You’re Home All Day, Right?

You're_HomeThe kids are in the middle of their lessons. I have dishes overflowing in the sink, laundry in both machines, a dog running around my ankles, and lunch which needs to be started. Oh, and let’s not forget that today is grocery shopping day. In the midst of it all, the phone rings. “Hey, I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d drop in. I mean; you’re home all day, right?”

I like company, really I do. I’m also usually good at least minute changes in our routine; I have to be or I’d go crazy! However, on occasion, it can be a little frustrating when other people assume being home means we have nothing going on.

How is one supposed to show love, kindness, and hospitality to others who assume being a stay at home parent means we have all the free time in the world and are available at the drop of a hat? With the Lord’s help!

Have Understanding

Not everyone understands what it means to be a stay at home parent. Some people came from households where both parents worked, and being at home seems a luxury. Which it kind of is.
Before we blow our tops and start complaining how others don’t understand how much we really do, perhaps we ought to extend a little grace. The person we’re talking to might be misinformed as to what we do and how full our days really are.

Determine What’s Really Important

I once had a friend call me in the middle of our busy day. She knew I was maxed out, but had a great reason for calling; there was an opportunity available to me I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of again. The call was well warranted.
Before we get too upset about interruptions in our day, we need to weigh the value of the break in routine. Perhaps a visit is just what our family needs right now. Maybe letting the kids take a breather so we can have that phone call is best. There might be someone in need who should come before my chores, or a person who could use prayer. All interruptions aren’t bad.

Set Up Boundaries

To prevent a multitude of interruptions in our routine, throwing us constantly off-balance, we have set up a few guidelines in our household. Mom (and the kids) generally avoid our phone until after lunchtime, unless it’s apparent that the call is important.
Unless UPS, FedEx, or some other delivery service is dropping off packages, the door is usually avoided as well.

Explain The Routine

It doesn’t hurt to explain our routine to those important in our life: grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. When those close to us know the routine they are less likely to drop in, respecting our need to complete learning time.
We kindly and gently let them know when we are usually busy and when we are free. We ask them to please give a call before dropping in, just to make sure we are home and available. Most people have no issue with this and appreciate knowing we take their time with our children seriously.

As I mentioned, I like company. However, I love company when I am better prepared for their arrival. Yes, I may be home, but that doesn’t mean I’m not drowning in responsibility. Unless you’re calling to bail me out or lend a hand, please understand I’ll call you back as soon as I get out from under this pile of school books. Right after I finish that sink full of dishes. Hopefully…

We’d like to know… Do people often wrongly assume you have all the time in the world because you’re a stay at home parent? Share your thoughts on how you avoid this common problem.

“But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”Titus 1:8

 

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7 thoughts on “You’re Home All Day, Right?

  1. I understand your post. I used to have my Uncle here in mortal life with me. He used to do drop-in visits. We would always stop everything else and visit with him. I am so glad we did that. My kids know who he is and we know that he is in heaven being awesome. I decided back when we started homeschooling that if I truly believed that socialization was an important part of homeschooling, I needed to teach my kids about visitors and guests, and about how to be hospitable to them. We also have homeschool families that come visit now and then. When this happens, we drop everything academic and enjoy the visit. The best socialization happens in the middle of the homeschool day!

    I recommend Don Aslett’s “How to Have a 48-Hour Day,” which recommends doing housework while the guests are there. This is so helpful to me. When my dear Uncle came to visit, I would fold laundry while chatting with him. I would make lunch while visiting with him and then invite him to eat lunch with us. He wanted certain favorite foods of his, so I tried to have those on hand in the freezer, just needing to be heated in the microwave, for his visits. I am ever so glad my children were influenced by him. He is an amazing angel.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I did have to tell people early on in our homeschooling journey, though, that, no, I do not tend your kids on a regular basis while you go to your job and earn money. I know that daycare is expensive and I am home all day anyway, but on this day, I am too busy teaching this and that, on this day, I am busy teaching this and that, and so forth. I simply would not be able to do this for you. This was hard for many people to understand, but they caught on eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I deal with the scenario you mentioned above, every day! You have to have certain parts is your school day that are non-negotiable and other parts that are flexible. Otherwise, you will either up and die right in your home! Thanks for the encouragement. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can relate, drop in don’t happen so much now since we’ve moved away from family and friends. However, during the summer I did have to place a sweet little note on the front door letting the neighborhood kids know not to ring the door but would removed my fancy laminated note once the kids were free. lol 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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