Good Morning loves!
My little Bella is romping through the kitchen, aided and abetted by our skinny little Amada cat. Apparently, finishing breakfast means you must run around the kitchen making loud banging noises as you hit cupboards and walls and whatever else lies in your path. Aidyn and Ely are doing the opposite, lounging on the couch watching an episode of their beloved Dora. Right now they are learning the importance of tools and helping friends. Aidyn just told me he needs a wrench for a present.
My coffee is hot, my feet are tucked under me, and I'm looking through two windows into the world; the one on the left shows a slightly frosty scene where cars drive by every few minutes as people head out to work, the one in front of me a small pane growing slowly with my own words. To my right lies my newest venture into literature, "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God", which is a biblical celebration of the housewife's role. So far, nothing too radical, nothing I wasn't taught growing up anyway. In my parents' house, God was first, them second, the kids third. My father worked at a job, then came home and worked out in the shed and watched the evening news and wrestled with us; my mother got up early to get some chores done, went to her job at the school where she was always close to us, came home with us, cleaned house and made dinner, helped us with homework, and completed a myriad of other chores. We were given numerous chores that rotated weekly to help out. I learned there was a definite order, everyone has a role, and the household runs smoothly. Further example for me was my grandmother, who to this day still selflessly serves all who enter her door and anyone else she can get to. When I was younger she regaled me with tales of life on the farm, how my grandpa worked in the fields all day while she made meals for the workers, gardened, cleaned house, and raised children. Every day she was up before sunrise and went to bed late, serving her household and family. When we visit Montana and stay with her, we cannot talk her out of making us meals, cleaning up after us, and generally making herself available in every way possible. To her it's not a burden, it's her calling, and she does it with gusto.
I know that many stay at home moms hate being called housewives or homemakers, as though those titles somehow demean them. I've heard women say, "I'm a domestic engineer" or "I'm a stay at home mom". Most even say it apologetically, as if they should feel sorry for not pursuing a loftier position. No matter how you dress it up or put it down, it all comes back to the same. You are the keeper of your home, the wife at home, and yes, a servant to your husband, children, and home. Tell me why one should feel bad for caring for the needs of one's family?
I understand that to some, the thought of dishes and laundry and dirty diapers and meals every day may seem dull and a waste of time. Why do laundry when you can have it sent out, why cook when you can take out, why do dishes when you can buy disposable, and why stay home when day cares abound? My simple answer, of my own heart: because I love my family and want the best for them. I don't want others to bring up my children, I don't want packaged convenience for them, and I don't want to waste a moment I will regret later. I know that other women at different places in their lives don't understand this, and I know that for some, what I just described sounds like a dream (no laundry or dishes?). I know many more may look at me and wonder what kind of satisfaction I can possibly derive from endless housework and thankless children. My answer lies in my first paragraph, which has changed slightly to this.
Ely is now sitting in my lap nursing contentedly. Aidyn is beside me, hand on my leg, answering Dora's questions. Bella and Amada have settled down together in Bella's crate, playfully batting at each other every few minutes but for the most part, content to cuddle. My coffee is almost gone, and in a moment I will need to get up, make some breakfast, and start my day of chores. I could be dressing up and rushing out the door to answer someone else's demands and spend a day at job that would probably be just as thankless, but instead I'm nestled in the comfort of my home, my home, with the loves of my life. In between laundry and closet organizing and letting Bella outside for her little constitutionals, I will chase my kids from room to room, play hide and seek, and collapse in fits of giggles with them on the couch. I will get little licks on my hand from Bella when I reach down to absent-mindedly stroke her head, snuggles from the Bean when I put her down for a nap, and share wicked little moments of humor with Aid. Quite simply, I have no desire to be anywhere but here, serving my family.
I haven't always been at this point, I remember the "desperate housewife" feeling, the oh-my-lord-what-have-I-done-with-my-life thoughts. It makes me sad to think that if I had followed that line of thinking I would be missing all of this. I don't need a higher title, or a large salary, or promotions, because I already have the greatest position anyone can have. A position that has infinite value, at least in the lives of my family. A position that has the best perks, if one includes kisses from raspberry jam coated faces and the sight of a three year old dancing around in his underwear. A position that will never get boring, because there are new games to play and songs to sing everyday. Most of all, a position of which I can be proud: raising my children into strong, intelligent people, supporting and taking care of the husband who works hard to take care of us, and making a beautiful home, filled with love and good food and happy memories, literally "laying down my life" for those that I love.
"This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13