A few days ago we went to set up a new checking account for me. (I was still using my account from my former state.) The lady behind the desk was dressed professionally, she asked me, “Are you employed?” I said that I wasn’t. She wrote down “Homemaker”. As we went on with the process I was fixated on the word “Homemaker” written on the page.
I have been a working woman and single mom for so long that I forgot what it feels like to be labeled as a homemaker. It is not a bad feeling to me. It is one that I find to be very satisfying.
When my children were young I was a stay-at-home mom. I loved making bread, baking cookies, all of the things that I was able to do. One day my sister came by with one of her friends, an older lady who had never been married and had a wonderful career. I was baking rolls. She said, “Well aren’t you being domestic?” she paused then added, “Oh, that’s right, that’s what you do.” She was being very condescending in her attitude. It hurt me for a while. It was like she was saying that what I was doing had no worth.
Sometimes I think that we lose sight of the things that are valuable in our lives, our families, our homes, and especially our spouses.
I am not going to try to tell you that I am a perfect housekeeper. In fact I could use a good housekeeper. Ha! No, I’m just an average person in that area. In my dream world I would have a house with a living room that the front door opens up to. It would be perfectly kept at all times. If anyone made it past the living room it would be people who know and love me and wouldn’t judge the mess. I once saw a sign that said, “If you have come to visit us then you are welcome at any time. If you have come to inspect the house, please make an appointment.” I like that one!
When my kids were young I was involved in doing craft fairs. I had craft projects that I did in bulk. I had booths in two of the best craft fairs in town. I had so much fun doing that! My kids liked seeing me sitting at the table painting some new project. It always meant mom was in a good mood.
In the online dictionary the term homemaker links to housewife:
“Housewife is offensive to some, perhaps because of an implied contrast with career woman ( just a housewife ) and perhaps because it defines an occupation in terms of a woman’s relation to a man. Homemaker is a common substitute.”
Many times I felt the critical term of “just a housewife” when I was raising young children. I hated the term because I wasn’t married to a house, I was married to a man. In this day and age it is almost seen as a privilege if a woman is allowed the ability to stay at home with her children. Families have difficulty getting by on one income.
Now I have worn the labels of sister, daughter, student, teacher, mother, wife, friend, housewife, homemaker, divorced woman, probation officer, writer, stay-at-home mom, working mom, single mom, Grandma Annie and Grammy (depending on which set of grandchildren it is). I’m sure there are others. The ones that really matter are the ones that connect us to those we love. Careers come and go. Money comes and goes. What really counts is the love we share with our families.