I do my best thinking in the shower.

Now, I’m sure there are many medical reasons why this is possible- maybe the warm water increases circulation or the water pressure from the shower head helps knead out the stress from my shoulders, which lowers my blood pressure and THAT helps with better circulation.

I personally think, though that it has nothing to do with medical reasons and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that its the ONE place in this house where I can hear myself think without fear of interruption.  With the water raining down on me, it drowns out the incessant pestering.  For the 5 minutes I get to take for myself, I get a chance to recoop and relax.

Yes, 5 minutes.  I learned long ago how to take “Army showers”.  5 minutes is the perfect amount of time to get the necessary stuff done while ensuring I’m not gone long enough for fires, explosions, or massive bodily harm to occur with the boys.

It IS long enough, however, to get some serious thinking done, and today I was thinking about my life.

Its amazing to me how we measure ourselves by what we are rather than who we are as individuals.  People in our lives- not our personalities- usually define us.  I  get it- its difficult to really find a distinction

  • I have kids- I’m a mom.
  • I have a husband- I’m a wife

We even measure ourselves by what and who we are NOT.  In my case, I’m not a career driven woman- I’m a stay at home mom.  I’m not like my brother and sister, with their medical field goals- I’m…

What?  Lacking a true career path?  Lazy?  Without ambition?  Settling?  Ordinary?

During those precious 5 minutes, I thought about who I really was- not according to others or labels thrust upon me- but ME.  What makes me, me?

  • I’m outgoing.
  • I’m sarcastic.
  • I’m a wanna-be chef.
  • I’m goofy.
  • I’m friendly.
  • I’m a neat freak.
  • I’m determined.
  • I’m sensitive.

Its true- I’m also ordinary.  My job is SO ordinary and boring that -not only do I NOT get paid for it- but most people don’t even want to waste time writing it out, so they write SAHM.  Its not considered a career choice; its an in-between- something you do when you’re in between jobs.

I’m called a “housewife” which -horror of horrors- evokes images of Peggy Bundy, sitting on a couch, eating Bon Bons.  Even worse, that’s what MANY people imagine when I tell them what I do for a living.  I’m curious about the title “housewife”, by the way.  No one ever refers to a woman as a “workwife”.  Its funny- even as I’m writing this, my computer recognizes “housewife” as a real word and there’s a red squiggly line under “workwife”.

I’m asked frequently when I’m planning on “going back to work”, as if I’m on vacation.  If this is vacation, I’ve been gypped. 

I’m just sayin’. 

I’m also told constantly about work at home opportunities- because I’m OBVIOUSLY not busy throughout the day.  I get it, times are hard and they know I’m not getting paid for what I do, but when I WAS working, we managed to still have money troubles, so what it looks like to me is that #1- you always find a way to do what you REALLY want to do, #2- a lot of money does NOT equal financial security, and #3- God apparently thinks pretty highly of our decision to have me stay at home because He always makes a way for us to get by.

Its true- I’m an ordinary, SAHM and housewife.  Just so we’re clear on what my “non-job” entails, though:

  • I’m a referee, breaking up fights.
  • I’m a cop, determining who’s at fault.
  • I’m a judge, deciding the punishment.
  • I’m a nurse, aiding the wounded.
  • I’m a chauffeur, driving to and fro.
  • I’m a nanny, taking care of kids.
  • I’m a day care provider, taking care of my kids’ friends when they’re over.
  • I’m a maid, cleaning constantly.
  • I’m a cook, feeding the hungry.
  • I’m a sales clerk, trying to get my kids to buy what I’m selling.
  • I’m a banker, lending money to my kids.
  • I’m a pastor, teaching my kids about God.
  • I’m a spin doctor, putting a twist on any bad situation.
  • I’m a lawyer, defending my kids.
  • I’m a pet store owner, taking care of our cat and fish.
  • I’m a plumber, cleaning hair and toys out of drains.
  • I’m a hairdresser, fixing cowlicks and constructing “faux hawks”.
  • I’m a teacher, helping my kids learn.
  • I’m an event coordinator, putting together birthday parties and such.
  • I’m a hostess, welcoming friends and family into my home constantly.
  • I’m a therapist, listening to people’s issues and helping them through it.
  • I’m a drill sergeant.
  • I’m a mommy group organizer.
  • I’m a friend.
  • I’m a daughter.
  • I’m a wife.
  • I’m raising 3 of tomorrow’s best and brightest men.
  • I’m a mom.

And all this WITHOUT getting paid.

Maybe ordinary is really quite extraordinary.

74 thoughts on “Labels”

  1. Well at least you have your resume ready for when your ready to apply for a "real" job….blah. Motherhood is as "real" of a job as any in my opinion, coz' if it's not real then neither is the blood, sweat, and tears we put into it!

