“And I thought you were JUST a housewife from Michigan!”

Me. Pregnant. Housewife. Smirking. Gosh, that hair DOES look red, doesn't it? Aww, look at little Chris...

OK, OK, you gleaned the truth from that title, didn’t you?

There is a tiny part of me–just a tiny part–that still, after all these years, feels insignificant.  As a creative blogger, I am still trying to soothe the indignant inner housewife who is still, yes STILL, upset that I was once labeled as “just a housewife from Michigan.”

(Get over it, Kathy.  There is nothing wrong with being “just” a housewife.  A housewife is a wonderful occupation!  Husbands and wives attempt to quit their 9-5 jobs daily, begging one another, “Can’t I please be a housewife?  Can’t I please be a house husband?)

Nonetheless, you shall have to remember.

Some of us grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s and 70’s when the word “housewife” brought images of a stay-at-home happy smiling Mom who is perfectly satisfied in serving the needs of her almost-perfect family.  Think: Leave it to Beaver.  Think:  June Cleaver.  Think: perfectly coiffed Mom with apron scrambling eggs for breakfast.

June. The perfectly satisfied housewife and mother.

There is–or was–a deep cultural bias both for and against housewives.  We are the meat & bones of America.  We are the worthiest of the worthy for raising our little blessings to become the best blessings they could be.  We sacrifice ourselves in the name of vacuuming and dusting and car pooling to raise the future presidents, corporate executives, college professors and physicians.

We’re what makes it all possible.

Some women fit the housewife role like a gaily patterned apron.  Some women thrive.  They can’t imagine, can’t imagine, anything which better suits their nature.

I am not one of those women.

Make no mistake.  I think I was a pretty darn good mother and housewife.  OK, a good mother anyway.  As a housewife, I was neat.  Always straightened everything up so our Little House in the Woods looked neat and acceptable.  But experienced a little challenge cleaning that deep-down dirt and wood stove dust.  Still do.

Let’s move back in imagination to the 1980’s and 1990’s. Something in me felt delighted, thrilled, overjoyed to be raisin’ young’uns in the Upper Peninsula Woods.  I had to hold two part-time jobs to help make finances work, but I was mostly a housewifely sort.  My world revolved around family.  I adored them.

Beloved family

Except something felt missing.  It felt terribly missing.  Something in me longed to be wildly creative, wildly appreciated, wildly productive.  Something longed to be free, traveling, writing epic novels, spiritually enlightened.  Something wanted more than the “housewife” title.

So I traveled as much as possible.  Attended a few spiritual workshops.  Followed local Anishinabe (Ojibway) Native Americans into the woods and prayed in sweat lodges while the full moon rose.  I once “accidentally” sweated with sixteen men.  Long story.  It made me feel brave and respected when the elder called me “courageous.”

I just wanted to be something other than an ordinary mother and housewife.

I wanted to follow my heart’s calling.

But it didn’t come with directions.

It didn’t come with GPS.

When I went to Montana in 2000 and tried to look hippy for ten days. Please meet Melinda.

Some people look interesting, don’t they?  They wear bangles and jangles and scarves and fancy clothes.  They find a fashion statement to wear on the outside, explaining to the world who they are–or who they want to be.

Not me.

I wear blue jeans.  Today, a light blue extra-ordinary sweater.  No makeup.  Glasses.  Not even fashion glasses.  I look like an ordinary housewife from Michigan.

Not like a creative secret spy.  Not an other-world adventurer.  Not a wild & crazy dreamer.  Not a spinner of tales, a moon-singer, a forest sprite, a baying wolf, an artiste in Paris or Barcelona.

And who are you?

Once, in the mountains of Montana, I swapped stories with a Chicago executive.

She gasped.

“And I thought you were just a housewife from Michigan!”

Ladies and gentlemen readers, I am here this morning to tell you something very very important.

Lean in closely.

Do not–do not ever–mistake a person for his or her vocation.  Do not mistake what a person does for a living, for work, as who he or she really truly is.

Do not ever think a person is only a father, only an accountant, only an engineer, only a software consultant, only a mother, only an invalid, only a retiree, only a helpmate.

We are not “only” anythings!

We are magnificent beings with infinite possibilities.

