I Am a Homemaker
I am sitting in a small, dark room. In front of me is the machine that blows air in my eyes to test them for glaucoma. I am not a fan of that machine. But, I am not yet nestling my chin into its sinister holster.
For now, I am sitting. I am sitting and I am watching as my Optician transcribes my New Patient Form into the computer. Apparently they run a fairly tight ship around here. No need for a receptionist for the paperwork.
She makes idle conversation and I try to keep up my side of the conversation. I am also not a fan of idle conversation.
She types my name and then my address. She fills out fields for age, gender and birthdate. Then she comes to the field marked “Occupation”. I have written in this blank “Homemaker”.
My cheeks redden a little as she glances down at my response. It’s an old fashioned term, I know. But, it’s the one I choose. It seems to me to be terribly accurate. I make a home. In as many new countries as I find myself, I make a home. Whatever container my family is poured into, I make of it a home.
Yes, I organize and I cook and I clean until it becomes something that is ours. This is part of how I make a home. But it is only a part. I also make space in our home—to connect and to grow. I make time for my people in our home. And I make peace here. I speak my love through my home. To say that I am a homemaker is no small statement.
I glance from my written response to the illuminated computer screen. The Receptionist clicks her mouse into the blank field. She types UNEMPLOYED.
She continues in her banal chatter but I don’t even attempt to respond. The wind is knocked out of me.
Years later, the wind is still knocked out of me when I think of her erasure. There is a difference, though. Now I’m bothered, not by her deletion, but by the sway I gave it. I allowed it, and every other dismissal of this role to quiet me. I allowed them to muzzle and constrain me.
But, I am done having this role discounted. I reject her rejection. I reject every conversation in which this role has been belittled. I reject its relegation to less-enlightened times. I reject every assumption about value and worth based on pay stubs and job titles.
I will continue to make our home. I will not do it because I am seeking a sense of identity in it. I embrace this title because I know the power of creating a home. Even in conversations and scenarios where it seems out of place and antiquated. Even there. I am a homemaker.
I join with women and men around the world who provide shelter, give comfort and nourishment.
We are home-makers.