  2. Definitely extaordinary!! You so eloquently put that! I splurge and squeeze 8-10 minutes out of my quiet time in the shower. I always wondered if I was the only one who gets my a-ha moments there. I even write notes in the steam on the shower door so I'll remember my thoughts. Sounds like a blog topic to me!I love your blog and will definitely be back!

  3. Great to meet you, and thank you for coming by Mommy LaDy Club. I recently did a post about needing a paycheck to count, and I think it is just the cold hard truth in our society that isn't fair of course, but the "workwife" Mom job just doesn't get the credibility it deserves. But oh well, we know what we do and sacrifice, and you just have to pat yourself on the back everyday, and eventually(and I know this with adult kids now)you see the rewards! Did you take our poll on what your paycheck should be, by the way?

  4. So true … we have HUGE jobs! I like to tell people I'm a Haven-maker … more like what I actually do! :)Thanks for stopping by Snapshots πŸ™‚

  5. Sorta – Man, do you know how to hit a nail on the head! I've been struggling lately with why I feel so amazingly overwhelmed even though I'm home with the kids most of the week, and now I know why!

  6. You know, not everyone can cut it as a SAHM. They honestly flounder under the lack of obvious purpose to a day, week, or year. When you are at home with your children, you need to find the goals to fulfill and achievements to reach and do it all without a paycheck or very much acknowledgment. I think that makes us freaking amazing!

  7. hi! i just read almost all of your blog posts….I really love your writing style and your sarcastic humor! and, i love that you are so in love with your high school sweetheart…it's just like in the movies!!!! i found you via voiceboks and i am so glad i did because i can't wait to read more from you!also, i really love and appreciate this "Labels" post, and I would love to post it on my blog, with your permission, of course???? have you thought of turning it into your very own blog hop…you could provide a linky for everyone to link up their own posts with their own "What makes me, ME?" list. i know that not everyone is the blog hop type, but it might drive some more traffic to your site, if that's what you are looking for…thanks so much!Tenetia

  8. I love this post! I am going to share this with my husband. It is exactly how I feel and it was written in such a respectable manner. Thank you so much for sharing it. You totally deserve the Stylish Blogger Award.~ Debra

  9. This is so fun, what a great site you have hear! Found you on the VoiceBoks site and am enjoying it. I have four and can relate! Check out my site when you have a chance: Tara

  10. Visiting to wish you happy SITS Day. I was a stay at home mom from the late seventies through the eighties. I admire women who choose to do this because what we are doing is raising children. Not having, but raising as you mentioned in your list. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect working outside the home mothers, because I do. Enjoy your time with your boys.

  11. I can totally relate to this post…but from an opposite angle. As a “work wife” I sometimes feel like I’m labeled as the mom that doesn’t love her child enough to stay home with him, even though truth be told, I would do it in a hot minute if that darn mortgage would pay itself! I think you are amazing and your kids are lucky to have you…and so am I. As moms, we have to celebrate all of our awesomeness and not let the world keep labeling us.

    Happy SITS Day!

    1. I’ve been in THAT situation, too. When I first had my oldest, I had to start working when he wasn’t even a month old. It isn’t easy. Its not only hard to leave your kiddo, but its hard to still have to take care of things once you get home. I give you credit.

  12. Some times responses to SAHM make my blood boil. Do they really think I am bored at home? Missing my full potential? I can relate. And in high school and college, when I was stuck and couldn’t finish the paper I was working on, I showered. It always worked. Happy SITS day.

    1. Once, when the Disasters were younger, my husband watched them for a couple of hours while I went shopping. When I got home, he looked at me and said,”You should be getting paid.” Lol! People don’t get it til they’ve had to do the work, ya know?

      Thanks for visiting! Feel free to stop back by anytime!

  13. What a great list. Moms do so much to take care of their families, their homes and themselves that there should be a longer job title. I agree that the ordinary can be extraordinary.

  14. Well, I was an accountant for 15 years in corporate America before God gave me these 2 amazing gifts and set me on this path of motherhood and I can tell you nothing a “real” job ever threw at me was as hard as being a mother. But nothing, and I mean nothing has been as rewarding either. Wear that SAHM hat and wear it proud! Nice post!

  15. oooh. This is good. I often try to talk myself into thinking that I should be doing “more” than just raising my 3 kids and the little freelance writing and teaching I do. Thank you for the reminder of all that I do!

    1. Wait a second- you have 3 kids, you do freelance writing, AND you teach??? Good golly *taking my hat off to you* you need to give yourself A LOT more credit. Thanks for stopping by Boystown!

  16. You are extraordinary, and much more. Everyone couldn’t be a SAHM, I was too career driven about 10 years ago. I’m a WAHM now, and I enjoy it. You have a wonderful life, Happy SITS Day!

