What do you do?

On Thursday mornings I meet with a lovely group of ladies at St. John’s Richmond for a Bible study. Free child care. Hot tea. Adult discussion. What more can a mama ask for?

We are currently doing a study about “the Church”. Our Bible passage this week led us to look at some pretty wacky descriptions of what it means to be a part of the church and who we are as Christians. A royal priesthood? A holy nation? Yes, but heck, unless you are well versed in the interpretation of  Old Testament Judaism in the New Testament, I accept your blank stare. The discussion digressed as it is apt to do, into a discussion about how we answer the common question “what do you do?”. Only one of us in the study has an actual “job” and even she is returning to stay at home mom next year.

We are a fairly broad range of ages from 30 to 60 plus. All mothers with children from 1 year to grown and married with children. All struggling with the response to this question. Why does it feel so unsatisfactory to reply, “I’m a homemaker”? Pre-children I had a visceral reaction to the idea of being “forced” to stay at home and take care of children rather than continue with my work as a nurse. Motherhood changed me and I now feel blessed to have spent the last five years raising my children. However, I still feel limited by the description of homemaker. And heck, maybe you feel limited by the description of “lawyer”, “teacher”, “postal worker”, “engineer” etc. Why do we all feel obliged to answer the questions of “what do you do?” with an occupation?

Why not try…I’m a playmate, artist, blogger, friend, chauffeur, daughter of the Creator of the Universe…You get the point. We all wear so many hats in our lives but I suppose it’s not exactly socially acceptable to answer like this, it would be far too transparent for our hands off society.

Or perhaps I’ll try out my Bible study leader’s tongue in cheek response to this question: “I’m a kept women. I have sex with my husband and he buys stuff for me.”

 

 

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