Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

21 February 2014

My new job title

A few years ago I was stopped in a shopping centre mall by a man trying to sell me something (insurance, solar panels, a house renovation...I can't really remember) and the conversation went something like this. 

Man: Do you work?
Me: (thinking, what you are actually asking is, do I earn money, but you haven't asked that so I am going to answer the question as you asked it.)  Yes.
Man: What do you do?
Me: (thinking, well, I teach Scripture, I run Bible studies, I teach Sunday School, I teach my own children how to use their manners, eat their vegies and so on..)  I'm a teacher.  (I hadn't been a paid teacher for several years by this stage.)
Man:  Oh, a teacher.  How come you are in the shops at the moment?
Me: (thinking, you are not winning me over at this point) I'm not working this morning.
Man:  That's lucky.

We chatted on for a while and I refused whatever he was trying to sell me.  But I remember that moment very clearly because I didn't want to say, "No I don't work" because at that time, even though I was having a rare few minutes at the shops by myself, I felt like I was working very hard indeed.

Speaking personally, I've never really felt comfortable with the "stay at home mum" tag for myself.  "Home duties" is the best I can muster when I fill in forms.  And while I am COMPLETELY comfortable with the choice I have made to stay out of paid employment, with one child heading for high school next year the tag "home duties" is beginning to look a bit weird to society at large.  And you know, I don't really mind what society thinks...and it's a good conversation starter...but there's no need to be unnecessarily weird if that can be avoided.  And the truth of the matter is, I can hardly say I stay at home to do my home duties (she says, as the dust bunnies roll silently by...)

So I have given myself a new job title.  It will go on all forms - banks, the Tax Office, medical forms, school contact lists...wherever I have to list my occupation - and it is going to be my answer to every salesman that ever asks me again if I work. 

Name:  Meredith
Occupation:  Volunteer.

That works for me.

5 comments:

Deb said...

LOVE it!

Meredith said...

THANKS Deb!

Karen said...

Great idea, that seems to cover what you do very well :)

Sarah said...

I love it, too! :)

Meredith said...

Thanks Karen and Sarah. So nice to hear from you both. And you know, I think this job title could be useful for lots of people. I wonder if it is an official category? Might have to do some research. Even so, I'm sticking with it.