Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Occupation: ___________

on January 31, 2012

I filled out my second form today that asked for my occupation.  “Homemaker,” I wrote.

It looks a little strange to me.  I’ve written “Development Engineer” in that blank before.  “Student” has also been an occupation for me.  More recently “University Instructor” was my answer.

Of course, the lines that follow regard my employer.  Who do I put?  Myself?  My husband?  My toddler?

I speak with joy as I tell people about my new role in life, but it feels different to me to see it in black and white on a paper form.  I imagine that people are more impressed by seeing something like “Engineer” or “Instructor.”  (They probably aren’t though.)

I think what also bothered me was that there was only one blank.  There was no room to indicate that I had a college degree (or 3) and work experience or anything else that I think might tell my story better.

I must be needing this lesson in humility – and in pride.  I need to be proud of the right things, things that really matter.  Right now, that is obedience to Christ and my husband in this calling to stay home.  And, I need to not think more highly of myself than I ought.  And I also need to be careful not to judge others by what they may put in that blank.

~Dana

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6 responses to “Occupation: ___________

  1. Marla says:

    After three and a half years at home, I still struggle when I fill in the blank or answer the question of “what is your job?”. Somehow, I have come to believe that being a SAHM is not a true career. I want people to know that I am working on my doctorate and that I had a “real” career before motherhood. I also need to work on my pride when it comes to my career!

    • Dana K says:

      I remember saying in college that I didn’t want a career. I just wanted a job that I liked. I think going back for my Ph.D. got me much more in the “career mindset,” which I don’t think was necessarily good. I got into programs that showed me what I needed to do to be successful in a tenure-track position, and now stepping away from that “what I SHOULD be doing” according to, well, someone is difficult. I’ve kept myself too busy these last several years to seek what God would have me doing or what’s right for me in this season. I want to be open to His leading instead of following a prescribed flow chart that the world has made. But, God definitely led me to get my Ph.D., so we’ll see what He has in store for that education! Rather exciting to think about!

  2. Rose says:

    I was just thinking this morning- I’m getting a lesson in humility. Lord help me I hope I learn it soon!

    I hope you enjoy this stage Dana. Don’t worry about what other people think. Does that seem like something I’ve always said, lol? Those of us who matter already know you’re smart and accomplished.;)

    • Dana K says:

      Rose, each time I think I learn a good lesson in humility, there seems to be another area of pride in my life that needs correction. :s I hope you’re a faster learner than I am in that area…

      Thanks for the encouragement! I remember in high school I wished people would think of me as something other than the smart girl. 🙂 It’s good for me to remember that today. I wanted to avoid a label. Maybe this change in direction will actually be more conducive for that!

  3. Rena Nichole says:

    I worry about my future choices, for just this reason. At least a “job” title tells a story. “Homemaker” doesn’t always tell a story that makes you seem accomplished or smart.

  4. Dana K says:

    Rena, but it doesn’t mean you aren’t accomplished or smart! The more I’m learning about this role, the more respect I have for the women who choose it, for whatever reason. Even my job titles of the past have left big blanks, when I think about it. “University Instructor” didn’t let me express that I love applied statistics and studied under one of the gurus of the field. “Development Engineer” didn’t let me share that I have a love for music. I think the secret is in not getting caught up with what other people think and making sure our heart is in the right place, whatever we choose to do professionally, inside or outside of the home.

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