Question #8: Sara mentions several times in the book the struggle she has with being identified with her work. What's your view of work, whether it's in or out of the home? How do you typically identify yourself? How do you think others identify you? How do you want to be identified?
Well there are some loaded questions, eh? That is so big in American society, and we have all probably done it. You meet someone new and what is one of the first questions? "So, what do you do?" I guess it always bugged me a little in the back of my head, but I was proud to be a teacher then a librarian, so I had no problem answering. At the same time, I thought well I'm also a Christian and a wife and a whole lot of other things!
To me, work is work! And I have been on both sides of the paycheck, so to speak. Actually "staying at home" can be WAY more work than some jobs I know of!! But of course society typically sees work as something you do outside of the home that earns you a paycheck. I think this will take decades to change, if ever, unfortunately.
Identify myself....well that's in a state of flux right now! As I said, I always went along with "I'm a librarian" as my stock answer. But what do I do now? I no longer work due to health issues. I don't have any human children so I can't even say that I'm a stay at home mom. There's not a single word for me anymore. If I try to be cute and say "domestic engineer" I get, "oh, you're a housewife.....gee, what do you do all day?" Then I have the urge to clock someone and that's never good! Are you kidding me?!?!? I do plenty! I cook, I clean, I have to take the dogs out a minimum of 3 times during the day and at least twice we must play for awhile or I will never get any peace, I go to water aerobics, I do Bible study, I blog, I do laundry, I run errands, I do things for people at church.....I could keep going!! And the worst (or maybe the best....haven't decided yet!) part of it is I have to get up everyday and repeat it all again. I work myself into exhaustion everyday, and I get dismissed with a simple comment "wow, must be nice!" Can you tell this bothers me just a little? So anyway....still not sure how to identify myself. Although I am really pretty happy with "housewife", I'm still struggling with worrying about what other people think about that title. I KNOW I'm not supposed to, I'm still working on it!
So how do others identify me? Lucky....Lazy....Those are the two I get the most. Now I haven't had too many come right out and call me lazy, but I get some of the above comments and of course the "huh, you don't look sick." You know it actually takes more work to live this way than when I was "working". I used to use part of my paycheck to pay someone to clean my house. We also ate a lot of quick food. Now I'm paying closer attention to coupons and sales, cooking from scratch....or close to it...cleaning some part of the house everyday, etc. I just wish my life was recognized for what it is. But then again, does it really matter? I'm not supposed to be getting credit for the stuff I'm doing in society's eyes. I'm supposed to be doing all that I do for the glory of the One who created me!
How do I want others to identify me? I guess if we HAVE to choose a word, I'd go with housewife, but more than anything, I just don't want to be treated as a second class citizen because I stay home. And in that, let me caution you as to how you think and/or judge others. Maybe you are the other way. Maybe you are a stay at home mom and you tend to look down on the mom who works outside of the home. We all have to figure out what life choices work for us and our family as long as we are within Biblical guidelines and not doing anything illegal! We have no business judging others for their life choices!
So, the next time you meet someone new, instead of saying what do you do, try asking a little about themselves. Maybe, "where are you from" or "do you have any hobbies"? Maybe we can change this world one little icebreaker question at a time!!
Until Next Time.....