Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I am a homemaker. That is my career. Motherhood is part of it, but not the whole part. In order to raise my children well, I need to make my house a home. I need to make it a refuge from the storm, a place where they can come to get reprieve from life's hardships, where they can feel confident knowing there is order amongst the chaos, there is love in a world full of hate.
Many women feel they lose their identities when they become mothers. I have felt that myself at times these past 7 years since I became one. But I think I wasn't focusing on the right things. I was focusing on my accomplishments, my credentials by worldly standards. But recently, I've realized that being a mother is who I am. Being a homemaker is my career. I may not get monetary compensation for it (or maybe I do--I'm the one who controls the finances around here!). I may not get promotions or incentives (no lavish 2 week trips to Italy all expenses paid if I meet my goals). I may not get one shred of recognition from anyone. But this is my career.
Think about it. In any other career, you strive to do the best you can. You set goals and you meet them. You try to maintain order. There are dozens of articles written, and books too, about how to succeed at all the various careers. How to dress, what to say, what not to say, whom to network with, etc. So why not engage that kind of devotion to the career of homemaking?
In the scriptures, Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, it says, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." How can I do all that and focus on a career outside of motherhood and homemaking?
I have adopted the mantra of In-N-Out Burger, a family owned burger chain that originated in Southern California. The founder, Harry Snyder, had one mantra: "If you're going to do one thing, do it well," is what he said. So my one thing is homemaking, and I am going to do it well.
Sure, I have my hobbies, like playing the violin. That is one of my outlets. So is writing. I enjoy many other things. But rather than doing those things separately from my homemaking, why not incorporate them into it? When I practice the violin, often my children will sit at my feet and listen. They want to hear the music that I have to listen to as part of my lessons, and we talk about the music. Because of my violin lessons, I am now teaching one of my sons to play the piano. My taking violin lessons encouraged him to try something new, something that interested him.
In homemaking, we cook, clean, and do various other tasks that some might find menial and unimportant. But I feel that even my scrubbing of toilets has an important part in keeping a "house of order" and making our house a home.
With other careers, you often have to learn new skills and sharpen old ones. Why not do that with homemaking? You might already know basic cooking, but why not learn to cook new things? Take a class to learn some new ways of cooking, or read a book and learn all about the science behind cooking and baking, which can then help you to create your own recipes.
My career is homemaking, which goes hand in hand with motherhood. That is what I do. I have this one thing to do and I intend to do it well!