Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why I Choose to be a SAHM

I used to feel a little ashamed when filling out forms that asked my occupation, and I would enter Home maker.  As a young idiot, I had always imagined replying to inquiries of my occupation with a coy smile and a shrug, and "oh, I'm a well-endowed philanthropist. Or perhaps a friend would introduce me as "an excruciatingly poetic novelist", but that's not the way things turned out.  And I used to feel a bad about that.  But not anymore.

What's wrong with being June Cleaver, or Donna Reed, or even Martha Stewart for that matter?  Why does this country make me feel like less than my potential for choosing to commit myself fully to the care of my family and home?  I read a quote in a book that said, If feminism has it's way, women will have no choice but to work.  It has almost become true.

Not too far in the past, I would wake up dreading all the endless chores I had to do around this house.  But something has changed.  When I stopped looking at these duties as chores and began to look at this work as my job, I began to take pride in it.  Not that I didn't care before, but the seemingly endless list of things to tend to can become burdensone.  I believe most wives and mother's can attest to that.  

Think about this word.  Homemaker.  It is actually two words, home maker.  Many silly women can go around denying the natural roles of the sexes, but I say, give me lipstick, and a broom, I like being at home!  As women, I think if we are honest with ourselves, it is ingrained in us to feather our nests.  Animals do it (except those silly sea horses), and we follow the patterns of nature.   

My job is to care for those whom I love, and to commit myself to it full time.  What is love if not the giving up of ones self to care for the needs of others first.  At least that's what it was intended to be.  It's no wonder half the Mom's I know are on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication, this job is HARD!  But it would be even harder than I can imagine if I were to work full time and try to care for my family.  

Flame me for saying I belong here, in my little kitchen bathed in sunlight, and admiring the flowers that I have so tenderly cared for.  

This is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Because it is a 7 day a week, 365 day a year job.  But it is also the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  Some days I want to jump off the fridge onto something really sharp before 9 am, but I simply remind myself who I am doing this for and the perspective returns.

Because one day, when my grown children are well educated and respectable citizens of the future society, they will remember their mother with tenderness and thank God that she took the extra five minutes to soak the grass stained knees of their pants in oxy-clean. 

And hopefully my husband will not have traded me in for a newer model, and will say,  "Honey, as the years have passed, your butt has sure gotten bigger, but then again, so has your heart."

I will chuckle, rub his bald head, and get back to the kitchen, because there are  pies to be made.


derek said...

Nothing at all to feel bad about. Too many kids raise themselves and that's a shame. Dig the blog and the bike(my wife has the same one!)

Jillian said...

Thanks! I'm diggin it.

chic cyclist said...

I know how you feel. I'm not a mother yet so I haven't had to make that choice, and I hate the thought of making it, with the pressures we all feel.

I saw a email signature once, I'm going to mess it up but it was something like "Full-time personality development specialist aka Mom" - I thought it was funny to 'jargonate' "mom".