“Home Maker.” I was introduced to the term this past weekend at Texas Clay Festival. I can’t get it out of my head. Our pottery neighbor was asked what he did for a living and his response was, “I’m a home maker. I take care of my kids. I do the grocery shopping, the cooking, the laundry, the cleaning.” Maybe it’s a simple thing, but I loved how he said that rather than, “Oh, I’m a stay at home dad,” which is my typical response (“I’m a stay at home mom”). Don’t get me wrong – I love staying at home and being with my kids and this isn’t about other people’s “What did you do all day” comments – but something resonated in me with that term and the idea behind it. I am a home maker. This is my home. This is my job.
Christopher works two jobs. He wakes up early, teaches high school kids about clay all day long, comes home and after dinner and putting Levi to bed, he’s out working in the studio for another few hours. He’s an incredibly hard worker and I think it’s about time I jumped on the same boat. This is my home. This is my job.
I like to romanticize a lot of things. Right now, one of those things is homesteading. I have this beautiful image in my mind’s eye of the family all working together at home, working the land, growing food and taking care of animals. Everyone working as one cohesive unit. Dad doesn’t go off to work somewhere else. He’s there, working alongside the family and helping raise the kids. I love that image. But I don’t think it’s realistic. Not homesteading – I still love the idea of homesteading and it’s a goal that drives and motivates me – but my image of homesteading as if we’d somehow spend all our time together and it would be so much better than what we have now. It’s romanticized and unrealistic. Chris has one job outside the house and one job from the house and you know what? Both are equally challenging in their own way.
It’s easy to play the “grass is greener” game, but really, do we work less cohesively as a family unit because he works outside the home? I’d normally answer, “yes” to that, but I’m beginning to change my viewpoint. Maybe what we need in order to be a good family unit has nothing to do with where he works. Do I wish he was at home more? Sure. But rather than sit around and hope and pray he gets to work from home, why not accept that right now that’s not in the cards and work on enjoying what we do have. And, for me, instead of focusing on his job, and how he can’t help around the house because he’s so busy, why not just stop. Stop and breathe. Take the focus off of what he can or can’t help me do and shoulder a little bit of weight on my own. Perfection is not the goal. It’s okay if things aren’t spotless or if we eat leftovers for a few days. It’s a mental shift. Housework is no longer an expectation put on me by others, it’s my job that I’ve hired myself for and I take pride in. Whether I’m living in suburbia or on a homestead, my home is where I’ve chosen to be. This is mine. This is my home. This is my job.