The Many Faces of Me

I’m so tired of being asked, “Are you working?” Ever since Elias was born, that is probably the number one question I’ve been asked by people. Some phrase it as, “When will you go back to work?” As if it’s a sure thing. Don’t get me wrong. I loved teaching. I still do. It’s why I agreed to teach Sunday School this year. It’s why I taught summer school in July. It’s why I will hopefully teach summer school every year for awhile. But a teacher is not all that I am.

That is one major problem in our society, I think. We define each other by our jobs. Upon meeting someone it is one of the first questions asked. “What do you do?” or “Where do you work?”

I think instead of asking “How are you?” We should ask, “Who are you?”

Instead of asking “What do you do?” We should ask, “What is important to you?” or “Who is important to you?” or “What are you passionate about?” Those things would actually tell you about a person, I think.

No, I do not “work.” I do not go somewhere else 8 hours a day to do some labor in exchange for money. It took me a long time to admit to myself that I was not going back to work. I knew deep down in my heart since before Elias was even born that I wanted to stay home to raise him. Nathan and I had both agreed on it, actually. But I could not admit to myself or others that I was finished in the “professional” sphere for now. I felt too much pressure. Too many questions, too many pressures, too many judgements. Why is it that stay-at-home moms are classified only as PTA attending, soccer carpooling, frilly cupcake making women? I stay at home with my child because I love him and I don’t want anyone else to raise him but myself. I think that is the way that it was intended to be. I stay home because I love it.

I’ve been asked questions such as, “What do you do all day?” “Have you found enough to do?” What insensitive things to ask! Of course I do! I am watching a child grow and learn. I make our home a nice place for Nathan to live. And there is more to me than being a stay-at-home mom. I have passions and interests outside the home.

Of course, there are times when I’m tired of changing diapers or picking up blocks or singing “the itsy bitsy spider”. There are times when I wish I could talk to another adult or just have a free moment of quiet. But those times are infinitely small compared to the rest.

When I tell people I’m staying home they say, “good for you,” in a tone of voice that implies I am making some sort of sacrifice. That makes me so upset. I am not sacrificing. I think working moms have a bigger sacrifice. They have to spend time away from their children.

I guess I’m just trying to say that I stay at home with my son, and I’m proud of it! I will hopefully be a teacher again some day. But that is never all that I was. Please do not define me (or anyone, really) by what I do. We are all like diamonds. We have many faces that together make one beautiful product. What we “do” is just one of them.

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1 Response to The Many Faces of Me

  1. janet roth says:

    K- I love your idea of asking people what they are passionate about when we meet new folks. What a good way to get to know folks!
    Your teaching continues even if you are not in a classroom. I doubt that you could NOT teach — Elias is your student! (as are all of us who read what you write).
    I am so glad that you and Nathan are able to work things out so that you can be home — it is a great gift to Elias – and to Nathan — and to you. You will never never never ever regret doing this.

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