So I Guess I’m a Homemaker Now? {Insert Shrug Here}

 

Full honesty here :: I try to keep a thick skin and not let too much get to me. {It’s a survival technique that I’ve learned well being at the mercy of the sometimes volatile temperaments of my little ones.} But something DID get to me today.

I was at the bank, opening up a savings account for one of my daughters, and was asked to list my occupation. I stated that I am a Stay-at-Home Mom, and then provided the other information they needed. When the banker read back my answers to verify my account, however, I noticed one of them in particular had been altered to fit their system…

“Okay, and I noted that your occupation was a Homemaker. Is that correct?”

“Yes,” I replied calmly on the surface, but I was immediately annoyed. A Homemaker?!  What is this, 1950? Apparently to this corporation, I just prance around all day in my lace-trimmed apron, baking pies, and setting them out on freshly starched gingham table cloths to cool. Then, when the clock strikes 5, I await patiently to greet my husband at the end of the day with the children dressed in color-coordinating outfits, lined up perfectly for kisses.

“Just” a Homemaker?

Had I really taken a turn from being a respected reading specialist at my school to a household underling? I have a Master’s Degree and a specialized certification; is my only joy now having a freshly laundered pillar of towels? {To be fair, any pile of freshly folded clothes is amazing.}

Just a homemaker.

I repeated it in my head.

Just a homemaker.

I said it again on my way home.

Home.

Home is the place I was driving to, the place that apparently I am in charge of “making.” It struck me that the word “home” carries with it a different connotation than house. A house is just the brick walls and roof above our heads, but a home is much more.

A home is a warmer term for our dwelling place. It encompasses not only the location, but also the feeling one has when they are there. In fact, when you really think about it, a home doesn’t even have to be a place, it can be a state of mind or soul. It’s wherever you can go to feel accepted, loved, and at peace. 

I pulled over to the nearest parking lot. I needed to think this one through, before I had three sets of wanting eyes staring up at me.

What do I do to “make” a home?

Yes, a LARGE majority of my day is spent cleaning {laundry, dishes, toys, and the surprise mystery grime that I will only touch with a giant Lysol wipe}, but that would make me a maid, not a homemaker.

True, another big part of my day is meal prep, serving, and storing, but that makes me a cook, not a homemaker.

Then again, I also spend a good part of my day running errands, grocery shopping, budgeting, paying bills, and getting kids to practices, but personal shoppers, financial advisers, and chauffeurs are not homemakers either.

It was then that I realized that making a home isn’t about all of the “whats” I do, but more about the “hows” I do.

How do I make a home?

Homemaker mom and daughter laughing

I make a home by being the lap my kids snuggle up on to read stories, and the set of arms that steadies them as they mix up the pancake batter on tiptoes. 

I make a home by having open arms when my son hits his head and needs a few extra moments of hugs and closeness before he’s ready to bound out and play again.

I make a home by making the “hot popcorn” for special afternoon movies and allowing my kids to be silly as we pretend to be in a Disney parade.

I make a home by giving each of my little ones their own bedtime routines to fit their needs to make sure they’re comfortable as they drift off to sleep.

In short, when they’re little, I swaddle my babies in blankets, but when they’ve outgrown that, I continue to swaddle them with love. They know that when they’re in their house, they are home. Within this home they’ll grow strong, confident, and resilient. They’ll know that when they go out into the real world they can try new things, even those that may seem scary, because home will always be there.

In fact, it’ll be a place they’ll continue to call home long after they’ve moved away, {that is until they start to make their own houses into homes.} 

So, I guess when I think about it, being listed as a Homemaker is quite a compliment, almost a superpower if you will. If the only legacy I leave on this Earth is that I built a home for my children where they felt accepted and loved and could grow from in order to bring about a better world, it would be an accomplishment to be proud of. 

I smiled to myself as I pulled out of the parking lot.

I needed to get back now to the home that I’ve built for my family and for myself.

 


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