We are limited only by our self-definitions and never, ever, ever, let yourself or anyone else define you by a “just” or “only”!

The many footprints of ourselves

Stepping off soapbox now.

It is time to vacuum.  (Don’t gasp, Barry!)

For the next half hour I am a housewife from Michigan.  After that…perhaps tax collector or meditating monk or forest sprite.  You never know.

P.S.  Storm and snow photos next, I promise.  Unless of course the wild & unpredictable non-housewifely words insist upon another story…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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82 Responses to “And I thought you were JUST a housewife from Michigan!”

  1. Irene Lefort says:

    We all have multiple roles or identities in life from the moment we are born. We are child, grandchild, nephew and cousin, etc. all at the same time. Later in life, we become pupil, student, boyfriend or girlfriend, financee, apprentice, trainee, spouse, employee, parent, teacher, mentor, role model, and the list goes on. We are so many things and definitely not “‘only’ anything!”. Thanks for an insightful post. Wish you a wonderful day. 🙂

  2. forestfae says:

    This post made me smile! None of us are ever just the sum of the ‘labels’ people sometimes so callously and offhand designate us with.
    The second reason it made me smile was that not long ago I was ‘labeled’ too by someone. He called me “that hippy-gothy girl who lives in the woods and plays the didgeredoo”.

    HowsTHAT for a label..lol, by comparrison the term ‘housewife from Michigan’ sounds tame and respectable 😛

  3. Yes, yes, no one is ever “just” or “only” anything! And you are, indeed, that creative and spiritual being–writer–artist–medium–monk! Here I love the notion of not having an inner GPS to identify calling. Great image. Another thought–at least you aren’t a “desperate” housewife from Michigan.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  4. jenyphero says:

    And never, ever call somebody “just a housewife!” When I had my second child, we decided I should stay at home. I was working and my entire paycheck went to pay daycare so I could work. Pointless. Let me tell you, being a housewife is the hardest, most thankless job in the world. I am now back in the 8-5 working world and don’t have any desire to go back to staying at home. The women that do have every ounce of respect and admiration I can garnish. Great post, and I sympathize with finding your identity.

  5. I could not agree with you more!! I often get confused responses when I tell people what I do for my day job (secretary/clerk) – they give me that, “But I thought you were smarter than that” look. FIRST of all, they have no idea how much work that actually IS, and second of all, I got this job when I was 20 years old, with no direction in my life. I’m still doing this, because after almost 15 years of employment with the government, it’s not the best decision to leave (especially in this job market). As soon as I get back home, I take off my “invisibility cloak” (Harry Potter reference), and become the real ME again. I have finally found my footing on the path that I was meant to be on, and I couldn’t be happier about it! Sorry for rambling, but your post really got me thinking!!

  6. M L Fuller says:

    Thank you! My mom was a housewife for many years and I am thankful she was home for us and sacrificed a “real job.” It is sad that it’s so easy to define ourselves by our work. This is a great post! Thanks again!

  7. P.j. grath says:

    I can relate to Holly’s comment, as I was “just” a secretary for many years. In fact, one very rude person who asked a question I couldn’t answer one day in the office actually shrugged and said, “Oh, that’s right–you’re just a secretary.”

    Whether housewife or secretary, business owner or CEO, artist or priest, it’s harder for women to be visible in their full value. Sadly, that is often the case whether the person not doing the seeing is male or female. So knowing our own worth is of paramount importance. The other important matter (equally important, IMO) is remembering to assume the full worth of others, regardless of the role they fill when first we meet.

    Ahem! Sermon! Kathy, it’s your fault for getting me started!!!

