids, but the One who created me, my job as a SAHM is more fulfilling than I could imagine.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement today!

    Faerylandmom´s last blog post…Weekend Links

  47. Well, today was sucky. Pretty sure that I did not enjoy my job today. Nor did I have ample time for anything. I’m currently on borrowed time (I should be sleeping). Am I staying home because I love it? Jury’s still out on that one. Do I sometimes think I’m going to go crazy? Yep. Definitely. Hope it gets better from here!

    thursday´s last blog post…I should probably work on keeping the floors cleaner…

  48. Yeah, I’d rather agree with the people who don’t see this as a real job. It makes me feel more like I’m on vacation. The only problem is: why is vacation so busy. :>)

  49. Thank you SO much, Simple Mom. I have been praying a lot lately, asking God for his will in my life, and he has told me that I need to put down my part time job to focus more on my family (I have a DH, and three DD, 5 mo, 2.5 years and 4.5 years). The home and the family have become more and more overwhelming for me recently, and it is because I have not been treating it as a JOB, I’ve been treating it as a hobby to be taken care of in my free time between playing with the kids and working my part time job. When God asked me to put my part time job aside and focus on my home, I was scared and uncertain. I was afraid of the lack of self, and the lack of appreciation. Your post really spoke to me about the love, and the importance of the work that it takes to manage a home correctly. THANK YOU!!

  50. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with my job lately – thanks for the encouragement – I appreciate it!

    Blessed´s last blog post…A Great Program for Kids

  51. This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read. Thank you!

  52. Interesting post! I ’m just not sure I understand it. For me the question is not: Is raising kids and being COE of a family a real job? Of course it is, what else. AND when I choose my “company”, one who is listed at Wall Street or my family company, I suppose I do that because I love what I do. Not all the time, not every day, but mostly.
    The real question for me is: Does a woman after giving birth to her child a real choice? And do MEN have a choice? Do we, women, let them have the choice to stay at home and do COE-family-job?
    We moved to Scandinavia to have this choice, to live in a country where family-needs are top-priority and where women AND MEN have the possibility to make this choices (and get financial help from the state if one of them chooses to stay at home, but where it is possible to see your kids even when both work).

    The second question coming to my mind is that I ‘m not sure that all mums have this God-given qualification to be the best and only person to raise kids. I ‘m definitely not. I love the work the preschool teachers of my kids do, I never would and will have the patience and engagement in playing they have, but I and my husband are good at giving other thing to my kids. So my husband and me share this “work” whit the teachers at school and preschool, and we share the work at home. I admit also in this case, that our house is not the cleanest in the road, but when friends come over I simply suppose that they want see us and not the cleanest house in town.
    Well, I must conclude that our blessing is to have the choice what kind of jobs we want to do! And to have BOTH the possibility to do to or three at the time!

    Trollinorge´s last blog post…Say Cheese

    • mmm… great points Trollinorge! We ask these questions in our house a lot! I think for us, I am wired to be a CEO. My Myers Briggs Type is ESTJ/ENTJ so my personality is suited to run several programs, know who needs to be where and when, make sure the myriad things involved with children, school, a household, etc. are done. My husband is not wired this way. He’s an artist, very detail oriented, but not so much big picture. He is completely capable of running the home, but it doesn’t suit his personality, and I think he would get very frustrated very quickly.

      I wish we had the choices and respect for family care in the U.S. that you all have! I applaud your choice to live somewhere where the life/work balance is a priority. We’ve kind of got it all goofed up here in the States.

  53. This is just what I needed to hear right now! Thank you! I was once told that I could be easily replaced at my job but never replaced at home…I love that mantra!

  54. Definitely, being a mom is the best job and lifelong career for any woman! Your article is very reflective and should be recommended to other moms out there who feel tired, bothersome, and worn out of keeping their family and house.

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