I hope this pre-Thanksgiving note finds you all well today and that our Beach sisters along the Eastern Seaboard are getting the relief they need from the wrath of hurricane Sandy not to mention the ” no name ” Nor’ easter storm we are smack dab in the middle of. We’ve lost power twice today and many more North Eastern communities have been hit with record snow fall over the last two days. MaryJanesFarm has created a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief fund and offering a percentage of all sales to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and this Nor’easter! High winds and heavy rains are my sound track today but snow is not predicted for us further up the coastline. I think it’s going to be a doozy of a winter! That being said, seasonal changes abound for better or worse. After all, as a “stay at home mom” I take my role as “the keeper” of our home pretty darned seriously! It’s part of my job description to shore us up during stormy weather and to do my best to keep things running smooth as the bay on a flat calm day. Come on in out of the sleet and snow for a hot drink and a nice long chat about keeping the harbor light burning in a modern world.
I attended the meeting thinking I might get a spark about moving forward with my budding backyard blossoms flower business ( and I did ) but something else began to flicker too! Don’t you just love when that happens? As the meet and greet portion of the night progressed, I couldn’t help but notice that many women still say “I’m JUST a stay at home mom “when asked what they do even if they work part time while raising their children. Think about this for a minute…
When a woman say’s, “I JUST stay home with my children”, it sounds like an apology rather than an exclamation! This just can’t be sisters! The women of today in our country are luckier than in any other time in history. We can choose how we will shape our lives around our families and our work. The trick is being at peace with whatever that decision is. And that’s different for every woman. What a clever, enterprising, creative, ambitious, savvy, and talented bunch of women we are! We can “bring home the bacon” (Some Farmgirl’s raise their own) when and if we choose too and feel proud doing it!
It’s inspiring to think about the many enterprising women and accomplished writers that have been born while keeping the home fires burning. Our very own, MaryJaneButters, the late Tasha Tudor, Ree Drummond ( Pioneer Woman )and the Goosberry Patch Girls just to name a few.
So, why aren’t we ” ‘ JUST ‘ as proud when we say we are SAHM’s? Why do many women still say I’m ” JUST “ a stay at home mom instead of, I’m a homemaker and I work part time selling, painting, crafting, speaking, writing, blogging, knitting, farming, making soap, teaching, tutoring, taking photos, making jewelry, sewing, cooking…Well, you get the idea. Doesn’t that phrase sound more confident, and empowering?
I’d like to think the word ” just” when used with the phrase ” a stay at home mom ( or mom ) ” isn’t intentional, but rather an unconscious use of the word similar to the way we use” like” in our vocabulary today. The difference being, the word “like” is just a lazy filler with no real consequence of changing or effecting ones opinion of themselves or others. But the word, ” JUST” when tied to the phrase a stay at home mom ( or a mom ) says to the world ( and to yourself) that your station in life is diminished, nominal, insignificant, small, minute, trifle, reduced. Maybe you don’t really believe it but, the word is used often without even thinking about it. I believe the phrase “JUST” a SAHM sank into our vocabulary during the 60’s and 70’s when it wasn’t cool to choose a domestic lifestyle. Grown women were running away from home, burning there bra’s and sleeping under trees! It was a crazy and radical time to grow up in as young woman. I think 40 years is long enough for the idea that women are less than successful and less valued if they don’t work part time or full time outside of homemaking. I say we ship that old idea out to sea right here and now!
If you were an employed mom before having children, I bet you never said, I’m ” JUST” a hairdresser, teacher, marketing executive, editor, writer, waitress, graphic designer, business owner, dental hygienist, veterinarian, Dr. nurse, lawyer, firefighter, grocery clerk, dentist, x-ray technician, electrician, human rescourses director, salesperson, manager, surgeon, interior designer, post master, landscape designer, architect. Etc.
Every mother will have times when she works a lot or a little or not at all while raising her family. In many cases she is the main breadwinner of the family! We mom’s need to stick together and support one another no matter what our station in life is at the time.
Let’s make a pact for the mothers of today and tomorrow to never, ever use the word ” JUST” anywhere near the words mom, momma, mama, mother, me maw from here on out! Deal?
Speaking of amazing mama’s. My cousin Teri ( SAHM of three little darlings all under the age of 6) called me today to tell me about her writers group Write On, Mamas and their collaborative writing project. The group has 13 members, all moms and one sweet dad who writes to keep the memory of his wife (who he lost from breast cancer) alive. They gather monthly, to share, encourage and critique each other’s writing plus they have written an Anthology with the shared goal and vision of getting their stories published! They are currently having a crowd fundraising event at the host site Indiegogo to raise enough funds to have their book professionally edited and published! This is an amazing collaborataive effort and a “girl genius” idea to boot! If you’re a ‘ write’n mama too check out their site. The fundraiser ends Wednesday!
I am utterly convinced that staying home with children can be one of the most fertile growing periods for us as mothers and women. During the eighteen years I worked as a hairstylist it was easy to state my title on a business card. Debbie Bosworth, Hair Stylist/ Salon Owner. Period. Done.
* The Lighthouse images in this post are of the Plymouth ( Gurnet ) Lighthouse and were taken my sweet Yankee, Boz.