“Do you work?”
How do I answer that question? Any mom knows that while she does stay home, what she does is more than a job. You can always clarify and state that you “work at home.” But I don’t care for that terminology. I don’t view what I do as “work;” that term seems to have a negative connotation. Staying home is hard work, but I don’t want others to feel that I’m complaining about my position. I want to stay home and I enjoy my time spent with my family, so I would not classify what I do as work in society’s definition of the term.
What I do is more of a calling-at least that’s how I view it. What I do is a full time job, actually several full time jobs. I am a wife, mother, home maker, and home educator. These are valid and important jobs, only society does not view them as such. My position does not classify as a job in the “real world.” I earn no income and society believes I am not contributing; I am only wasting my college degree by staying at home.
But in my heart I know I have more than one full time job. It’s a daily balancing act to make sure I fulfill each role. I am a help meet and confidant-a personal assistant who goes above and beyond. I am a caretaker of not only the physical persons of the children placed in my care, but a guardian of their hearts. I am a housekeeper who is tasked with keeping up the house as well as setting the tone for the atmosphere in that home. I am an educator who not only teaches across the curriculum and across age ranges, but works to instill character and values, all the while learning more through experience than could be taught in an education course. Yes, these are jobs. I do work, but not in the way work is defined. My work has purpose, brings great satisfaction, and fulfills my calling.
So, for me, the answer to the question is “No.” I don’t work, not in the traditional sense. I am alright with standing out, with being different, with bucking the trends. I’m not ashamed that I stay at home. I can confidently answer questions about my career by stating that I stay at home with my children. I don’t have to make up fancy titles for what I do to prove that I’m valuable. I know my calling has value each time I snuggle and read with a child, each time I kiss a boo-boo, each time I am a sounding board for one of my children’s new ideas, and each time I am given the opportunity to be the one to reach their hearts and calm their fears. I direct them; I teach them; I guide them; I disciple them.
What I do cannot even be classified or quantified. Nope, I sure don’t work. And I’m not missing a thing!