I was watching my local diocesan news program, "Real to Reel" last night. They were interviewing new teachers and principals as they were beginning the new school year. There was also a piece on Elms College, my alma mater and former place of employment, as they were forging new collaborations with the diocese and the lay ministry program. As I watched, I couldn't help but want to be involved in some way. Sometimes it is hard as a stay-at-home mom to watch the world go by and feel like you can't really be a part of it.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not lacking in things to do. The thought "I'm bored" hasn't crossed my mind in years. I have my two boys who keep me busy every hour they are awake (and sometimes in the middle of the night!) I have my writing and my website (http://www.spiritualwoman.net). I do some freelance web design when it comes my way. I am also involved in my parish. Religious Education is starting up next week which will once again find me helping out in fourth grade. I am on Parish Council this year, and on the Technology Committee for my son's school. My "To-Do" list is overflowing.
Still, being a mom is not a much-appreciated profession. The question "What do you do?" or "Do you work?" can make me cringe, especially when asked by former classmates or former work colleagues. It is as if I feel the need to justify my life, because of the sense that someone with a Master's Degree shouldn't be spending their life at home. Over the past five years, however, I have become more comfortable with my stay-at-home mom status; more convinced that what I do does matter. My children need me and love me. They know I am always there for them. I have seen how quickly being a baby turns into going to Kindergarten, and I am glad that I got to be there for the whole process.
I read somewhere recently how Jesus stayed at home for 30 years before transforming the world with his three years of ministry. He knew he had this tremendous job to do, yet he was content to work quietly in Nazareth supporting his mother until the time was right for him to step into the limelight. Mothers are like that. We willingly stay out of the limelight for a while. Yes, the world does continue to go on without us and sometimes we may wish we could play a more prominent role, but God has a plan for each of us. It may be that I will spend many years in relative anonymity - just another mom at the park or the pick-up line in school. I will no doubt continue to cringe as people ask what it is that I do. Yet, I know what I do is important. I am helping in some small way through my children to shape the future. My life may be hidden, but I am where I belong. God knows that and in the end, His is the only opinion that matters.