  8. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy, you did it again. You brought to the surface a topic that many women, many men struggle with…WHO are we? I love what you said “Do not–do not ever–mistake a person for his or her vocation. Do not mistake what a person does for a living, for work, as who he or she really truly is.” and “We are not “only” anythings!” Wow! Wish I could have believed this about myself back when I was ridiculed as a young mother who decided to stay at home to raise my son. Who at the same time provided day care for several other young children (and these children are still a part of my life 20 years later!) and who was told “Why don’t you get a REAL job?!”. The person who asked me this (it really wasn’t posed as a question it was posed as a demand) was someone very dear to me so it cut to the core of who I am. Ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted was to be a wife and a mother. It was my hearts calling and I have never felt such inner peace as when I am “in the home”. All the years I spent working outside the home felt alien to me…strange and cold and definitely not nurturing. I understand that other women (and men) LOVE their careers outside the home and I respect that. This world is full of wonderfully diverse people with a variety of preferences and I believe that is part of what makes us a humans so intriguing and so beautiful. We are definitely more than JUST what we do and hopefully we can, as parents and as a society, teach our children to see with open eyes and open hearts, past the “job” titles people wear. That our children will truly see the VALUE of each individual person. Thank you Kathy for bringing this point up and for once again illustrating your words with such perfect pictures. 🙂

  9. Kathy – I love your observation: “We are magnificent beings with infinite possibilities.”

    (True confessions: like wool underwear, the term “wife” has always rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t know why, but for me it has somewhat of negative connotation to it. I prefer “partner” — it screams “full and equal.” I can’t think anyone would ever belittle it by saying “just” a partner.)

  10. Celeste says:

    Thank you again, Kathy! As I am job-hunting, I go through those days when I apply for things that are “beneath” me professionally, and I feel I’ve let myself down. The fact is, that since I’m not working I have time to work on a local arts festival (making art and organizing), meeting new friends in my new city, managing our home sale back in Wisconsin, making gourmet food that I actually have time to prepare…and reading wonderful blogs like yours. We can be so silly with ourselves and labels!

  11. amymarie says:

    I think there still is a bit of a cultural bias against being a “housewife.” (Although they say “homemaker” now.) Sometimes, when I tell people I’m at home with my almost two-year-old son, I get “the look,” the one that says, “That’s all you do? Why don’t you have a real job?” I can’t bring myself to tell people I”m a writer, because even though I’m starting on my fifth novel, I have yet to publish anything…

  12. Carol says:

    One of my great sadnesses about out society is just that: we have concepts about what “ideal” people do and look like. Women are to be out there amongst them, reaching for the corporate ceiling, wearing Prada, slim but buxom, wrinkle-free, with very very white teeth. Professional yet sexy, perfect in all ways. Aargh! We are all individuals, we are never “just” anything -I’m repeating what you said. Reality is none of us is perfect, we are all “just” humans, we need to be what we need to be without judgment. Thank you for putting it so beautifully.

  13. Allie says:

    I can thoroughly identify with this post. I was a stay at home mom for 13 years, raising five children until they were all in school. I’ve run the gamut of occupations – photo editor, cashier, supervisor, pharmacy technician, English as a foreign language teacher, cafe owner/chef and now wine store clerk. Every change has been out of necessity, and none of them defines exactly who I am. I recently had someone tell me that I can’t possibly be ‘just’ a wine store clerk – I must have DONE something more. Apparently me being a supervisor in a pharmacy wasn’t quite enough in her eyes either. It was only when I told her that I’d owned my own business that she was satisfied. She then went on to tell me that I would be bored with my current job within a year. Sometimes other people’s perceptions of who we are is rather strange.

    My middle daughter was talking to me about college recently. She told me that she had been interested in molecular biology but after a while she realized that she would not enjoy a career in that field. She’s happy with her ‘for now’ job and I told her that’s the most important thing – finding something that you enjoy doing. A job does not define us, just the way we put food on our tables. You will never know what talents and passions someone has just because of what they do in life.

  14. Laurie said it all “We are magnificent beings with infinite possibilities.”

    This post, Kathy, is brilliant. This would be a perfect ‘Out’ blog. Your longings have directed you, your meditation has cleared your palate and lo, and behold, what is revealed? YOU! As you describe yourself, as your photos explore and as your words paint for us, a magnificent being with infinite possibilities.

    I am so happy to read this today. Snowing here. ‘Out’ opens tomorrow. Good press.
    All my love, to you, who I adore,
    Suzi

    PS Yours is the Wordle of the week at http://www.laundrylinedivine.com.

