Thursday, May 19, 2011

Labels

I do my best thinking in the shower.

Now, I'm sure there are many medical reasons why this is possible- maybe the warm water increases circulation or the water pressure from the shower head helps knead out the stress from my shoulders, which lowers my blood pressure and THAT helps with better circulation.

I personally think, though that it has nothing to do with medical reasons and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that its the ONE place in this house where I can hear myself think without fear of interruption.  With the water raining down on me, it drowns out the incessant pestering.  For the 5 minutes I get to take for myself, I get a chance to recoop and relax.

Yes, 5 minutes.  I learned long ago how to take "Army showers".  5 minutes is the perfect amount of time to get the necessary stuff done while ensuring I'm not gone long enough for fires, explosions, or massive bodily harm to occur with the boys.

It IS long enough, however, to get some serious thinking done, and today I was thinking about my life.

Its amazing to me how we measure ourselves by what we are rather than who we are as individuals.  People in our lives- not our personalities- usually define us.  I  get it- its difficult to really find a distinction
  • I have kids- I'm a mom.
  • I have a husband- I'm a wife
We even measure ourselves by what and who we are NOT.  In my case, I'm not a career driven woman- I'm a stay at home mom.  I'm not like my brother and sister, with their medical field goals- I'm...

What?  Lacking a true career path?  Lazy?  Without ambition?  Settling?  Ordinary?

During those precious 5 minutes, I thought about who I really was- not according to others or labels thrust upon me- but ME.  What makes me, me?
  • I'm outgoing.
  • I'm sarcastic.
  • I'm a wanna-be chef.
  • I'm goofy.
  • I'm friendly.
  • I'm a neat freak.
  • I'm determined.
  • I'm sensitive.
Its true- I'm also ordinary.  My job is SO ordinary and boring that -not only do I NOT get paid for it- but most people don't even want to waste time writing it out, so they write SAHM.  Its not considered a career choice; its an in-between- something you do when you're in between jobs.

I'm called a "housewife" which -horror of horrors- evokes images of Peggy Bundy, sitting on a couch, eating Bon Bons.  Even worse, that's what MANY people imagine when I tell them what I do for a living.  I'm curious about the title "housewife", by the way.  No one ever refers to a woman as a "workwife".  Its funny- even as I'm writing this, my computer recognizes "housewife" as a real word and there's a red squiggly line under "workwife".

I'm asked frequently when I'm planning on "going back to work", as if I'm on vacation.  If this is vacation, I've been gypped.

I'm just sayin'.

I'm also told constantly about work at home opportunities- because I'm OBVIOUSLY not busy throughout the day.  I get it, times are hard and they know I'm not getting paid for what I do, but when I WAS working, we managed to still have money troubles, so what it looks like to me is that #1- you always find a way to do what you REALLY want to do, #2- a lot of money does NOT equal financial security, and #3- God apparently thinks pretty highly of our decision to have me stay at home because He always makes a way for us to get by.

Its true- I'm an ordinary, SAHM and housewife.  Just so we're clear on what my "non-job" entails, though:
  • I'm a referee, breaking up fights.
  • I'm a cop, determining who's at fault.
  • I'm a judge, deciding the punishment.
  • I'm a nurse, aiding the wounded.
  • I'm a chauffeur, driving to and fro.
  • I'm a nanny, taking care of kids.
  • I'm a day care provider, taking care of my kids' friends when they're over.
  • I'm a maid, cleaning constantly.
  • I'm a cook, feeding the hungry.
  • I'm a sales clerk, trying to get my kids to buy what I'm selling.
  • I'm a banker, lending money to my kids.
  • I'm a pastor, teaching my kids about God.
  • I'm a spin doctor, putting a twist on any bad situation.
  • I'm a lawyer, defending my kids.
  • I'm a pet store owner, taking care of our cat and fish.
  • I'm a plumber, cleaning hair and toys out of drains.
  • I'm a hairdresser, fixing cowlicks and constructing "faux hawks".
  • I'm a teacher, helping my kids learn.
  • I'm an event coordinator, putting together birthday parties and such.
  • I'm a hostess, welcoming friends and family into my home constantly.
  • I'm a therapist, listening to people's issues and helping them through it.
  • I'm a drill sergeant.
  • I'm a mommy group organizer.
  • I'm a friend.
  • I'm a daughter.
  • I'm a wife.
  • I'm raising 3 of tomorrow's best and brightest men.
  • I'm a mom.
And all this WITHOUT getting paid.

