January 10, 2010

What's Your Occupation?



There's a little voice inside us all. Even those of us who aren't blogging. Sometimes that voice is our biggest critic. Other times, it makes much more sense than what the world is telling us.

One such moment when my little voice was 'right for a change' happened as I was checking in to the labor and delivery ward at the hospital last March.

"And what's your occupation?"

I hesitated before answering, just long enough for the admissions clerk to offer her own assertion.

"Homemaker?"

"Yes," I smiled meekly. I watched her fill out the rest of the hospital paperwork and enter data in to the computer.

Why does that question bother us stay-at-home moms so much?

I started to imagine the things I 'could have said'.

'Domestic Engineer' would have been more impressive. I am, after all, engineering a better life for my family through sacrificial, unpaid service 24/7.

'Teacher' - yeah, that's a good one. We homeschool moms are teachers even if there's no paycheck to show for it.

Then my little voice started getting really creative... 'Blogger'. That would be a first. I'd get empty stares for sure. 'Photographer'? 'Writer'? The 'not getting paid' part would make me feel like I was lying (as if it really matters what a hospital clerk or the insurance company thinks).

It might not matter to my HMO provider, but "What's Your Occupation?" is one of the most important questions you can ask someone. Once asked, my little voice wanted the correct answer - even if it never got put on that form; even though the answer was only for my benefit.

According to Dictionary.com...

oc·cu·pa·tion [ok-yuh-pey-shuhn] –noun

1. a person's usual or principal work or business, esp. as a means of earning a living; vocation: Her occupation was dentistry.
2. any activity in which a person is engaged.
3. possession, settlement, or use of land or property.
4. the act of occupying.

Even more interesting...

Synonyms:
1. employment, pursuit, craft, m├ętier. Occupation, business, profession, trade refer to the activity to which one regularly devotes oneself, esp. one's regular work, or means of getting a living. Occupation is the general word: a pleasant or congenial occupation. Business esp. suggests a commercial or mercantile occupation: the printing business. Profession implies an occupation requiring special knowledge and training in some field of science or learning: the profession of teaching. Trade suggests an occupation involving manual training and skill: one of the building trades. 3. occupancy.

Usual, principal work. Engaged in Activity. Pursuit. Regular devotion.

What am I principally engaged in? What is my pursuit? What am I devoted to?

Isn't it a sad world where the most important jobs are those that are the least recognized as valid? How many times have you heard someone say (in disgust) that women are wasting their talent to stay home and raise children? Giving up a career to educate their kids at home?

I mulled over the words that really should be on that form as my occupation:

Christian.
Wife.
Mother.
Daughter.
Friend.

... and yes - even the ones that I hesitated to take credit for because I don't get paid for them...

Teacher.
Writer.
Blogger.
Photographer.
Artist.

I stood there in my house robe at six o'clock in the morning before my induction, my belly swollen with an amazing new child that I would meet that day for the first time, smiling to myself. I wouldn't trade my life. Not for the most important thing - whatever that might be - that someone could say to fill up that blank on the form.

She handed me my arm band and told me where to take the elevator to the labor and delivery ward.

Who wouldn't want to 'make a home'? "Home is where the heart is," I told myself.

Home is where you grow and bloom. It's where everyone knows you - the real you - and they love you any way. It's where your people are - all the ones that you can't get through a day without hugging and kissing. It's where you learn who you really are and what's really important.

What a great thing to be a keeper, a gaurdian, a maker of such a precious place; a place called home.

Suddenly, I wanted her to make me a badge. I wanted her to write my 'occupation' right there under my religion and my blood type on that 'just in case' arm bracelet.

I AM occupied with 'home'. No excuses. No need for hesitation. Go ahead and quote me 'on the record': I'm a homemaker.


P.S. ** updated Monday, January 11th at noon...



This post WAS my entry in to the free ticket to blissdom contest at Skimbaco Lifestyle. They asked us to write about how we live life to the fullest. Give or take an original twist.

I misunderstood the rules of the contest and thought that it was supposed to be posted here at my own blog - but it was supposed to be posted at Skimbaco!