  15. Heather says:

    Your post resonates with me just as much as the above commenters. In addition to society labeling us, we are guilty of labeling ourselves. Before I moved to Michigan, I was “just” a high school science teacher. I found I was constantly explaining to non-teachers JUST how much work that was. One day, I had to justify to myself why I didn’t have time in my life for anything else. Now I am “just” a data nerd, and I find I have more time to be myself. I hope others find the opportunity to have a vocation and an other self – or a vocation that allows them to be their full selves.
    Oh, and I take issue with this: “Not an other-world adventurer. Not a wild & crazy dreamer. Not a spinner of tales, a moon-singer, a forest sprite…” HA! I might not know you in person, but I think these describe you at least a little 🙂

  16. Lori DiNardi says:

    I went through that spiritual search when I found I couldn’t become a mother. Who was I supposed to be then? Well, I discovered the real me on that journey, and don’t have one ounce of concern about “just’s” or “only’s”. I’m not even a mother. Lord, do you know how selfish I am … according to society anyway, for not becoming a mother? I’ve shed those worries about what other people think of it. I found the real me, and sometimes, at just the right moment, I can even express that divinity outward. 😉

  17. kanniduba says:

    Whoo boy! Great post. I’m a wandering lost soul these days, and that’s okay. I taught school for twelve years…and yes it defined me. I was Teacher…I knew without a doubt that it was my calling and I was damned good at it. Somewhere in there I became “Mama” and for the first time Teacher was not at the top of my “who am I” list of labels. When I had my third child I left teaching to be “just a Mom.” I didn’t realize how completely I defined myself by my job until I left it. I was lost and incomplete for two years, finding that I did not feel competent as a housewife and mother. All my June Cleaver fantasies evaporated in the chaos of raising a family and I felt I was failing because i couldn’t keep the pristine images of home that I once imagined. I have grown away from my own labels and have morphed into a Me that really is…a bit messy, a bit impatient, a bit creative, a bit neurotic, a bit talented, more than a bit spiritual, a whole lot loving, and many other things yet to be discovered. Will I return to teaching? Perhaps. But if I do, it will no longer define me. And gone are my June Cleaver fantasies…my family’s life is real, the good, the bad, and the ugly and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 🙂

  18. Well said! Learning all about somebody — not just one side of them — is part of the fun of meeting new people and enjoying their company.

  19. gigi says:

    “We are magnificent beings with infinite possibilities.”

    I needed to hear that. I’ve been unemployed for nine months and fighting the urge to give in and move backwards.

    I don’t feel very magnificent right now.

    And infinite seems impossible.

    So, thank you, for pointing out otherwise.

  20. Dana says:

    Oh, Kathy! Truer words were never spoken. My mom stayed at home with my sisters and I until I was 16 years old, and she was constantly belittled for being “just” and “only” a housewife. I learned firsthand through her that being a stay-at-home parent is one of the most demanding careers EVER! When she started looking for work outside the home when I was in high school, she faced a lot of rejection because she “didn’t have any skills”. Seriously? (Apparently this post has stirred up all the indignation and frustration I felt on her behalf so long ago…)

    This post really resonates with me, especially because last night (Yes! Just last night!) I was struggling to define or put a label on what I do for work. I know in my heart that I’m right where I need to be right now, and my spirit thrives when I am taking care of art business-related tasks, but in the eyes of others, I have “settled” or “wasted my skills” or “sacrificed my own career” or even “made a gigantic, irreversible mistake”. Heavy. Reading these words not only affirms that I am so much more than what I do, but also that mere labels cannot begin to encompass me, you, or anybody else. As you say, we are all “magnificent beings with infinite possibilities”. Thank you.

  21. susan says:

    Ok Kathy, how perfect, and raw, and honest. We are never “just” anything! Everyone has special talents, cravings for knowledge and experience. Bless your heart for seeking out things up yonder. (Had to be a challenge in itself!) I “re-invented” myself a half dozen or more times during my housewifehood with the kids. Had many part-time ventures, always and forever evolving into one thing or another. Life is such a banquet! Why taste only one food? 🙂

    All that you have done makes you into the very special and unique person you are today and it doesn’t matter what you are wearing!
    Hugs
    Susan
    (assuming you’ve been plowed out?)

  22. Colleen says:

    Kathy, I wonder when this idea began to trickle into our female psyche. Weren’t we once considered all- powerful, goddesses, sacred etc. because of our ability to nurture and to bring life into this world (whether we chose to or not). When did we begin to be/feel so diminished rather than empowered and magnificent by this.