Maybe ordinary is really quite extraordinary.

16 comments:

  1. Well at least you have your resume ready for when your ready to apply for a "real" job....blah. Motherhood is as "real" of a job as any in my opinion, coz' if it's not real then neither is the blood, sweat, and tears we put into it!

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  2. Great words. A SAHM is a job to be admired...it's perfectly respectable and I don't know why many disagree. Keep it up. :-)

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  3. New follower! Please follow back at
    Www.Adventuresofamnmom.Com

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  4. Definitely extaordinary!! You so eloquently put that! I splurge and squeeze 8-10 minutes out of my quiet time in the shower. I always wondered if I was the only one who gets my a-ha moments there. I even write notes in the steam on the shower door so I'll remember my thoughts. Sounds like a blog topic to me!

    I love your blog and will definitely be back!

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  5. Great to meet you, and thank you for coming by Mommy LaDy Club. I recently did a post about needing a paycheck to count, and I think it is just the cold hard truth in our society that isn't fair of course, but the "workwife" Mom job just doesn't get the credibility it deserves. But oh well, we know what we do and sacrifice, and you just have to pat yourself on the back everyday, and eventually(and I know this with adult kids now)you see the rewards! Did you take our poll on what your paycheck should be, by the way?

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  6. Very well put! People really do underestimate what mom's do while they are on "vacation" from work. (I loved that!)

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  7. Well, I absolutely love this! Thank you for reading my blog. I'm flattered that you took the time to read it. You express yourself exactly how I feel!!! I wish I could write the same way. Way to go SAHMs!!!

    http://homesandbabies.blogspot.com

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  8. LOVE this post.

    And I do my best thinking in the shower to! Maybe all Stay-At-Home-Moms (!!) do. :)

    xo
    babymama
    avagracescloset

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  9. So true ... we have HUGE jobs! I like to tell people I'm a Haven-maker ... more like what I actually do! :)

    Thanks for stopping by Snapshots :)

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  10. Sorta - Man, do you know how to hit a nail on the head! I've been struggling lately with why I feel so amazingly overwhelmed even though I'm home with the kids most of the week, and now I know why!

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  11. Hey following from http://lifeofayoungmom.blogspot.com :)

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  12. You know, not everyone can cut it as a SAHM. They honestly flounder under the lack of obvious purpose to a day, week, or year. When you are at home with your children, you need to find the goals to fulfill and achievements to reach and do it all without a paycheck or very much acknowledgment. I think that makes us freaking amazing!

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  13. You DESERVE IT!!! http://bit.ly/StylishBloggerAward

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  14. hi! i just read almost all of your blog posts....I really love your writing style and your sarcastic humor! and, i love that you are so in love with your high school sweetheart...it's just like in the movies!!!! i found you via voiceboks and i am so glad i did because i can't wait to read more from you!

    also, i really love and appreciate this "Labels" post, and I would love to post it on my blog, with your permission, of course???? have you thought of turning it into your very own blog hop...you could provide a linky for everyone to link up their own posts with their own "What makes me, ME?" list. i know that not everyone is the blog hop type, but it might drive some more traffic to your site, if that's what you are looking for...

    thanks so much!
    Tenetia

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  15. I love this post! I am going to share this with my husband. It is exactly how I feel and it was written in such a respectable manner. Thank you so much for sharing it. You totally deserve the Stylish Blogger Award.

    ~ Debra
    http://debrasdollars.blogspot.com/

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  16. This is so fun, what a great site you have hear! Found you on the VoiceBoks site and am enjoying it. I have four and can relate! Check out my site when you have a chance: belleofthebustle.blogspot.com Tara

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