Yesterday was an day of introspection…this was caused mainly (but not exclusively) to two things…
The first was the news of the death of Natasha Richardson.
Just 45 years old, leaving behind two sons only 12 and 13 yrs old….
This lady is not too far from my life. I will be the big 4-0 later this year, I have three young children and I like to do active things. In the past few years I haven’t had the chance to be very physically active, other than running around after those little ones, but this year has been a year of change for me. I could see myself taking ski lessons just like she did. A freak accident that wasn’t even major and two days later, she’s gone.
The second was (surprisingly) an episode of Desperate Housewives…(don’t judge me!)
In this episode, Eli, (Wisteria Lane’s handyman) passes away on the very day he is retiring. (Ironic?) The show goes on to show flashbacks of how he impacted on the lives of the characters on the street. This man was not a showy person, he humbly went about his work. He was not a GREAT man with fame and fortune, but he was rich in his beneficence. He always had time for a kind word or interested ear. He also had a knack for sensing just what a person needed at the time and gave it freely. He may not have been a big star or someone who millions of people knew, but those who did know him admired him and his good works rippled outwards to those who didn’t personally know him.
His character and a comment made by one of the other characters (Bree) spoke to me. In one of the scenes, she is asked why she doesn’t get a job. She emphatically answers (“I HAVE a job….I am a HOMEMAKER.”) Those of you who watch the show will know that her whole character revolves around her (sometimes over-evolved) skills as a homemaker. She really IS the ‘perfect’ housewife, although completely crippled emotionally- but that’s a topic for another post.
Anyway, the reason it really hit home is because that very thing is something I have struggled with for the past 5 years. I am a SAHM to my three daughters. In my previous life, I had a career in counselling/psychology. It has been a real journey to accept that my work is now to help form these little people into human beings and run a household. My ‘JOB’ is a homemaker. But our society doesn’t hold much value on this profession. It’s as if you don’t have a brain if you don’t have a job outside the home. When you tell people ‘I look after our kids and home full-time’ after the inevitable question ‘and what do YOU do?’…the answer is usually something like ‘Oh’… followed by silence. Clearly you don’t need a brain when on any given day you are a…Housekeeper, Day Care Center Teacher, Cook, Computer Operator, Laundry Machine Operator, Janitor, Facilities Manager, Chief Executive Officer, Van Driver, Psychologist, Interior Designer, Administrative Assistant, Event Planner, Bookkeeper, General Maintenance Worker, Groundskeeper, Nutritionist, Staff Nurse – RN, Logistics Analyst.
Anyway what I really wanted to say is that the above two things have made me re-evaluate my life and my contribution to the world I am in…wherever that is. I may be a mum, but I can be a great one. I may be a teacher, but I can be a great one. I may be a woman struggling to keep all the balls up in the air, but I can be a great one. I may be ‘just’ a homemaker, but I can be a great one.
You never know what is around the corner, so, wherever you are…be a great one.
Peace and love to all of you.