I'd heard about Abby who decided to submit her name for career day at her daughter's school last year. She blogged about it, and said what a great experience it was. When I heard the story, I said to my husband, "I want to do that!" But when the form for career day came home, I chickened out and put it in my husband's pile.
But he remembered! He made a photocopy and submitted a form for both of us, listing my career as "Homemaker". I've been excited and terrified ever since, even though the school was awesome and welcoming to me. I somehow felt like I was bucking the system, which always makes me uncomfortable.
But the day came, and I had a GREAT time! The kids were fun and supportive, and I never ran out of things to say. I was talking to 3-6th graders, so after introducing myself, I gave a tiny history of the women at home and in the workplace, and told them I feel lucky about the amount of choice I have in what I could do. We talked a lot about how many roles a homemaker fills, and how I've had to keep learning to know how to do everything I need to, even though I already had my engineering degree. I told them the most important thing I learned in school is How To Learn.
I had the kids list skills they thought a mother needed on the board. (One girls shot her hand up and said, "Distracting the kids so that you can get something done!" I laughed all day about that one.) Then I put up a poster of all the roles my kids had helped me think of that I do. Here's the list:
Then we talked about organizing your time to fit it all in, and I did the time management demo where you fill a jar with big medium and little tasks (I used a 1 qt jar, ping pong balls, marbles, and wheat). To get them all to fit, you have to put the big ones in first. I talked to them about how in real life the big tasks weren't just the ones that take the longest, but might be the ones that are just more important, like being there to listen to a child that's had a traumatic day.
We also talked about how a lot of what I do is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. As soon as you're finished, you have to start over. But the tedious parts are what we endure to have the good stuff.
I ended by telling them that I think the family is the most important unit to keeping a stable society and country, and that I get to help by doing my best with my family. I ended by saying, "I love my job."