    My tender spot was the word wife. Like Laurie, felt the negative connotations around the word/idea. Talking about labels, when we lived in Malaysia I was known as Mrs. Rick….no discussion!! When my sister would visit she was called Mrs. Rick’s Sister. A sense of humor was very helpful in keeping it all in perspective. We still get the giggles over this 🙂

  23. Wonderful post, Kathy! “We are not ‘only’ anythings! … We are magnificent beings with infinite possibilities.”

    I must remember this when meeting someone new and find myself getting asked the dreaded question: What do you do? I usually say something lame like, lots of things. I’ve considered channeling Emily Dickinson and saying that I dwell in possibility. I don’t get paid for anything I “do” and that is what they really want to know. But everything I’ve done and everything I’m doing is valued! I love being a homemaker/caregiver/genealogist/blogger/dreamer/etc…

    (You look a lot like a forest sprite to me!)

  24. This reminds me so much of one of my friends. She would love this! I’m going to recommend she come on over and read your blog. She’s such a creative genius, but, unfortunately, people tend to label. What was your response to the just-a-housewife lady? Gosh, that’s worse than when one of my old teachers showed up on an aisle where I work and told her daughter, “Now you see, if S had gone to college, she wouldn’t have to work here.” I was floored. Mind you, I have two degrees and four publications under my belt. (Small, but hmph!) Sometimes, we really should pause and be mindful of the things that come out of our mouths, myself included:-)

  25. Karma says:

    Wow, judging by all the comments here, you’ve really tugged at the heartstrings here. Sometimes I wonder how you are able to write such thought-provoking blog posts with such regularity (although we’ve certainly discussed how you sit and write and let it flow) Recently, I’ve found myself wanting to be defined by more than just my “roles” and to be seen as more than just those roles. Perhaps it is the beginning of that assessing that many seem to do as they get into their 40’s. I hesitate to call it a mid-life crisis, since I feel that I haven’t hit the half-way point yet, hopefully, and it doesn’t really feel like a crisis. The feeling is a little undefined, but I hope someday it will push me to take some chances and try some things outside my comfort zone.

  26. the best kept secret; right? behind those ‘just’s and ‘only’s of blinded ones

  27. Kathy says:

    I loved reading every one of your comments. Sometimes the comment section of this blog is so fascinating. It felt like so many of you commented from your heart, sharing deep cultural and societal scars. Perhaps a day will come when we are no longer defined by our work or career or any other external. Perhaps some day we will deeply know that we are enough, down to the very core. Thank you again for pausing to share your truth with everyone else. Blessings to all… Love, Kathy

  28. bearyweather says:

    It is our many layers, talents and faces that make us so interesting and unique. Life is sure more interesting when you don’t have to live under just one label. Nice post.

  29. Sybil says:

    I agree with all these wonderful comments …

  30. me! says:

    I have wildly appreciated you from the moment I first saw you.

  31. sonali says:

    A good thought, Kathy! very true, never its ‘only’ someone. Everyone is worth the life itself & very special in whatever they do. Thanks for the note. It has been striking my mind every time I meet someone new and makes me not think “he/she is just only that” .

  32. After reading all the comments, I have only one thing to add. I “just” called the Dictionary folk and stated that as a committee of one, the word “just” was to be immediately removed.

  33. Kathy says:

    Thanks again all you wonderful housewives and househusbands, no, no, I mean you wonderful magnificent possibilities of humanity! **grin**

  34. Reggie says:

    Gosh, Kathy, you’ve done it again – stunned me into silent nodding, as I read one paragraph after another, nodding my agreement. Wow.

  35. Kathy says:

    Thanks, Reggie. I like it when these kind of blogs decide to use me as a spokesperson. 🙂

  36. Kathy says:

    Reblogged this on Lake Superior Spirit and commented:

    Dear friends and gentle readers,

    As promised, here is the blog entry which, edited just a tiny bit, danced its way into Suzi Banks Baum’s “An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice.” If you’ve saved a few shekels, do consider buying the book. I promise you’ll hear some delightful, sincere, authentic stories.

