How loading the dishwasher gives my life purpose. 

The other day something just short of a miracle happened in my life. It was sunny. It was 12 pm. I was out for a walk. And I. Was. Alone. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself, though, because I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy the heat of the noon-hour sun by myself. This thought was shortly followed by another voice reminding me that most people, in fact, do not have this luxury during the week either!  Stay-at-home-mom or not, everyone has duties during the day, responsibilities that keep us from taking that much desired afternoon walk (or siesta, or beer, or coffee, or yoga class). I shamefully realized that I was feeling sorry for myself for something that most other people don’t get to enjoy either. I was being a mommy martyr (I discovered that term from this great post). And I wanted to stop being that.

During a drive with my husband this past year we began to talk about what we wanted people to know us as. I have a Bachelor of Education degree and grew up dreaming of becoming a teacher. Yet in that moment in the car with my husband I thought to myself that I didn’t really want to be referred to as a teacher anymore. Neither did I want to be known as “just a mom”. So I said to my husband that I wanted to be known as a writer instead. I have a suspicion that partly why I chose writer out of those three options is because I erroneously believe this to be a more respectable, or creative, or interesting, line of work than the other two choices.

I am learning to more fully embrace my role as a mom. I wake up in the morning and view the breakfast I need to prepare as my first work task, the laundry as my next one. The vacuuming has a deadline (Thursday) and the playgroup is my staff meeting. Grocery shopping is a business trip and naptime is my lunch break. The weekend? Well, it’s the weekend. During the week I am always working, never wasting time. Nothing is meaningless. Everything is important. All of it is what I do in this job of mine titled “Mom”.

Maybe in the future I will work in a classroom again, or maybe I will write, or maybe I will do something completely different. But I am trying not to get distracted with these future things when my most important job is right infront of me – raising my two sons.

What would it look like for you to approach tomorow with a sense of honor and privilege, believing that you have work to do in the world, that it matters, that it’s needed, that you have a path and you’re working your craft?

-Rob Bell (How to Be Here)


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