I read an article today about parenthood that I found to be very insightful for moms, especially "stay at home" moms. SAH moms are rare in 2010, and it breaks my heart that women are being schooled to believe that their value can only be found in a career outside the home. Education is a wonderful thing, a necessity that prepares you for a productive life, but when it comes time to start a family I firmly believe that a young child needs mom to be available 24/7, as they say. Certainly mom needs breaks from her routines, every day, and periodically with her mate. But the article said it this way, "Being a mom is not who I am, it's what I do." Exactly. When little Johnny is grown and ready to leave home, it can then be time for mom to begin to explore her own dreams. But while he's growing, she belongs at home. It's her job, and it shouldn't be part time, shared with young college aged girls at the day care center, or even Mrs. Smith down the street. They need mom.
The fly in that ointment is the single mom who is the sole bread winner in the family. She has no options unless she can make her money from home, which is ideal, but hardly the norm. It is happening more and more, though, and I would like to see more of it for the family's sake.
I guess I am very dogmatic on this subject, among others, but at a time in my life when I am called "Grammy" I have lived and learned many things. Most of these I learned the hard way, tough lessons that I wish someone had taught me before I made the wrong choices. But the best, and just about the only way is to learn by experience. That's one thing I have plenty of, experience. My mother tried to tell me many things those nineteen years I lived in her house, but I only learned most of them by experience, thinking "why didn't I listen to her?"
I'll step down now from my platform to talk about what I really want to write about. Who am I? I'm "Dear" or "Babydoll" to my husband. I'm "Mom" or "Mother" (ick) or even sometimes "Mommy" to my grown children. I'm "Grammy" to my wonderful, and perfect, grandchildren. I'm "best friend" to a couple, at least that's what I call them. I'm "friend" to many, and I'm aquainted with literally hundreds of people. So, with all those titles, how do I narrow it down to who I really am? Am I all those things? How can I be all those things at one time? Is that who I am, or is it just what I do?
When my young teen, Wesley, sees me what does he say to himself? He identifies me immediately in his mind, "Grammy". To Wesley, "Grammy" is who I am. But when I am with Wesley for any length of time, it is what I do. I do the actions that a Grammy does. When John or Jay sees me it registers right away, "Mom". To them "Mom" is who I am. But on an every day basis, with them living so far away that I seldom see them, it's not what I do anymore. It was when they were home and growing up, but they're adults now, and I no longer do the things a mom does for young children. So, it has become my identity, but no longer my job. My job as a mother of grown children becomes a supporter, a counselor, a friend, and most of all to love them unconditionally. And if you think that last one is easy, then you must be young and not yet a parent. That could be the hardest job of all. But it's a requirement, it's a must. There are no options on that one.
It's all very confusing, isn't it? And I could stop writing and thinking now, but we would continue on in our lives living with that confusing dilema, bouncing back and forth between titles wondering just who the heck am I? This is where the real answer comes and settles the question firmly and permanently. All those titles that I mentioned are only temporary, only while we inhabit this earth, only while I'm living this life where I was placed so purposefully and perfectly. I am a child of God. I belong to Him. I am permanently, securely, eternally and lovingly His. That title will never change. I am, and I always will be, "His". When I said "Yes" to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I received a title that will be with me forever. And that, my darlings, is really who I am.
So, moms and grandmas and factory workers and lawyers and doctors and garbage collectors, you can call yourself what you like, you can go by titles and names and work your way up to the senator or the president of the company. But when it comes down to who you really are, the only title that matters, the only real question is, are you "His"?