February 13, 2014

A "Lady of Leisure"


A friend of mine just just quit her job and joined the ranks as a non-working mother.  
(What an oxymoron.  Is there even such a thing as a non-working mother?)

Her husband jokingly refers to her as a "Lady of Leisure".  (Which sounds quite charming, considering he is from England and never tires of me commenting on his darling British accent.)

I have been chuckling to myself about this for the past few days.  
Yes, literally chuckling as I leisure.

It makes me smile to think that women employed outside the home are classified as "working women" while women who "stay at home" and write "none" on the forms where we are asked for our employment, are "non-working".  

(We park on driveways and drive on parkways-- this drives me crazy.)

"What do you do?"  We are asked by the crisply groomed women at our husband's work parties.

"Me? Oh, I uh, stay at home.  I don't work."  
We stutter, smile, wipe spit-up off our shoulder, and move on to the next equally inspiring conversation.

That whole night we will be internally regretting our response and mentally coming up with 100 better answers to that one incredibly important question.
At least, that's what I do. 

(I use this example a bit tongue in cheek, because we've all been there.  However, I frankly enjoy conversing with crisply groomed men and women.  I am a confident wife and mother. Most people are very respectful of the work I do.)

Friends, Mothers, those of us receiving a paycheck, and those of us lucky enough to spend our days spending our husband's paycheck (hehe)--

What do we do?

I analyze and prioritize this daily!!

The ability to choose how I spend my time is a gift that comes with a sacred stewardship.
I feel grateful to have a husband that can support my family so well.  
I feel grateful to be home with my children.
I have the unique opportunity to choose how I work each day.  
My best days are deliberate and I am always working.

We are each accountable, at the very least to ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our God for how we spend our most precious resources.
My life is one of purpose and choice.

At Todd's next work party I might say, "What do I do?  Oh, I am a lady of leisure."  They will look at my hands and laugh with me.

I have been known to write-
Occupation: Superhero
Employer: God
Yes, I have.

This is NOT a blog post about whether we should spend our time working in or outside our homes.  This is a blog post about perception and language.  I think way too much about these things.  And perhaps, it is a post about self-awareness and reflection.

Calling me a "Stay at Home" mother is akin to calling "Working" mothers, "Coffee Break Moms", or better yet "Out to Lunch" mothers.  

{I have the same amusement with homeschooling lingo.  Just for the record- I choose to send my children to public school for part of each day, but I am still a mother who teaches her children. I homeschool and work.  Thank you.}

I do enjoy working for families at home.
I value the work I do.
There are days when I waste time, actually stay at home, enjoy the most lovely naps, and eat Bon Bons.  
Take that back, I don't even know what a Bon Bon is- but I probably want to eat them.

As a working mother, I am proud to be "unemployed".
I may not receive an independent paycheck, but I add equal value to our lives.  
I do not need to have the SAME job as my husband to be EQUAL with him.
I AM paid for what I do.

I'm not offended by language, just amused.

Time to run and enjoy my life of leisure.

Yes, I am a housewife, stay at home, non-working mother of eight.  
It's my job.  ;)

The best part of my job is-- I get to choose how I prioritize my time.
The hardest part of my job is-- I have to prioritize how I spend my time.

Today- I want to DO GOOD.
How's that?
What do I do?  
I go about doing good.
I work as the CEO of a non-profit organization that serves in homes, churches and the community.
And, I love my job!
Tally ho!

Life, as a lady of leisure, is good.
(I think I want to eat my boss.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heard an interview today with a columnist from the New York Times who said that he sees many marriages fail/under strain because we are expected to be the same in everything: both equal earners, both equal child readers, both decorators cooks cleaners, equally funny and charming and knowledgable. A marriage in which we have different but equally important roles creates a partnership where the goal is creating one thing together; a happy family. Allowing us each to use our talents and skills instead of expecting the same contributions or somehow ranking our contribution as less or more creates an environment of service and teamwork instead of one where we are looking for what we receive and 'compete' to be the biggest contributor.

Debbi said...

Thanks for this great post. I love it and I always look forward to reading your posts everyday. They are always spot on to me!

Montserrat Wadsworth said...

You are a body builder! At least that's how I answer (sometimes). :)

Seriously I did a search for my maiden name one day on google and a professional body builder from Spain came up. As my kids and I watched one of her competition videos (it was really gross actually) one of my children wisely observed, "Mom, you are a body builder too." And I have loved that as an answer to "What do you do?" ever since.

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