About the Author

Tsh Oxenreider is the author of Notes From a Blue Bike and the founder of The Art of Simple. She's host of The Simple Show, and her passion is to inspire people that 'living simply' means making room for more of the stuff that really matters, and that the right,...

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  1. I work 2 full time jobs as a single mom of 2. One with a paycheck that pays the bills, one with a paycheck full of hugs and kisses and I love you’s! The second one is definitely the best!
    The hardest thing to do–stay positive in front of my children as I send them off to spend a few days each week with their Dad. It kills me beyond belief to be away from them for a few days every few days! But I do my best to NEVER let my feelings for him show to them–they love him dearly as they should, he loves them dearly also–but its a transition that is incredibly hard to swallow for me right now–its only been a month that we have been doing this.
    My favorite part of my job–having impromptu ‘parties’ of sorts! We did paraffin wax manicures for the first time the other night after baths adn jammies were on—putting in movies and remembering there is JIFFY POP popcorn in the cabinet and watching their eyes light up when they realize you can make popcorn somewhere besides the microwave! And the best part—hearing my children pray to God thanking HIM for the wonderful days they have!
    Lisa

  2. This is a great question:
    “If our home was Home, Inc., would it succeed?”
    I think I might even print it out and put it on my fridge for the next few weeks as I attempt to get us organized and back on track with routines.

  3. I knew being a mom would be hard but WOW!! It’s not so much my children but how God wants to refine me through my children! Some days I waking up knowing it won’t be a “fun” day and other days who thought I would have so much fun at work? 🙂 There is no other job where I get to hear, “Mom, I wuv you!” “You’re the best mom ever!”

  4. Somedays I think my ‘Home, Inc.’ would be a floundering ‘start-up’, and other’s we’d be doing very well. Great analogy that helps to put perspective to it… I often feel like I’m a part of that commercial where the guy is giving the presentation at the front of the room, to a bunch of monkey’s and they keep making faces & shining the laser pointer on his backside, to sit perfectly still when he turns around. I do think the monkey’s at my company will grow up tho, and hopefully we’ll have accomplished something meaningful.
    Thanks for this ‘memo’ & word of encouragment!

  5. I’m starting to realize that as a stay-at-home Mom….I can really make it or break it for my husband and my kids. I can make things run smoothly most of the time or I can turn things into a wreck. I can bring peace into our household or I can bring panic. I can make our home comfortable and organized or I can make it be uncomfortable and messy. I can set a positive tone or a negative one. Really..it’s up to me. This realization has been keeping me in line lately 🙂
    I needed this 🙂 Thank you.
    Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  6. Thank you for this supportive text. If no one else is going to tell us, that we do an important job, it’s wonderful to hear it from here!

  7. I was a stay at home mom. My kids are now grown. Toughest job we will ever have but I gotta tell you best job and most rewarding as well. I also believe when we see a happy husband and children that is telling us we are doing a good job. When you hear laughter in our homes its a job well done. Some above said..Being a mom is the hardest job you will ever love. It is. Later when you have raised good people then the payback comes!
    Hugs and Prayers to all of you younger moms.
    I am glad there is outlet one we never had to talk about it and support others.

  8. If Home was Home Inc. and DH was my boss who could fire me on grounds of not completing my day to day work, I would be filing for unemployment.
    You have really given me a lot to think about this morning.
    Thanks!!!!

  9. What a great and much needed kick in the pants! I felt much more successful in the work world and I think it was mostly because of the mentality that I could punch in and punch out. I could work really hard while at work, and was often recognized for it. But it was because I knew eventually I would be done. I still have not gotten out of the mentality that my home is my place for rest and relaxation apart from work. So it is still very difficult to see it as a place of work.
    Also, I think I grew to rely on others approval too much. Maybe not in the sense that I found my worth in being the best, but I definitely worked harder knowing others were watching me. I too often forget that the eyes watching me now are the most important.

  10. I think “Home, Inc” is going to go in the books as a slogan to remember.
    Not only because we should be intentional and efficient,where we can, at home, but also as we make the transition to me staying home when baby #2 arrives and both of us wanted to run a home business, it’s important to model our work around our family life, not opposed to it!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Oh yes, it is a career choice. I love it, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else and enjoying it so thouroughly. There are set backs and problems to solve just as in any job, but there is no amount of money that could match watching my children grow, learn, and laugh. And no praise from a boss could match the joy I feel when my husband tells me he loves the way I run our household 😀

  12. Loving this little reminder of what a blessing my “job” really is. 😉 Wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks for this.

  13. Just being honest here, because someone else out there probably feels like me. I made the choice to stay home out of necessity. I had a child late (and unplanned) so I already had a career in the nonprofit world. I frequently dislike being the mommy. Being in charge of the household after sharing those duties with my husband for 12 years is mind-numbing. Having said that; I did realize pretty early on the God was reshaping me through this. Two years in I have finally learned to set my own pace. My household is an “alternative” work place. If my daughter takes a nap at 3pm, you might find me in the bath tub reading the Sunday school lesson or folding mountains of laundry while watching Criminal Minds. Sometimes I get up at 6am to go to the grocery store to be alone. If I’m having a rough day, I may turn on Sesame Street, park the kid in front of it, go make a cup of tea and read facebook. We have pajama day at least twice a week and if you drop by unannounced, don’t be surprised to find me in my PJs at 2pm building a lego fort. I had to let go of the perfection of a “well-run” home. Approaching it like I did my job in the professional world was soul-sucking. We have a messy, chaotic house where perfection is not an option. I’m starting to feel like myself again.

