January 10, 2010
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.
"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...
1. employment, pursuit, craft, métier. 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:
... and yes - even the ones that I hesitated to take credit for because I don't get paid for them...
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!