Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothering: an important job

I am a homemaker, a housewife, a stay-at-home mother. Sometimes I forget that my job is important. Sometimes I even neglect to think of it as a job. Certainly there are many messages out in the world that it isn't really a job if you're working in your home or your work doesn't result in monetary gain. But even though I know that I work, that my work ain't easy, sometimes I just forget that my job is important, that what I do really matters.

I usually remember that my job is important when the quality of my work suffers for whatever reason: when I am spread too thin because of some big life event, when I have had to be away for appointments, when I have been sick or injured, when I just feel like checking out for a day. These are all times when I have been made aware of my contribution to family life and how it all just breaks down when I'm not doing my job. None of us feel good, the kids are whiny, the house is cluttered, our brains are one is their best self.

Though my house could always stand to be cleaner, if I am not available to do the work of cleaning it, then it becomes obvious how much cleaning I really do. Even if I have talked with everyone before I leave about what needs to be done during the time I am gone, whether it be chores, learning or breakfast, if I am not there to set the rhythm of the day, those things often don't happen. If I don't feel like thinking about meal preparation, we don't eat well and we all suffer for it. And let's not forget cuddles. If I am not around to provide cuddles, just good ol' mama love, I have some seriously fragile children.

It's not JUST when things fall apart that I am reminded my job is important. There are sweet reminders too. Seeing their faces light up when they see me, getting tackled with hugs and kisses after I've been on an errand, and knowing that NO ONE on earth can comfort my kids the way I can, these are all the most touching reminders that my work is important.

Most of my job, the things on my to-do list, look so ordinary, nothing I would put on a resume, nothing that would be impressive to most people. It often feels to me, when I look at the details, like it is just doing dishes or just reading a bedtime story or just picking up dirty socks off the bathroom floor. Or sometimes it's even just being there, holding someone's hand through a difficult time or just being available to answer all the hundreds of questions a little person has in a day. I can tell you that I do not feel the least bit important or glamorous as I am doing my life's work. It is a beautiful surprise every time I get a glimpse of how my job touches the lives of the people I live with. Those are the moments that push me to do my best work. They help me to remember that what I do is a real job and the quality of my work does matter. My work is everything to the people I live with.

On Mother's Day and everyday, I am thankful for my own mother who has always seen me and appreciated me just as I am, who has been there with me through the fun and difficult times.

I am also thankful for my grandmothers, for all the "other mothers" I have learned from over the years, and for my mama friends who inspire me.

Love to all the mothers!

1 comment:

  1. Love this idea!! Glad you're back:)