  37. lisaspiral says:

    So glad you re-blogged this. I have an easier time being “Orion’s Mom” than any kind of a housewife and “Just a Housewife”? Them’s fighting words. Still there is something deep in my dreamland that wishes just for a minute I was cut in a slightly different mold and I could have found contentment in that housewife role.

    • Kathy says:

      Them ARE fighting words, Lisa. It can be so sad when people demean the housewifely role. When truly, there is a great gift in this profession.

  38. Oh how FUN to know this is going to be in Suzi’s new book. Whoohoo! That’s exciting! 🙂

  39. Kathy – Found it on Amazon just now – thank you 🙂

  40. Oh this is a good one..One of your best that I have had the good fortune to read after finding you through Val’s blog, I think I think it was. You are a gifted writer and I always hang onto every word. Just indeed. Just doesn’t mean a whole heck of alot when the word is put into the proper context.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you so much, Yvonne. Do you really hang on to *every* word? grin. It’s so fun to look backwards-in-time to find old blogs sometimes, isn’t it? Especially when we’ve found a blog we’ve written where we’re passionate AND being almost a bit literary? Thank you again.

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Linda! (Actually I forgot to tell everyone when this happened last spring. Better late than never, right?)

      • Yep! I remember reading and commenting on this. I think I bought the book, however, I read so many books I would be hard put, as they say, to find same. I thought I had commented on it as well. The joys of aging and forgetting!

  41. Congratulations on having this wonderful essay published! Thank you for putting it up here again, as it seems I missed it the first time around…and I would’ve hated to miss it entirely. As an artist who doesn’t LOOK exotic or “artsy” (I’m ordinary; who are you?), and who often works at jobs totally unrelated to my true self (though I take pride in doing a good job always, and don’t feel I’m “above” them) I am constantly fighting stereotypes. I love this post. Thank you!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, it’s been lovely, Cindy! Thank you. Maybe we should just recycle our blogs continually, as we’re always getting new readers and losing some of the old ones. lol. I KNOW you appreciate the challenges of stereotypes. When I look at you I see a gifted artist AND so much more.

  42. Lord have mercy. I stuttered in the comment above and spelled through as throught. Will you correct or not? ~yvonne

    • Kathy says:

      I shall do it RIGHT NOW! I know what you mean. Yesterday I called a blogger by someone else’s name! Can you imagine the embarrassment?

      • Kathy, you are the best. Thanks. One of my follwers calls me Suzane sometimes. But I’ve never pointed it out to her. I think one time I got the Linda’s mixed up that I follow and that comment on my posts. One is Linda and the other Lynda. I’ve also commented on wrong posts a couple of times. They were posting every day and I was behind so I commented and it made no sense at all. What a mess. Oh well. Maybe all of those thiings are more common than we think. 🙂 And yes, I hang onto all your words., I think you should begin a book. It would be a winner for sure. 🙂 ~yvonne

        • Kathy says:

          Hope you aren’t getting too overwhelmed with my blog right now. Am on a spell of posting every other day, oh no! (Never feel you have to respond to read or respond to every one. I only reply to comments about once or maybe twice a week. Otherwise it gets way TOO overwhelming!) Thank you sincerely for your kindness.

  43. Barb says:

    You are ordinarily extraordinary! (Or is it the other way around?) At any rate, I think you’re special, one of a kind, super-duper, gifted, AND “just” yourself – which is more than enough. Good for you, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Wow, Barb! that is an AMAZING compliment, although just this morning I swore to completely eliminate the word AMAZING from my vocabulary. 😉 Aren’t we glad that we’re “enough”? I surely am.

  44. Barb says:

    PS love, love, love that pic of you and Chris. You’re glowing!

  45. me2013 says:

    Loved this the first time I read it, and loved it today. This piece of writing talks to me Kathy.

    Can’t wait for the snow pic’s 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for reading this blog–and that it spoke to you. As for those snow pics–they can darn well hold off until November or December, can’t they? (even though the weather guy suggested, yes, suggested, a few idle flakes this weekend, the evil man.)

