Stay at Home Moms measure productivity differently

It’s Wednesday morning and I’m wondering if I have done anything this week. I had this long list of things I wanted to accomplish. Being an entrepreneur, I must make sure I am completing goals that are are taking me somewhere. Where that somewhere is, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter. I just need to keep working at it till I figure it out. Aside from that, I have to be the mom that also cooks and takes care of the kids. Also must make sure that the house is not a complete mess by the end of the week because then I have a million things to take care of over the weekend. But hold on, didn’t I leave my job so I can become the ultimate homemaker and have the perfect little family and home? Doesn’t staying at home mean that I have more freedom of my time?

When I worked in an office there was not much planning or thinking of what I was going to do each day. Weekdays I went to the office and completed whatever task my boss expected from me. I had projects that had deadlines so I knew where my work-life was going. At home now I’m lost. It is up to me what my deadlines are, what projects I need to complete. And if I don’t have enough projects on my list then I’m not being productive or doing enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have my husband or anyone hounding me about the cleanliness of my house or how many times I cooked dinner this week. But I do have someone that is louder, I call her Penelope.

Penelope is the side of me that went to college to become a professional and always challenges herself to be the best. She believes all this emotional crap we mom’s think about is just a waste of time and energy. She believes in always being on time to events and always being proper. And there is no such thing as just sitting in the couch for a few minutes to read a magazine. Penelope often tells me, “Look at what else needs to be done in the house and finish it quick so you can get your butt back to the computer and learn a new skill.” She constantly reminds me of that student loan I am still paying? She keeps telling me that I must show how productive I’m being by being active all the time and forgetting about sleep or food.

When you are a SAHM you get judged if your house is a complete mess, your kids are a mess, you are not cooking dinners every night and god forbid you say you need a break from the kids. A SAHM may have ten tasks to complete in a day and only get one done. I do believe productivity changes when you are home. It is not because you don’t have the intention to do a million things, but life doesn’t stop. You don’t have lunch breaks or conference calls. You are mostly on the go or figuring out what is the next thing you should do before it’s time to pick up the kids at school.

Productivity goes out the window as a SAHM and flexibility moves in. There will always be unexpected projects that come about. And if you have family members that work and need unexpected favors, guess who they will be calling? And if you don’t have a schedule for how your day will unfold, then you are most likely to fall into the abyss of unexpected emergencies. There will be many more tasks added to your list that you didn’t think off. Like that dry cleaners that has been done since last Monday or the Vet appointment to get your pet up to date on shots.

My To Do List for the day becomes a suggestion list. I don’t even date it anymore because I know that I just need to take it day by day. I must always have a to do list to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. But I have to put my perfectionist and workaholic self on the back seat. In the world of stay at home moms, completing one task in a day is being very productive.