Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"So, What Do You Do?"


This is the first question strangers often ask me. This is the first question I often ask strangers. It's how we peg people, how we wrap our minds around them. Is it wrong? I don't think so. Is it sensitive? Maybe. Is it cultural? Definitely. In some cultures, the first question to ask is, "Who are your parents?" Perhaps this gives them an idea of what type of family they come from. In a tribe in Mexico, to ask where someone is from, the question is literally: "Where is your placenta buried?" Kind of weird, but hey. Here, we peg people by what their profession is.

Over the past year when I have met new people, the first thing I usually tell them is that I run a small business selling granola at farmers markets. Then I tell them that my ultimate goal is to open a bakery cafe and employ people transitioning out of homelessness. Then I tell them I have an infant daughter and she takes up the rest of my time. It was never, "I'm a mom, and I run a small business." It was always, "Oh yeah, and I have a little one."

This is the last week of markets for my business. And, it's the last week for who knows how long. Come next spring, I will not be baking for business again. I do not know yet how I will realize my dream of running a cafe that helps people out of homelessness. But one thing is for sure: I "just" want to be a mom right now.

Thankfully, Justin supports this turn of events. With his super busy teaching job, I cannot fully support him if I also run a business and also take care of our daughter. I didn't make enough to consider childcare as an option, and I wouldn't want to leave Evelyn for so long anyways. It took me a long time to come to this realization. It was not easy. I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom, even if just for a few years. Now, though, I am so excited to take care of my girl and support my husband.


Does it sound like from a previous era? Has women's liberation taught me nothing? Actually, it has taught me a lot. As a feminist, I recognize that a woman does not have to be a mom or a wife or a stay at home mom if she does not want to. That doesn't mean if she already is those things, she is free to abandon her responsibilities. Women, and men, should be committed to the paths they have chosen. A woman also does not have to have a glossy career or a perfect house or the ideal body. A woman is free to be, and a man is free to be, and in my short life I believe that the best way to be is in a relationship with God. Everything else is secondary, but everything else falls into place when God is first.

Having it all does not have to mean having it all at once. I may have the cafe someday and make a huge impact on peoples' lives. Or, my dreams may morph into something a little different career-wise. I can put off having a business, but it would be impossible (at this point, anyways) to put off being the mom of a little girl. She won't be little for very long, but my career dreams will stick around.

"So, what do you do?" I'm a mom! And a wife and a friend and a daughter and a sister. I love all of these roles. And once again, before I know it, I will be pursuing my "other" dreams to alleviate homelessness and make tasty food for others.

What's cooking in my kitchen:

Hungarian Mushroom Soup
Banana Bread
Honey Graham Cookies
Zucchini Frittatta from The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook
Smith Family Granola
-Coconut milk in my coffee. Have you tried it? Use canned coconut milk, full fat, and pour some in the bottom of your mug. Pour in your (strong!) coffee while stirring the coconut milk in. It's amazing. Nice and creamy, but not watered down by dairy cream. 
-This fried egg sandwich, with lemon parsley butter, sheep's milk feta, fresh tomatoes, and homemade sourdough:


 Yum. Have a great week, everyone!

3 comments:

gloira said...

The key difference between now and then, is that you are **choosing** to stay home with your daughter and support your partner; whereas before, it was a "default" role for women.

love ya

Anonymous said...

*gloria

Jill Enns said...

Nice post Becky. I think most mom's can relate. I like your comment "Having it all does not have to mean having it all at once." Our lives definitely go through seasons.