They say the person with the most comments AT Skimbaco's site wins... but I am the real winner - I'm a winner not because I got the $300 ticket to Blissdom, but because I have so many great family and friends! Rather than spam you all again asking for you to come comment at Skimbaco, I'm just going to withdraw my entry (that really wasn't ever entered since it wasn't done right). However, I don't withdraw the message behind the post. Vive la homemaker!

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heather, I love your post. I am a Homemaker and I am proud of it.

Amy Bayliss said...

You should so be at Blissdom! I hope you win!

love ya!

Brenna said...

Love this post, sweetie! You are one hawt homemaker!!

Cassie said...

Sprittibee this was AMAZING and soooo inspiring!! The attitude enveloped in this define my dream! <3 it!

PS. I hope you win!

Renae said...

Beautiful words, Heather. Of course, putting definitions in always gets my attention. ;)

Occupied at home. Yes, for this time, for these amazing people who gather my love every day. a

(Best wishes for you a free ticket!)

Garden Summerland said...

What a beautiful post. From one homemaker to another, you're awesome!!
Thanks for the reminder of how blessed we are to call ourselves makers of Home. :)

dianne - bunny trails said...

Excellent post, Heather! We need to proudly answer that "occupation" question. After all, we are exactly where God wants us, right?

Hope you win, sweetie!

Melissa Stover said...

i hope you win. i want to see you there.

"Miss" Anita said...

Oh, you "groveling" Twitterer!!! :)

Stretch Mark Mama said...

I always mark my occupation as "homemaker," but inside I know it's really Zena the Warrior Princess.

deepfriedpicklesandicecream.wordpress.com said...

I really loved this!

Darcy @ m3b said...

Would love to see you at Blissdom! What a generous sponsor giveaway... :)



Rootin' for ya'.

Crazy Homeschool Mama said...

great post!

Sierra Mama said...

Amen!!!!!

Megan said...

I hesitate on the forms too sometimes.

But honestly? No regrets here.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

i am a homemaker too. i wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

artsy said...

Heather-
You are a big goof ball =D And that is one of the many reasons I love you! You go girl!

<3

Christi (in icy cold Missouri)

Devildogwife said...

I love being a housewife, homemaker, stay-at-home mom. I feel like I am the "lucky" one. ;)

Kim said...

I love your post. It's so well put. Oh, and I hope you win the ticket to blissdom :)

Sheri said...

Isn't life fabulous! My "occupation", the job I do and receive money for is Asst. Reference Librarian...my true occupation is: Daughter of God, Spouse, Parent, Friend, Sister, Laugher, Tear Wiper, Comforter, Cuddler...

Obviously I could go on and on and I think we share an occupation!

If you go to Blissdom you have to wear a Tshirt with my photo on it. LOL Then I can be there in spirit and in cloth.

Stephanie W. said...

Well, of course I want you to win after I read that! In fact, I am going to add you to my Blog reads so I can easily refer back to your homeschool stuff. Since this was the first time, I had been to your blog (not sure how I missed you since I started out using blogger), I checked out your profile. Happy to say, I like all the same things so you get an A+ in relate-ability! Look forward to visiting again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your great post. I love being a wife and stay at home mom. It is the best. God Bless. I hope you win.
Amy

Jenn said...

I hope you win, I hope you win, I hope you win!! I'm so glad you did this! I know how much you want to go. Love the post. Very inspiring. Might be reading it again on those days I want to send my kids to boarding school. (God has a reason for me doing what I'm doing - it's growing me each day as much as it is them.) #thisiknow

Anonymous said...

Hi little miss wonderful...I hope you win too...Keep up the wonderful work....Clayton

Nikowa Lee said...

YAY girlie I hope you win! It's so hard to sum up all that Mother's do....

Ruthanne said...

I would love to meet you in person! :D

Sallie said...

Heather -- You are on my top 10 bloggy people to meet before I die :-)

You always offer much inspiration!!

God bless,
Sallie

Patricia said...

