I hate it.
I feel like I get it from both ends.
On the one hand, my working-mom friends legitimately want to know...
...what do you do all day? After all, they're getting up at 6 AM (or earlier) to get themselves and kiddos ready...for school, daycare, before-school-care, etc....then on to put in an eight to ten hour day for an employer. Only to come home to cook, clean, bathe kids, snuggle, put to bed. Rinse. Repeat.
I know. I used to do it. I was exhausted all the time.
In fact, a woman I hadn't seen in several years was shocked to learn that I had quit my job to stay at home and legitimately wanted to know what I did to pass the time. I started to share with her and as her eyes glazed over, I decided to instead ask her how she managed to do it all. Immediately, she sprung to life sharing how frazzled and exhausted she was and how her 30s are pretty much of a blur. She took 6-weeks off with each baby.
And then she said something interesting.
She said, "and after those 6-weeks I was totally ready to go back to work. I was going stir-crazy."
What is it about our American identity that makes us feel the need to constantly be doing???
Then there's my home school friends (both in real life and through blogging). They're doing the same things as me...cooking, cleaning, rearing children, and home educating. Home with kiddos all day...not getting a break. And while they love what they do...knowing it's the best choice for their family...they too have their Calgon moments!
So, I know they, too, wonder...
...what does she do all day?
She doesn't work outside of the home...
...she doesn't home school...
...what could possibly fill her time???!!!
Things like this fill my days...
creating AWESOME bulletin boards with my girlfriend, Kathy, for my kiddos school!!!
Did we rock this or what???
It is a bulletin board in the lobby of the Catholic School which connects to the Parish church.
It is a marketing/PR board for our 2nd Annual Chef's Classic school/parish fundraiser.
As PTO, (oh, ya, I'm Vice-President on PTO!) we are charged with the responsibility of raising $20,000.00 every year to make up the deficit of low-enrollment. Yes, a tiny school has its benefits...but financial struggles is not one of them!
(More about our becoming-famous "Chef's Classic Knockout Bout" later!)
I host our bi-weekly Catholic Women's Group, opening my home to eight of the kindest women I know every other week. I love to bake, make coffee, and set a pretty table welcoming and encouraging these fellow sisters in Christ! I just need to make sure I remember to be Mary with my sometimes-Martha heart!
Love the footnotes from the USCCB regarding Jesus' characteristic attitude towards women
on Luke 10: 8-42
Most recently, I volunteered to become the Point of Contact for new families in our Parish, Holy Family.
My girlfriends from Catholic Women's Group agreed that we needed to take on a more visible role in our Parish...there's always something that needs to be done...and forming a "Welcome Wagon" committee was a role we all agreed upon. And the best part of this ministry...it doesn't take up much time!!! Initially, we will all have several families to hand-deliver a welcome gift to, but after that, we will have more sporadic delivery dates (with such a tiny parish). Items will be gathered and stored in my home and the woman that lives closest to the new parishioner will deliver.
We have come up with a really beautiful "Welcome Basket" that is going to include some sweet and meaningful gifts that represent Holy Family parish. I plan to share more when we begin delivery (after Easter). We are going to start with any new parishioners that have joined our Parish in the past six months.
(I would have loved to received such a welcoming gift from a Parish! My husband and I have belonged to several with each local move and I can't remember a single time, being greeted with anything besides tithing envelopes! LOL)
Again, hospitality is just something that has been on my heart of late...
And finally, this little blog of mine!
It doesn't have hundreds and hundreds of readers, but those that do drop by regularly and comment, and those that do drop by (even if they don't comment!) make my heart happy. I have been trying to be better about responding to comments via email, or at least a visit back, but I sometimes get behind on my emails!!!
As my infertility posts have struck a chord, evidenced by both the number of new followers and page hits, I plan to continue to write from my heart. And I certainly hope that each visit is welcoming and showing my deep desire to be hospitable regardless of the topic. Kindness. Always.
“A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”
~St. Therese of Lisieux~
So there you have it. Not every day is putting up bulletin boards, or reading to kindergartners. Not every day is delivering a Welcome Basket or hosting Women's Group. But by remaining at home while my children are at school (and one is still a toddler) I am striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus in my own personal way, both through St. Therese's philosophy of the Little Way (my daily household chores) and volunteering in my own communities.
We are all striving towards reaching Heaven...the working mom...the home schooling mom...the stay-at-home with school-bound kiddos...let us lift each other up in prayer!