It’s how this mama makes a living, homemaking.
Or I used to think it was how I made a living, until just this morning as I crouched in my garden pulling weeds. I thought of a friend’s mom who once said that gardening is wasteful because you put more time into it than value of produce you get out of it.
And I thought how homemaking is so much like gardening.
Is my time really money? It’s what my culture values, it’s what makes my country’s economy go round and round. It’s how I’m given my measure of worth, how much money I can get us at the end of the day, right?
But I got to thinking this on my knees, all sweaty in the garden today: Is my entire reason for doing this thing- clearing spaces, planting seeds, praying for rain, killing off bugs, researching companions, feeding and watering, staking, digging, pulling, and sneaking out of bed early to get this space ready for another day: is it all about Money in the end?
Am I doing this thing that keeps me up late and drags me out of bed early, just to make nice little people who have nice experiences and pour money into our consumer economy just to keep the machine running smoothly so that they can do the same with their kids someday?
If that’s what “homemaking” is all about then no wonder Prozac markets to moms.
It’s a meaningless life to just exist just to keep existing with as few hiccups as possible.
And sometimes I forget that’s not actually my fate, that I’m more than just that profitable unit of consumption Target’s marketing gods say that I am.
I’m a spiritual human being, designed impeccably in my Creator’s image.
With the ordained job of “homemaker”, I’m the nurturer of beings: beautiful, wild, sinful little critters and it’s my job to grow them well.
Provider of Childcare makes me want Prozac.
Grower of Little Lives with the space I’ve been given here- that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame as my mom would say.
Nurturing beings is a good reason to create order in this little space like God does with us, to get their hands in God’s good dirt, to provide love and things for them to love, to teach them that they are precious, one-of-a-kind, loved by God, and that they were made all for Him.
It’s an apprenticeship, in a way, because they need to learn that Michaelangelo couldn’t paint a Montana sunset if he tried (although the Sistine Chapel is darn beautiful) but unless they teach Chesterton in elementary schools, they won’t ever hear it unless someone tells it to them.
They need to know that cheap fashion won’t make them Hollywood, and Hollywood won’t make them happy, and sometimes it takes years worth of watching a deeply broken person live that truth out right in front of them to really drive that home.
That they were born in a world that always moves to disorder unless there is an intelligent, creative being that can redeem that thing in their hands, and turn it back to order again, and that sometimes that being has to be us.
They need to learn this while they’re such messy little sponges, and it’s more than a childcare provider, even one that gave birth to them, can teach to them. I think that’s what I was when I started this Raising Little Humans business (and… I could have used some Prozac). And God has moved in this little life and I’m learning what it is to live in a family and to be the one that wipes blood of scraped knees after some good adventuring, tears off of angry faces, poop off of toddler butts, crumbs off the table and washes every side of this family in prayer when the day is done.
It’s not how much money I can save or make or grow that’s the point of all this. It’s seeing God myself, at least well enough to show the people He ordained to be in my care where He is. Because if they see Him and love Him, they’ll hand over their lives to serve Him.
That, that is the point of all of this.
Not reproducing patriotic consumers, not making enough money so we can buy all organic and save us all from dying of cancer someday, not tangling with people on the little things like Mommy Wars or politics or who works the hardest or who’s the smartest of all. It’s God, it’s doing the work He’s ordained us grown-ups to do.
So just like in my garden, every day that work is a little different, but it’s worth getting out of bed for. Every season grows something different, but it’s worth the effort to see what can be grown this time. It is so worth the effort.