I am a stay at home mum by choice. That’s what I have always said but maybe the job chose me.
At the beginning of the year I met a friend who I hadn’t seen since I graduated from graduate school. After the usual pleasantries the conversation went something like this:
Friend: So where are you nowadays?
Me: I am home.
Friend: Oooh, you haven’t found a job yet?
Me: I have a job, I am at home with my children (I am already grinning at this point because I can see how his face just drops, disappointment written all over it).
Friend: (Not one to give up easily) Not like that, what I am asking is where are you using your skills and knowledge from graduate school?
Me: I am using them at home, raising up Godly offspring (my friend is becoming frustrated and soon he’ll be annoyed I can see that).
Friend: So when are you planning on getting a job; when are you getting ordained? (I graduated with a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Studies).
Me: I have a job my dear, I am staying at home and taking care of my children. In regards to ordination, I have made my application and waiting for God to open a door.
Let’s just say, after that conversation I knew our friendship had taken a nosedived for a long time to come.
The conversation above, in its different forms and variations but generally the same questioning, is one I have had with family and friends ever since I completed graduate school one and a half years ago. And the disappointment from most of them (thank God for a few who understand what it is that I am actually doing with my life) is quite obvious. The latest is from an elder lady friend who with concern written all over her face encouraged me to at least get a government job because it is flexible.
I became a stay at home mum maybe a little bit as a result of my previous experience of child loss but mostly because of my desire to be the primary influence in the lives of the my children. I strongly desire to have a godly influence on them and I felt I can effectively do so by being their primary caregiver. God willing, I also hope to home school them, what!, yes I do – but that’s a topic for another day.
So what exactly is my job? To be honest, I have been reflecting on this recently and the more I do the more I realise that when I signed up for this job – stay at home mum – I don’t think I quite understood its width and breadth.
What was quite obvious was the mum bit but the rest of the job description that goes along with it was clearly quite oblivious to me. If you know me, then you know that I love being a mum; I thoroughly enjoy the job with all its ups and downs. Flip the coin and you also know that housekeeping (apart from cooking, thank God!) is not among my list of strengths.
However as I continue to learn on the job, I realise that child raising and housekeeping go hand in hand.
So what exactly is housekeeping:
“Housekeeping refers to the management of duties and chores involved in the running of a household, such as cleaning, cooking, home maintenance, shopping, laundry and bill pay. These tasks maybe performed by any of the household members or by other persons hired to perform the task.” (Wikipedia)
Thank God, I live in a part of the world where domestic help is affordable. But in recent days reliability and competence of this noble professionals has became wanting and therefore many are the days that I have found myself loaded with the duties of child raising and housekeeping.
Moreover it doesn’t matter how good I get at child raising as long as I neglect housekeeping it chips away at the child raising efforts .
To be continued . . .
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