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Sunday, May 8, 2011

What is it you do?

That's the question you hear from new people you meet when you're a grown up. A little while ago it was 'What do you want to do?' And before that 'What do you want to do when you grow up?'

Until somewhat recently, I didn't really know. When I was a kid, I had some answer: mutant ninja turtle, ballerina, country singer, sixth grade teacher, pop singer, writer, French teacher... but I didn't really know.

I went to college going to double major in French and Religion. I didn't major in either. I realized I wasn't actually linguistically gifted in French (after five years of the language, I still struggle to understand it when it's spoken to me) and God told me no to majoring in Religion (though later he said okay to me minoring in it).

I picked Theatre after having Theatre 101 and liking it. I'd not done anything with Theatre since I had a drama class in sixth grade, so I had catching up to do with most of the other girls in my major. I really loved my major. Truly. I am so glad I majored in Theatre... but I never thought I was picking a career. I would like to keep it as a hobby, maybe even a part time job at some point. But I just don't have a 40 hour a week full time job passion for it. You may ask why I picked it, but the truth is, I didn't have that passion for anything. So why not just go for something I liked?

70% of people, visited ten years after college graduation, weren't working in the field they majored in. I'm just one of the 70% who knew about it before it happened.

So, you may be a good at reading comprehension and picked up on the phrase "until somewhat recently" that I used earlier. I do know what I want to do now.

I've known for a while, but it's only in the last few years that I've realized I can tell people. See, before I knew it was something I wanted to do, but since it's not a standard, paying career I didn't realize it was an answer to the question.

I want to be a home-school mom.

I get so excited thinking about all the ways to do it! In my draft of this post, I went on about the pros of homeschooling, the supposed cons and debunking them, etc. I decided I'll save that for a future post, which will be fun to write. But that was a tangent, and it'd be best to go on without it.

The reason it took me a while (I figured out I wanted to home-school sophomore year of college) to realize this was a legitimate vocation was because there's this shame in society. If you're a woman, and especially if you're educated, and you want to stay at home with the kids, there's a shame.

And what a shame that is! Not to stay home, but that staying home has become stigmatized. With single parent households becoming the norm, many women don't have this option, but if you do, it is a good thing to do. There are so many studies, and really looking at criminal and graduation records, having a stay at home parent is like such an advantage in life...

But we all know that. And yet the stigma exists. Why?

A lot of it is materialism. We won't like to think it is, but it is. It's an attitude of 'the value of my contribution towards my home and family is measurable by money'. If you don't bring money into the house, you're lazy and worthless, no matter what. I hope most of you don't believe that lie, but the truth is, we know many people do and hold it against us. So when you want to stay at home, you feel you have to defend yourself and it makes you feel guilty (this is my experience talking).

Some of it is also the pressure of 'doing it all'. If you focus on just staying home, instead of being divided between two disparate roles, you're lazy. The thing is, from all I've heard and experienced, motherhood is hard. You give 100% and it still doesn't seem like enough. So how can 50% be even better? I'm not saying there is something wrong with working, at all. Do not think I am attacking mothers who don't stay at home. Often it is necessary. But those who are able to give all of their time and energy to their children should be celebrated, not faced derision.

There is also this attitude of 'what a shame you're not living up to your potential'. There's this attitude that, especially if you've got a higher education, you're wasting it and your talents on your kids. But who better to give it to? It will come in handy, if you are creative. Education shapes your brain and mind, not just your earning potential.

It makes me think of Mary Magdalene and the alabaster jar. She poured this expensive perfume over Jesus' head, even breaking the jar, and the disciples tsk tsked and said 'what a waste!' But Jesus said it was a beautiful thing and that her story shall be told everywhere the gospel is preached!

Pouring yourself out for your kids by staying home, it might be a 'waste' of your education or earning potential. But what a glorious, amazing expression of love! I just wanted to lift up stay at home moms, whether they be the home-school variety or not.

Actually, Jesus wants to lift you up, because actually I wasn't *quite* intending to head in this direction, but God led me there and it seems right. So thank you! Hopefully soon there will be no shame attached, and even if it is, let us lift each other up.

PS. One point I also meant to make, when it was about me, was just that since I'm not a mom yet, this especially dumbfounds people. Okay, now that's out there. The post got hijacked and made not about me... which I love!! Yay, God's guidance!!

4 comments:

  1. What a wonderful blog, my mom homeschools my siblings and I and I love it. :) God bless!

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  2. Pam, I appreciate your thoughts on these mattters. Being a home school mom gave me many opportunities to learn and grow in ways I would not have known otherwise. I am thankful I was able to experience so many wonders of life with Lydia and consider it a privilege and a joy!

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  3. Joy, thank you so much! I really appreciate it and God bless you too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jane, you and your family have been very influential in my life and it is partially through your example that I hold homeschooling to such esteem. I love you!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for comments, they delight me! Please keep your comments civil and while I read every comment, I reserve the right to delete ones that are especially negative. Thanks!

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