  17. Being home all day with my children Every.Single.Day is definitely THE hardest job I have ever had…but I feel privileged and extremely lucky I am able to do so. There are definitely days where I think I am going completely insane, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I think most mom’s, regardless of whether they stay home full-time or not, wear the above mentioned hats, but I do think SAHM’s have to switch them more frequently. Keep up the good work!

    1. Its true! All moms (and dads) have those hats to wear, but SAHMs have to switch them CONSTANTLY. Right now I’m wearing the “maid” and “nanny” hats while slipping the “cook” hat on to deal with prepping snacks. In less than 4 hours, I get to add a few more hats to the mix all at once. Its exhausting only having one head to put these hats on. :-/

  18. As a “SAHM” by choice, I absolutely ADORE this post! It’s easy for others to make us feel that our contributions aren’t enough, but we know they are, and we have to remind ourselves of this periodically. Thanks! And Happy SITS Day!

    1. Thank you! That’s why I wrote it, actually- I needed to remind myself of everything I do. I’m glad I was able to remind other moms out there, too. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting!

  19. Loved this post. It’s so true that we define ourselves by what, by others in our lives, by what we’re not and rarely by WHO we are as individuals, especially once we become parents. This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – who I am as an individual and what that means. I love that you also list out all the “non-job” responsibilities – it’s a ridiculously hard job and something that clearly needs to be recognized more. Happy SITS Day!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to come visit Boystown! With all the “non job” responsibilities us moms have and all the regular responsibilities I’m sure you have, it means a lot to have all you great gals popping by to say hi, give support to a fellow blogging mom, and write such a nice comment on top of it all. πŸ™‚ Stop by again anytime!

  20. Stopping by from SITS today. You also have to work when you’re sick and anyone who has ever taken little ones on vacation knows it’s more work to take them on the road!

  21. GREAT POST! I started out working full time outside the home and for reasons too complicated to repeat in this space, ended up as a SAHM. I worked very hard for pay and was paid alot, but this job is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and anyone who doesn’t get that, just doesn’t get that. Too bad for them. Bravo to you for everything you do.

    Happy SITS day – keep on writing and keep on cooking!

    1. And bravo to you! Its not easy to go from working outside of the home to being a SAHM. No matter if it was a personal choice or one that you had no choice in, if you’re doing it, you deserve praise. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  22. I had a career path in mind until after a national disaster and all my priorities changed. While I have only one daughter, she is the most important thing to me and everything else comes second. Now that she is in school, I work part time (although I would much rather spend that time at home taking care of the millions of things that don’t seem to get done) and my hope is that whatever I do will always be around her schedule. Happy SITS day!

    1. Regardless of whether or not we are SAHMs or moms who work outside the home, we all wear those labels, so I give you credit for what you do. And, btw, I’m a SAHM and those “millions of things that don’t seem to get done” STILL don’t seem to get done. One day our kids will be out and they won’t remember the “millions of things that didn’t get done”. They’ll remember what you did for them.

      Now, if I could JUST remember that…

      Thanks for visiting Boystown, btw!

  23. I found you on SITS- great blog. It so much work being a stay at home mom and not everyone could make it in this industry! You are certainly sorta-super at it! I would never want to compile a list of the ‘roles’ I have played during the day- it would be rather alarming to look over an entire 24 hour period at once.

    1. You should, lol. I think every once in a while EVERY mom should make a list of all the “non” jobs she has to do, that way, in the event that we ever start to think we aren’t important, we can see a list of what we ACTUALLY do.

      Just make sure you’re sitting down when you read it. You’ll get exhausted.

      Thanks for visiting!

  24. Visiting you from sits, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post! You sure wrote everything I have been thinking. Your list is all too true and hilarious! There is nothing like being a mother..we truly make the seemingly ordinary, extraordinary!

    1. Lol- thanks so much! I’ll remember that for if I ever repost my list. πŸ™‚ And thanks for stopping by- even when its a belated thing, its still really cool- like getting a gift in the mail you didn’t expect once your birthday has passed. Feel free to stop back by anytime!

  25. I’m baaaack! Just to say this…

    Your boys crack me up laughing. They sure look like they have a lot of secrets. Too funny! As a kid, I remember doing that with my schoolmates(Holding my hand up to some other kids ear to whisper something trivial that seemed so monumental to me/to us at the time).

    You’re welcome , btw, for the “gift”. Quite frankly, I just call it like I see it. And you ARE a talented writer.

    Have a good one…
    – Carlo

    1. Yeah, I used to do that too- like my hand was a force field that could contain my secret from anyone else but the intended receiver. Too bad I had such a loud mouth, lol. I’m pretty sure kids on other play grounds could here my “secrets”, lol.

      Thanks for stopping back by- and for the compliment. πŸ™‚ You have a great day- I’ll talk to you again soon, I hope. πŸ™‚

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