  46. Great post Kathy. Makes me admire my mother even more, because much as she was always there for us, she was so clearly NEVER just a housewife (neither is anyone else of course – you’re soooo right…) and she worked from home, making beautiful curtains, pelmets and bedspreads. Her workroom was one of my favourite places…so full of creativity, and just ‘happening’ – beauty, and excitement, and ‘danger’ – if she hugged you you had to check her clothing for hiding pins first and beware irons…sometimes they’ve not been switched off!.She pulls off an almost perfect balance of ‘I have my own vibrant, creative, independent identity’ and ‘there is nothing in the world that could ever get between me and my kids, wherever they are in the world – if they need me, I’m there…’ OK, I’m rambling…THE END! Love this post, and the thread of comments…thanks for reminding me how great Mums are! Love and gratitude, H xxxx

    • Kathy says:

      I admire your mother–just by reading what you’ve shared here. YES to having a vibrant, creative, independent identity and YES to nothing coming between a mom and her babies. Never stop rambling about stuff as important as this, Harula.

  47. I WIlkerson says:

    Back in my teens, I took a lot of ballet. My mother had a hours to pass waiting outside of class and used to get a life history from anyone else who had time to kill. The ride home was always fascinating as she shared. Who would ever say “just an [anything]”!

    • Kathy says:

      Your mother seems like someone who was fed by stories–and perhaps fed others in turn by stories. I’m thinking of writing a post about this. How stories can be as vital as words. Thank you, Inger!

  48. I Am Jasmine Kyle says:

    CONFESSION! I don’t like being a house wife. I F@*#$G HATE IT! But I have used the time to work on my DREAMS instead of hating the thing I love the most. (My family) I decided to stay home with my babies because I was shuffled from daycare to daycare and it was a NIGHTMARE. I would not put my babies through that. SO working on my goals and trying to use this time for positive things. Great post very vulnerable!

  49. Amber says:

    Great post, Kathy. We are so many things but so often we label others as one that seems dominant to society. I love the picture of Little Kiah with Chris and Barry!

    • Kathy says:

      Amber, it took my breath away to see you comment here! What a special gift this day. Oh weren’t little Kiah and Chris so sweet? We’re they adorable? Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your light!

  50. poetinjena says:

    This touches on something I read recently, a subject which has been haunting me, or was it the other way around for as long as I can remember.

    Sharing it here:

    “If you are questioning your value, your meaning, your worth: stop it. It is not something that can be measured by some standard. Your value, meaning, and worth are being measured by a multitude of subjective perceptions, including your own. You have a choice, right now, to embrace your worth as inherent in your life. Your life is worth it. You are worth all of this. You are worth more than this. You have a long way to go before fulfilling all of your worth. We state these things, not to comfort you, but to point out that there is no rigid value system of worth for the self that can work effectively. If you exist, your worth is not in question.”

    Source: http://truthloveenergy.com/forum/topics/energy-report-october-2013?xg_source=msg_mes_network

    Love your inspiring,
    encouraging,
    thoroughly direct and right at’ em style here Kathy!

  51. Stacy says:

    The happiest years of my life were the years that I stayed at home with Jillian. We lived life the way we wanted, every single day – thanks to my wonderful husband who provided amply for us to have been able to do so. No, Kathy, I was not JUST a housewife – I was a happy, happy wife and mother. As I’ve said before, the name of the thing is not the thing at all. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, have I told you sixteen times how much I love the name “Jillian”? It’s the name of one of my favorites nieces. So glad that you were able to do this. I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to mother my babies while *only* holding down two part time jobs, one from inside the house. Honoring what you’ve said here so much.

  52. That beloved family picture is just beautiful.

    I’ve had all sorts of ambitions/careers/interests over the years, but these days I am truly at my happiest when I am doing housewifely type things. Well, except for cooking, which mystifies me. When I look at recipes my vision blurs and I get light-headed.

    • Kathy says:

      I love that picture–Lunar–thank you! It so exemplifies our family life here in the woods. Smiling at the image of you enjoying housewifely things. Cooking is what I LIKE to do–vacuuming and dusting mystifies ME!

  53. Holly Kreag says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post. Wonderful, thoughtful, thought-provoking words that every mother, wife, and the rest of the population should hear. My husband found your blog and saw this post first, and then he told me I should read it. So I suppose I should thank him, too! I’ll certainly be visiting again. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Holly, thank YOU! I appreciate your kind words. Hey, and thank your husband, too. I am so glad you stopped by, and that you paused to comment. Appreciating you!

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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