In my younger days someone might casually ask, “Do you work or are you a stay-at-home Mom?”
Even though I knew what the person meant, the question bothered me because the implication was that if you stayed at home, you didn’t work.
I taught school, mostly second grade, until my husband and I were blessed with our first child. Soon afterwards, I was fortunate to be able to stay home, and eventually helped raise two children. But I could never match the work ethic of two women in my life.
My mother nearly always had an outside job, from office work to managing a coal-camp’s commissary to seamstress and part owner of a drycleaners. Even though my sister and I, when we were old enough, had supper ready most evenings, she had other chores to do before her day ended.
My mother-in-law worked entirely at home. On their farm—that had electricity, but no indoor plumbing—she cooked three meals a day for her family plus field hands. She raised and canned vegetables, fed chickens, cows, and pigs, and washed endless mounds of clothes that she hung on lines in the backyard. She did all of this, and much more, with a stiff right leg. As a young woman she had contracted TB that resulted in a kneecap that wouldn't bend. I never heard her complain and her handicap never slowed her down.
Both women worked hard all their lives—they did whatever needed to be done—for their families.
When you were growing up where did your Mom work?
What were some of your responsibilities?