  14. So well said! Keeping priorities straight in my life is always a struggle. Making my relationship with God and my responsibilities as a wife and mom the most important things in my day ensure that I am doing what I know I need to do.

  15. I’m glad so many of you found this encouraging!
    @Jennifer — This is a really good point you bring up. We truly need to think of our role as mothers as a job, but we also need to let go of perfectionism. God doesn’t call us to that; He calls us to obedience and to excellence. And many times, that means lego forts and jammies. I trust that He gives each of us mamas the wisdom to parent the kids HE has given US, to meet their unique needs. And most of our kids certainly don’t need a stressed-out, frantic mama. 🙂

  16. This concept has been on my mind a lot lately. Although I am a loving mother and things do get done around the house here, I don’t think things are running quite as well as they should. If I had a boss evaluating my performance, I’m not sure how good that review would be. I think that I am a bit too ‘loosey-goosey’ in my approach and need use flexible routines a bit more.
    I’m in your book club on Simple Mom and I’m really hoping that The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families will help me with this goal.
    Thanks for a great post!

  17. I am a mother of 2, and I choose to be home with my kids, to not have someone else be here to raise them. I want to experience it all with them, the good the bad the ugly. Ofcourse there are days when I’m exhausted and just want to be alone for a few hours, but for me it’s super rewarding to know that I can pick up my children from school, that I get to be home with them when they’re sick, that I get to set the example of “MOM”. I know some Mom’s have to work, and I applaud them for doing what’s gotta be done, that in itself is a great example to their children. You know…….sometimes I just like to remember a study that was done not too long ago, that showed that “stay at home mom’s” would bring home a salary of about $100,000!

  18. I’m struggling right now because I’ve been on bedrest for over a month (with our 3rd). I should be encouraged: just 2 weeks left till week 37. (My son was born at 32 weeks, so this is a wonderful blessing!) But I feel so torn because I want to be able to care for my children (ages 3 yrs & 19 mos) and I want to improve in my role as a “home manager” but for now, my “job” is to keep #3 safe inside my womb. . . Can’t wait to get “back to work”!
    I became a stay-at-home mom after almost 10 years in the workplace (I was a CPA at Ernst & Young). I have often struggled with feelings of inadequacy as a mom, feeling that I was much more successful in the business world than at home. But this is truly where I want to be, and I wouldn’t give it up if I could! I also remind myself that I’ve only been working at “home” for a couple of years; after 10 years at home, I will hopefully see improvement in my home management skills.
    Your article is inspiring–although I did notice that most of the pictures are “summer” photos, and we’re struggling through the freezing cold indoor months of winter with littles and mom on bedrest. 🙂
    It’s okay. I will just look forward to summer all the more!
    Here’s a quote that has encouraged me: “How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.” GK Chesterton

  19. This reminded me of an email I got sent once, and kept, becasue I loved it so…
    “A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew well rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation.
    “Do you know what you and I are?” she demanded. Before I could answer, and I didn’t really have one handy, she blurted out the reason for her question.
    It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation, Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
    “What I mean is,” explained the clerk, “Do
    you have a job, or are you just a …?”
    “Of course I have a job,” snapped Emily. “I’m a mother.”
    “We don’t list ‘mother’ as an occupation…’housewife’ covers it,” said the clerk emphatically.
    I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title like Official Interrogator or Town Registrar.
    “And what is your occupation?” she probed.
    What made me say it, I do not know. The words
    simply popped out. “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”
    The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
    “Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”
    Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research(what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all daughters).”
    “Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are in satisfaction rather than just money.”
    There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
    As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants – ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model (6 months) in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
    I felt triumphant! I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another mother.”
    Motherhood…now there’s a real career. Give yourself the title you deserve.

  20. I love this perspective, Tsh and can’t wait to meet you at Blissdom! (I was there last year, but we didn’t get to meet- anyway…)
    Dave Ramsey (I know you’re a fan, too #stalker) talks alot about keeping the family “books” like you were a business and being fired, etc. I haven’t extended this viewpoint to our homes, but it is SO. TRUE! Thanks for the reminder and great advice!

  21. I had a nudge the other day I went to wash our car and they wash door doesn’t work in winter so they had a young man open and closing the door so i had a bag of chocolates in the car and i went to and gave the chocolates to him and he kind of looked and asked for me, i said yes, you are doing a good job. it made his day.

  22. Ouch. This hit too close to home. I run out of gas too easily in the afternoons and at the end of the week. The area I’m asking God to improve is creativity and spontaneity. The hard part of this job is the dailiness of it. My little ones are 10 months and 4 – so there does necessarily need to be routine. But, it is like, killing me live in storyline of “Groundhog Day”. I’ve got some ideas in the works to inject some new energy into my days, though. By God’s grace.

  23. […] of my favorite bloggers, Tsh Oxenreider, recently wrote an article on (in)courage titled Your Family:  the Best Company to Work For.  This article embodies my views exactly on motherhood and home management.  I love how […]