Amen! We are in the 34th year of our marriage, and I do not regret 1 single day of the 25 years that I have been privileged to be occupied at home. I do regret many of the days (especially after children) that I wasted in the years before when earning an income outside the home seemed so important.

XOX

Home School Mama said...

I have been following your blog for a while now. I love this post! I couldn't agree with you more. Regardless of the pay scale, there is no better (or more important!) job.

Good luck in the contest!
Tricia

Elizabeth said...

Well I thought that was lovely.

lori said...

Heather...great post and here's to Blissdom!

Hugs!

Trish said...

I think we all struggle with this at one time or another. :)

Great post, Heather! Good luck ~ I hope you get to go to Blissdom!

Tonja said...

well said! and a good reminder at how important our job is at home.

hope you win!

Michelle said...

LOVE this post! i noticed the other day while filling out a ton of stuff online that homemaker is under occupation on the drop down menu ;)

Kelly said...

Hi Heather! Hope you win the contest. :)

Jene' said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy Courtney said...

What an awesome blog. As far as I am concerned, being a homemaker is the most important 'occupation' on this earth. And by the way, I would say you are also a writer, and a very good one at that! Love ya.

Stacy

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! Hope you win.

Jamin
Director of Nurturing ;^)

carrie said...

heather, you are an awesome person and you accomplish so much! (whether you feel like it or not)

I hope you win!

croce_m said...

Hope you win!

ethan said...

you are teh roxors!

Anonymous said...

Heather, being a MOM is an occupation, one that folks used to recognize and honor. Yes, sometimes things were better back then when people realized how much work being a MOM really is.

christy said...

great post! maker of the home, no shame in that :)

jewlbal3 said...

Well written!

Oh, and congratulations on a new little one -- who must be crawling all of the place by now! ;)

Beth J.

Anonymous said...

Hope you win! Loved the post- I'm in total agreement with you...

Amy said...

Hear, hear! (Or is it here, here?--I'm never sure.)

Hope you win!

Eric said...

It's one of the highest callings. :)

-Eric

P.S. You should have given away something. Giveaways get zillions of comments.

Terri Sue said...

Great post!
Have a blessed day!
Terri Sue

Amy said...

Commenting!

Lizzie Poo said...

to my beloved Heebo. I hope you win you are wonderful! Muah to you,Kevin and my kiddos

Mark and Jennifer said...

You are an awsome lady! Hope you win it all!

Sherry said...

Hi Heather. You've written a great essay and I hope you win.

J Barkocy said...

Homemaker IS an important job!!! This is great - and vindicating for those of us who feel just like you do - but shouldn't!! My Brother and SIL both work and think I have 3 heads because we homeschool...oh well, we're loving it! :)

The Happy Housewife said...

I would love to see you at Blissdom! You have been blogging longer than many of the speakers, you deserve to be there!!!
Toni

Spesamor Academy said...

Great post!
I used to get the weirdest comments growing up when I would answer the question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with: "A housewife with lots of kids!"
I'm doing my dream-job.
I hope you win!

Cindy said...

Beautiful post by a beautiful person! I love being a homemaker, too! I hope you win the ticket. :)

Anonymous said...

Great site!!!

Anonymous said...

That's a wonderful reminder to us all for not being ashamed of the job God has charged us with. I think most moms choose to work because it is easier for them than staying home and being a wife, mother, teacher, counselor, etc...

Kristen H said...

I'm proud to be a homemaker too.

Beth@Pages of Our Life said...

such a well thought out take on the occupation of a "homemaker".

I hope you win!

Shannon said...

Nice post and relection on a "rare" breed of women. Though our occupation may be looked down upon by society, God sees it as an honor and an important task in Proverbs 31! Thank you God that all of us are blessed beyond blessed, and able to stay home and educate our chidlren.

SimplyAmusingDesigns.com said...

Here's hoping you win. :) "Homemaker" isn't the most glamourous of titles, but it's the title that God has bestowed upon us for now and that definitely means something. :) Keep wearing it with pride, sister. :)

Bagel's Life @ Home & School said...

