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.

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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.

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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.

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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.