I wrote this in 2006, but still feel it is true for me and my family today as it was then. I am reposting it today, as much as a reminder to myself of what I wrote then as for each of you to share with your families.
The Stay at Home mom Contract with her Family.
1.) I will only work an 8 hour day. If that means I have to take a 2 hour nap with my 2 year old every afternoon, so be it. My day will not start before I have had my morning caffeine. Don’t wake me up to get it!
2.) I will take a one hour lunch break. If this means that I sit and read my email for 50 minutes and the gobble down the hotdogs left on my children’s plates, so be it.
3.) I will take a one hour break each day to exercise (no vacuuming is NOT exercise) This makes me happy and healthy.
4.) I will not work on housework after 5:00 p.m. Anything I do for or with my family after that time is done as MOM, not as a working stay at home mom, and is not considered work. (I will remind myself of that daily)
5.) I will take vacation days. This means that 10 days a year, I will NOT clean house, do laundry, run carpool, or feel obligated to pick up your dirty clothes. (I pick the ten days)
6.) I also get Christmas day, New Years day, my birthday, Mother’s day, Valentines day, Easter, and the first day of school OFF. This means that I don’t do laundry, vacuum, dust, mop, make beds, (and if I so desire-cook) on these days. This is in addition to my 10 days off a year.
7.) From this day forward, I will NOT consider Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Band, Cheerleading, Baseball, etc. part of my job description. These will be fun things I do just for my family. And I can choose to not attend with no guilt if it is one of my off days.
8.) I will no longer be required to cook 5 different meals for 5 different people. Anyone over the age of 5, who does not like what I cook for dinner, may feel free to cook for themselves. I will announce the meal plans one hour prior to eating and anyone who doesn’t like it, can make their way to the kitchen at that time. If more than 20% of the family does not like what I am cooking, they can fix mine too.
9.) I will no longer be required as part of my job description to be a martyr. If you want me to feel bad because you got an F on a project, because you didn’t tell me until 2:00 am on the day it was due that you needed poster board, you are barking up the wrong tree. This mom will not feel guilty about things that are not her fault.
10.) I will not work weekends. Saturday are my fun days to be with my family and I will not clean on those days unless I want to (I probably won’t want to). I will cook meals if #8 above is obeyed. Sunday is the Lord’s day and I will dedicate myself to a day of rest and restoration of my soul. This means that I will not feel obligated to settle argument between siblings. Go see your dad.
11.) I will from this day forward only feel obligated to transport children who understand that my car is not a toy box, nor a garbage can. You do not have to have a toy in hand to ride in a car, nor do you have to throw your hamburger wrappers in the floorboard, for the hamburger to taste good. When you get out of my car, take that which belongs to you with you. After 24 hours, anything left in my car becomes my property and I can throw it away without guilt. Yes, this means your gameboy.
12.) Children over the age of 5 will be expected to keep their own rooms clean. This means YOU!. No, my job as stay at home mom is not to keep your room clean, it is to teach you to keep your room clean. While we are on it, the Bible says “Raise a child up in the way he should go.” It does NOT say wait on a child hand and foot until his/her 18th birthday.
13.) Once a child reaches the age of 10, I am no longer obligated to throw HUGE expensive birthday bashes and invite all their friends. I will discreetly put $100 into your savings account to be spent however you want and I will take you and one friend out to dinner at the restaurant of your choice- even if it is Chucky Cheese. Cake and ice cream will be provided, and I may even buy you a nice gift.
14.) Any child who irritates me in the car will be given a chore to do once he/she gets home. If you don’t want to irritate me, sit quietly and keep your hands to yourself.
15.) All children must go to their rooms at 8:00 pm and preferably to bed. This is Mom and Dad time, and NO ONE may interrupt. I don’t care if mom is in her bed watching TV and dad is in his office playing Tomb Raider. This is our time, let us decide how to use it.
16.) I will no longer be required to drive anyone anywhere as part of my job description. If I choose to do so, I will, but if not, especially if it is during my free time, you will have to look elsewhere for transportation. Did I mention that Dad owns a car? If you want to improve your chances of me saying yes, ask at least 48 hours in advance. And see #11 and #14 above.
17.) I will not consider spending intimate time with my husband as part of my job description. That time is for fun and can be done on my vacation days as well as normal work days.
18.) I will not feel guilty about anything anymore. My children are healthy, happy, well loved, well clothed, and are doing well in school. This means that I don’t feel that I have to serve homemade cookies at parties, make Halloween costumes, or have a perfect house. It just means I can enjoy my family, because they are enjoyable to be with.
19.) I will only agree to do things I feel called of God to do. This includes PTO, Girl Scouts, field trips, etc. If I don’t feel led to do these things, I will not agree just because that is what stay at home moms do. When I do, I feel guilty and then I don’t enjoy them. From this day forward, I will learn to say No and say it often.
20.) I will love each of you equally and with all my heart. You are a wonderful family and I am proud to call you my own.