Great blog!
I tell folks that I'm a "Home Manager" (because, that's really what I do, just manage everyone else)

Outnumbered said...

Love love love it!
Kathryn

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home said...

Oh, my goodness. You just helped me make peace with the term "homemaker." Thank you, sweetie. :-)

Hope I'm seeing you again soon!

Amanda @High Impact Mom said...

Heather,
As usual beautiful writing! Thank you for putting into words what I ahve always felt. OH...and I like CEM (Chief Executive Mom)...that's what I tell people anyway :)

Amber @ Classic Housewife said...

I like to write "homemaker" as TWO words. "Home Maker." I don't know why that makes a big difference to me, but it does. I think just the slightest change of one little character space takes the title from an adjective to an aggressive verb. It takes away the "staying at home doing nothing" connotation that people thrust on us and makes it an intentional action.
"I am a Home Maker. Making my house a home 24/7."

Do you think I spend too much time thinking about trivial character spaces? :P

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I was reading Jan Karon's book recently about the marriage of Timothy and Cynthia. and it makes an interesting point. One of the questions the Bishop asks the Father is if he is going to be okay with his wife making more money than him (Father is a priest, she's a famous children's author/artist!)

And the point it makes is that we need to think of it not as "my money" and "His money" but rather, "our money" -- whether you earn any of it yourself. That is part of the whole marriage thing and two being one flesh. it isn't just that you act like it is "our money" but you have to accept, fully, that it IS "our money" no matter what your individual role is in bringing it into the household.

theconfidentmom said...

Thank you for this! I think so many moms feel the same way - you put a great spin on it!

The Gallagher Family said...

Being a homemaker is the best job in the world! I hope you win.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is more empowering as a woman, mother, child of God than enriching, educating, and loving our own children. We are what makes up today's society and together we water and watch our children bloom into productive creations/contributors to the future. I am honored to call my self a mother.

Regards--Organized Chaos
One busy mom of 4 and wife, who is humbled daily.

Sandra Foyt said...

Just for fun, consider writing your homemaker resume. I found it empowering to see how much I've accomplished in the past 14 years. But, then I posted it as a SAHM Blogger Resume, because I'm proud to be both!

Beverly said...

Spectacular. ♥ ya, sweets.

Meesa said...

I love you mommy and even though you are not "in the contest" anymore, you still have a wonderful post to look back on. I am so proud of you and I hope that we all get to go anyway! :)
Morganie

Keowdie said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. You don't know it, but your post blessed me.
I am a Christian, wife mother... and "accomplished career woman." I have a really good job with a local school district. I provide a valuable service to children with disabilities. I have a master's degree in my field. I hold two board certifications in two separate fields.
And in the last 3 weeks, I have come to realize that this life I've always been told I want... is not the life I want.
As my husband & I have begun to make a plan to get me in our home, educating our children, I have wrestled with the issue you blogged about. I'm going to be giving up that thing the world tells me I must have. And mostly I'm okay with it. Mostly.
Thank you for the encouragement that I know you didn't realize your words would give.

Kimberly Eddy said...

That was awesome! I loved it. I always feel sort of weird when I have to fill that out...sure I do a lot of little freelance things at my hubby's encouragement/insistence...but primarily I'm a wife and mother first and foremost...sometimes though I am not even sure if the word "homemaker" quite covers it, ya know? It's so much more...training up the future generation...

Anonymous said...

Wow... What a Homemaker....
What a Writer......,.
What a Subject........
What a Woman...........

And you "Steal French Fries"?

Papa John

K Tec Wheat Grinder said...

Wow, you totally could have won! But thanks for sharing that thought anyway, it was really pretty remarkable.

Mark Morrow said...

Oh Well; but, as you said (and you're right because I agree with you), YOU'RE A WINNER!!

I appreciate you and your family more than you probably realize.

Take care,
Mark

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog! I have no children yet but I plan on homeschooling and being a full-time mom! This is one of the greatest callings on our lives as women to train up our children in the way they should go and God will bless you for it!

 

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