After Madeline was born, I didn't like being asked, "What do you do?." Even though staying at home was always enough for me, I wondered what people thought and if they admired my choice or thought I was lazy.
Some people didn't leave me wondering what they thought; they just told me outright.
"But what do you do all day? Doesn't she take naps?"
To which I always responded, "I eat Butterfingers and watch soaps. Passions is my favorite."
For the first few months, I was compelled to announce that I used to actively contribute to society.
"I used to do non-profit public relations but now I just stay at home with my daughter."
But then I grew up.
I fully grasped the value of staying home and knew it was the desire of my heart. Now, I simply don't care what people think and have since removed the justification, the "but", and the "just."
I also add in "get to" because I want you to know that I chose my work and I see it as a privilege.
"I get to stay at home with my daughter."
Or, if I'm feeling spunky, I just say, "I'm a trophy wife," and stare them down.
(Try it. It's pretty fun, especially if they don't know you well enough to know you are sarcastic 83 percent of the time. The last guy I tried this on said, "Oh" and sputtered for words to follow up with.)
But even though I no longer justify myself to others, I still have days when I wonder if my work is really all that important. I don't believe children who have nannies or go to day care automatically grow up to be punks, jerks or Patriots players. So is what I'm doing really all that important?
When I'm going through the valleys and questioning myself, it's good to get real, solid reminders. Not shallow ones that make me feel like I'm lying to myself so I can keep staying home. Instead, reminders that speak truth, "Yes, my work is valued, important and worth my everything."
Last week, Kristen at No Small Thing was my reminder. She wrote a beautiful post on the legacy we can leave as mothers: that our children can know that they are loved. I'm printing it out for my Mom Binder so I can go back and read it. (Yes, I really do have a big ol' Mom Binder. But that's another post.)
And she linked to another kick-in-the-pants reminder from Lisa at Take 90 West who wrote my favorite blog post ever, Building My Own Cathedral. I'm printing out and keeping on my fridge. It's that good.
If you're a mom, go read it and be encouraged. Then go back to doling out Cheerios and mopping the floors. Go back and keep building your cathedral.
Yup, it is worth it. And Madeline is my Westminster Abbey.