Thursday, April 17, 2008

There's no place like home

My mom used to tell me how she frequenly felt like a second-class citizen when people would ask her what she "did" and she would tell them that she was a house wife. It was the seventies, you know, and she was supposed to be burning her bra and blazing career trails.

Well, whatever. Now it's thirty years later and I've got the career and the new promotion, and really what my soul is thirsty for is the life my mom led. I'm a house wife trapped in the professional world. Crazy, isn't it?

I don't think "house wife" is the right term anymore... I personally think that "home-making" is a much better descriptor, because that is what it's really all about. Now, my mom was no neatnik -- NOT EVEN CLOSE. And she didn't get me up every morning for a hot breakfast, or make sure all my clothes were ironed and laid out the night before. So what did she do? Well, she made our home. She shaped what was important to us (and not), created our traditions, and above all made sure we felt loved. And we did.

Before I get the certain responses that lots of women have careers and a fulfilling home life, let me just say that I understand that it's possible. At least to some degree, it's possible -- but it's really proving to be impossible for me. My attempts and creating the home life I want and the work life I require has left me falling short on every front. And let me tell you, that is a lousy place to be.

Hey, I know I have all sorts of pie-in-the-sky ideas about what being a home-maker would be like. A lot of it is romanticized nonsense but I also know it would really be the best gift I could give to Rob, Sara, and myself. The creativity that I love and that keeps me sane (designing, scrapbooking, stenciling, photography, writing, singing, gardening, cooking, painting -- walls, not canvases!) isn't marketable. I know that there are those whose talent is extraordinary, and mine isn't. And that's really OK with me. But my family would benefit from it, and I could have the joy of shaping our lives and creating our traditions and making sure they feel loved.

That is SO what I want to be about. It's still not popular, it doesn't move us up the socioeconomic totem pole, and some (perhaps reckless) pundits have even suggested that it's "dangerous." Well, whatever! I'm no more interested in burning my bra or blazing career trails than my mother was. In fact, that path seems to lead inevitably to failure for me and my family.

So here's hoping I can be a new kind of trail-blazer, back to where my mother came from. I really can't wait to get there.

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