Since I gave up the "real" working world for a full-time (and then some!) position of stay-at-home mom, first to one little one, and now to two, I have struggled to define myself. I never realized before kids that so much of my identity was wrapped up in my image and my contribution to society and to my household through my job. After committing to the 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year position here on the home front (and after becoming a mom), both image and contribution drastically changed.
It was a struggle at first. I was not used to measuring my worth, so to speak, with such abstract, intangible things, like what comes out of raising children and keeping house. It seemed so unimportant and unworthy, to say I was just a stay-at-home mom... ha. My my, what a little perspective does to you.
It's true, I had to redefine myself and really invest some effort in to being a home maker. I didn't get it at first- what it meant to make a Home. I didn't understand that it is way more than just cooking, cleaning, and changing diapers. Oh, so much more goes in to making a Home. It really is a job, and doing the job right (or what is right to me) has contributed so much more to my family than I ever gave working in the 'real world.' It took me three years and two kids to get to this point, and I'm still learning, investing, and working to make my family better, and to make this house we gather in the Home that keeps us healthy, keeps us growing, keeps us safe, and keeps us sound.
Here are a few truths I've come to realize in my short time in this profession:
1. Home making should not be marginalized... it is difficult, labor-intensive, often times thankless, and important work that significantly impacts the family around which it revolves.
2. 'Home making' is drastically open to interpretation, and a fluid creature... it becomes what it needs to be to work for the family it serves. There is no one right way to make a Home, it must become what the lives of the people that make up the household need it to be (in other words, what I write is what works for us, but it could be another family's nightmare, and that's OK).
3. I am a Home Maker, and I haven't lost any part of myself in becoming one, nor have I lost the ability to function in the business world if I choose to reenter it some day (which was quite a fear in those early days). I have, in fact, learned more about my true self since starting this job than I believe I would have if I had never tried.
There are always days when I'm left wondering 'what if,' or wishing for a more regular 9-5-type job. There are also days when I find myself sitting on the bathroom floor eating peanut butter straight out of the jar with the lights off and the door closed because it's the only time and place where I can have a little peace and quiet and be totally alone despite the fact that there are 100 things left to do before the end of the day and the pets are hungry and there are kids that should be sleeping but are not for some reason and it seems like if I could just have the chance to gather my thoughts for just one minute...
Like I've said before, there is no one perfect method for anything in life, but despite it all, I believe I've found what's perfect, true, and right for us right now, and that is truly important to me. And when I find myself needing just a little extra inspiration, a kindred spirit, or the guidance of a trail blazer with a like mind and a beautiful family philosophy, I visit these blogs:
In times when it can feel like you're going no where fast and no one notices, take a breath, take a moment, find some quiet, and look for inspiration. That's what will truly lead you to making a happy Home.