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June 2, 2008

A homemaker. That’s one of my labels. But it’s easy to feel inadequate.

I want so much more than to be a homemaker. I run our home; it would be unmade without me. My impossible dream is for my family to respect my abilities beyond those of homemaker. I would still be a homemaker, but that would not be the reason that they loved me. I do not want “Here Lies a Homemaker” on my gravestone.

. . .

an iris along the fence

. . .

  1. June 2, 2008 11:43 am

    With thought patterns like yours, I’m skeptical of the “homemaker” epitaph outcome.

    (scans far out into an imaginary future)

    I would speculate, like your Japan experiences, you are gathering life experience toward a creative endeavor that might begin come to fruition as child-rearing responsibilities lessen.

    Just guessing, of course. Your mileage may vary. Some restrictions apply.

  2. June 2, 2008 12:35 pm

    How about this:

    Here lies the best mom, wife, and friend in the whole world.
    She gave everything to us all!!


  3. June 2, 2008 3:23 pm

    Amen and Amen.

    The thing is though- as one homemaker to another, and i struggle with this immensely (you’ve summed up about 87% of my writing in your eloquent paragraph and lovely photo)- how did we come to believe that taking care of our homes and those that we love is in any way worth less than other occupations? Not that you’re saying that, but you know, i wonder that all the time.

    But i want to be acknowledged as a human being, an individual who possesses personal attributes worth noting aside from what i can do as a wife and mother.

    You matter! i think that you are a great thinker, skilled writer and a photographer with an artistic eye as well as a passionate family advocate.

    Get down with your bad self! πŸ™‚

  4. pppj permalink
    June 2, 2008 6:51 pm


    I prefer to call myself chaos comtroller, or domestic engineer. It seems that I like fancy titles, and ‘homemaker’ to me always seemed to be a maker of homes. I am like HH and am crazy with a glue gun, but a hammer, nails, and a sewing machine are all foreign to me.

    Domestic goddess…..cookie controller…..clutter queen….hmmmm so many titles in this wonderful world

  5. June 2, 2008 8:09 pm

    I like pppj’s titles!

    I think that we need to be careful of using words like “impossible” because they have a nasty habit of limiting us, if they get stuck in our minds. And it doesn’t seem realistic anyway.

    Let’s see, you’re a political rabble rouser (okay, maybe not rabble rouser, but I was channeling utah for a second), a critical thinker, a world traveler, a knowledge seeker….

    As for your family and what aspects of you they respect, I have to go zen for a second and say that we can’t control how others react to us. Don’t worry about them – focus on what you need to do for yourself to feel that fulfillment, that full identity, to feel that you’re being true to yourself. I think you’ll find when you look back someday, that they never thought of you as just a homemaker. “Just” a homemaker. Well, that’s a bit silly, as pppj’s list highlights so well!

  6. pppj permalink
    June 2, 2008 10:53 pm

    Thanks Deb!

  7. June 3, 2008 8:50 am

    How about… Here lies ‘our’ homemaker. Better, yes? πŸ˜‰

    I’m not sure anyone has ever referred to me as a ‘homemaker’ before so I’ve honestly not thought about it before. Let me reflect for a moment. Hmmm…

    I’m having a really hard time with this one. Perhaps, it’s because it brings connatations of 1950’s women wearing aprons and serving their husbands while he sits in his barcalounger. So not me. But I do feel comfortable with Stay at home Mom. I felt at first as though I had to excuse my being home (as if that wasn’t real work). And then when I thought about, I realized how dumb I was for feeling less than other women who work outside the home. I now puff my chest with pride knowing that I am doing the most important job I can do at this stage in my kids’ lives.

    Don’t you think they’ll find a way to work quixotic onto your gravestone? I would certainly hope so πŸ˜€

  8. June 3, 2008 10:21 am

    Is there any more important job than rearing the next generation to be open-minded free-thinkers who respect others and themselves? You have a task set before you that would intimidate most CEO’s, so never, ever consider that being a homemaker means you aren’t valuable to society. You are MOST valuable. πŸ˜‰

  9. June 3, 2008 10:46 am

    Thanks, you guys! I am bitter because I didn’t get the economic stimulus rebate check. I have been declaring myself as a homemaker with $0 income on my taxes so I didn’t qualify. But that doesn’t indicate what I am worth.

  10. June 3, 2008 6:33 pm

    We are so hung up on labels in our society, especially those attached to $$$. If you think about it, no one has their occupation or their salary on their gravestone’s anyway!

  11. June 4, 2008 6:30 pm

    I had a feeling there would be some AWESOME comments (rebuttals?) to this post! well-done! and if ‘there is no place like home’ and “home’ means good things, then “homemaker” is a darn good title. I personally like ‘good will ambassador’ for whatever the heck it is I “do.” I foster good will, I do. I’ve always been partial to the intangibles of life.

  12. June 4, 2008 8:21 pm

    I raise two kids who touch others by teaching and new developments in science, that touched 10,000 others who touched 10,000 others who touched…. There is NOTHING more important than raising a child into a productive, loving adult.

    I say this to encourage us all. The truth, we won’t EVER get enough credit for what we do OR what we’ve sacrificed for the sake of those we love period

  13. June 5, 2008 2:18 am

    Homemaking rocks. My mum quit her career (teaching) to raise me. I have witnessed so many broken children who were discarded by parents chasing the Jones’s who bought the lie. Individuals like yourself will usher forth the human experience redemption.

  14. June 5, 2008 9:49 am

    CuriousC, you have a great attitude! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    CG, you’re right. I need to get over asking for “credit” for what I do. My daughter looks out the window and sees that most of the cars are gone. She says, “All of the papas must be at work.” It just depresses me that she is judgmental like that.

    Johnny, my mom did the same thing and she lost all her accumulated retirement credit because of her time at home with me and my brother. Now it is happening to me. I didn’t play “the man’s” game and so I lost out on the reward, but I have my friends and family to keep it real and remind me of what’s true.

  15. June 12, 2008 3:39 am

    Thought provoking post.

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