I’m a stay-at-home mom. Mostly. I write things and sometimes people pay me. I will not go on and on about getting questions like, “Do you work?” because of course I work. We all do. Whether we’re freelance writing at home, digging ditches, or caring for our children, it’s work. So, yes, I work, but for the bulk of my work I don’t get paid any money. And I’m pretty much at peace with that.
Contributing to society via my home and family makes me proud, especially on good days. And I almost, mostly, hardly ever miss my former careers, working in marketing, or as a public librarian, or when my writing schedule was full and I was working with a team of peers to create something that would make a difference in the world. But there are a few things I do miss, mainly feedback, connection, and praise.
Pretty much all of these things were part of the yearly review process. I hated giving employee evaluations but I almost always loved receiving them. They were a time for me to look back on the year, re-evaluate the direction my career was taking, and find out what I was doing right and what I could improve.
So today I’m inviting you to join me in conducting your own Stay-at-Home Mom Employee Evaluation. You are the employee, but you’re also the employer. You don’t work FOR your spouse, your mom, your kids or your neighbor. You are like a small business owner, the only one really in charge of your progress. Own it. Evaluate it. Improve it.
Get a pen and paper and answer a few questions with me.
Did you set goals for the past year or month? Were you trying to be a more loving mother, a more understanding spouse? Did you have plans to improve your home management, cook more nutritious meals, or tackle home improvement projects around the house?
What have you done to forward your goals? Give yourself a break on this one. If you wanted to be a more loving mother, really evaluate what things you did to show love to your kids. Don’t think of the few times you yelled at them… ahem… if you do that sort of thing. Think about the nights you tucked them in, or mornings you kissed them before they left for school or listened to a mind-numbing retelling of a Diego episode.
What are your key roles in the organization? Mother? Partner? Nurturer? Family Manager? Spiritual leader? Construction Foreman? Interior Decorator? Nutritionist? Life Coach?
What is one goal that would improve your performance in each of those roles? Better organization? Increased mindfulness? More time spent planning? Less multitasking?
How will you measure your progress as you improve? Star chart? Daily checklist? Weekly written evaluation journal?
How does what you do matter to your partner? Your kids? Your community? The world?
What words of validation and encouragement would you like to hear from your employer?
I hope you dig deep here and really write from your heart. What you’re doing matters, to your family, friends, neighbors and not least of all, you. It feels great to work hard and do good. If this is your chosen profession, you deserve to do the best job you can do and to be recognized for the effort you put in. Evaluate where you are, love yourself a lot, and grow more than you thought possible.
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