I would love to shift my focus from being a SAHP to a homemaker. I will have 2 under 2 soon and just now feel like I have a small groove going. I feel like I need more TIME to get yet another groove going after this next baby arrives. For some reason I feel like the 'sweet spot' will be when they are older toddlers/preschool age. I don't have much self-discipline and would love to focus more on running the homefront.
I was really lost when I switched from working full time to having a baby and staying home as my job. After some frustration on both our parts, we had some frank talks about expectations and who does what for the house and family. We made a huge list of everything we could think of that involves running a household with children, even stating the obvious, like who brings in a paycheck and how, down to the less obvious things talked about, like our ick factor level of cleanliness in very specific areas. We even talked about protocol for refilling soap dispensers--anything you can think of, we discussed. Next we thought about our talents and gifts, our favorites and whatnot, and decided on a loose set of duties that we would try to stick to. They are very flexible though so no one gets in a rut. We did this to avoid resentment and it's been great. I have learned that I personally need and crave a "job description" or a structured to do list or else I will feel lost and like I am not pulling my weight. We both feel like we are a team and simply would not function if the other person did not make an effort. That's why I never ever feel like I am taking care of him and it's one-sided--he does SO MUCH for our family outside the home, and I do so much for this family inside the home, and we're in a great groove right now. So while I'm at home and might have a mountain of things to do that are boring and mundane, it's not like he's cavorting around at work--he also has boring and mundane things to do, and we do them for the sake of our family. In fact, if he slacks on his job, he could be putting the health and even very lives of 1.7 million people in our area in danger, so he has to be on his 'game' at all times. I am proud to help him be able to do that! Likewise, I'd be stressed to the max if I had his job and also had to worry about strife at home because my partner wasn't doing xyz or if I had resentment toward the arrangements.
It is really hard for me to convey that with this structure we have now, I find more freedom and a lot less emotional uncertainty.
Some examples of things he does are lawn care and I do cook 90% of meals because that is what works for our family, not dictated by traditional expectations or anything. We are both MUCH happier and rarely encounter problems--and especially resentment. He would kill to stay at home, but his job was the one where it made more sense to get the income and benefits, and he is really good at his job and enjoys it most days. I have way more education but hated my field, and we both agreed things would be a nightmare if I continued at my job full time and came home incredibly unhappy and stressed every day, or if we both were at work and while we had more money, our child was in daycare all day and we were all stressed out. We just had to have frank conversations about the expectations for our family and future.
My whole point of this post though is to say that I'd like to step it up within my part of the responsibility to my family. I feel like I can strive for more excellence in some areas, and this challenges me in a good way. For example, if I know that it is usually my job to be responsible for the family's food, then the next step would be to think of recipes we like, make a rotating menu, and develop a shopping list. The next step after that is to get the best deals possible on this list so we can save money, etc. To me that is more of a homemaker aspect is finding the weakest areas and developing a plan to make the household function more smoothly. Do WOH moms/parents do this, too? OF COURSE they do; it's just I would like to step it up in my chosen way of identifying with a profession, if that makes sense.
And if we had no kids, no way would I just be staying at home running the house. There really wasn't much to do without kids looking back on it other than find semi-clean clothes to wear and figure out what to eat. It would make no sense if we had no kids in the picture at any time. I was trying to switch careers anyway, so I would most likely attempt very hard to go that direction if we had no kids. I had a Master's by 23 so I feel no need to go back and get any more education, and we had done a ton of traveling, concert seeing, etc. We have both led pretty full lives before children arrived, so I don't feel like I am lacking in any area or holding off on any sort of dream of mine by having children and SAH.