Monday, February 7, 2011

Real Heroes

Well, Green Bay beat the Steelers...which was a disappointment for those of us in Pittsburgh who root for their home team. Living in a Championship City makes one painfully aware of 'sports obsession,' which, here in Pittsburgh, is a major thing. Lately, with all the "Stairway to Seven" hoopla (as in a seventh Super Bowl win), it has made me think about heroes. Pittsburgh fans are LOUD! They cheer their teams on with unbridled enthusiasm. They don jerseys of their favorite players...their heroes.

At church yesterday, I stood out in the sea of black and gold. I was wearing a jean skirt, brown sweater and brown tights. Now I knew better than to wear green, but I just don't do the Steeler garb. Oversized jerseys are not the most flattering look on me. Not that I didn't enjoy the game or do my share of shouting at the television; I just didn't dress the part.

Heroes. Is it wrong to elevate overpaid athletes, or movie stars for that matter? Maybe not, but today I want to sing the praises of the most underappreciated, and underpaid, people I know. Stay-at-home moms. Like my two daughters, Bethany and Jessica, who have chosen to forego careers to stay at home with their children. They are my heroes.

Back in the early '80s, I performed in the show Working, based on the book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel. In the book, Terkel interviews people about their jobs. Some of the interviews were turned into a musical showcasing a wide variety of careers. One of the songs has remained in my mind for nearly three decades. It is called "Just a Housewife" with lyrics by Craig Carnelia. I'm going to post the words of the song here, because I think they so brilliantly reflect what a housewife/SAHM experiences. This was a song, that when I sang it in the show, resonated within my soul.

All I am is just a housewife
Nothing special, nothing great
What I do is kinda boring
If you'd rather, it can wait

All I am is someone's mother
All I am is someone's wife
All of which seems unimportant
All it is is
Just my life

Do the laundry, wash the dishes
Take the dog out, clean the house
Shop for groceries, look for specials
God it sounds so, Mickey Mouse

Drop the kids off, pick the shirts up
Try to lose weight, try again
Keep the troops fed, pick their things up
Lose your patience, count to ten



All I am is just a housewife
Just a housewife, nothing great
What I do is "out of fashion"
What I feel is out of date

All I am is someone's mother
Right away I'm not too bright
What I do is unfulfulling
So the T.V. talk-shows tell me every night

I don't mean to complain at all
but they make you feel like you're two feet tall
when you're just a wife

(Just a housewife)

All the magazines
make a bunch of beans
out of family life

(My life)

You're a "whiz" if you go to work
but you're just a jerk if you say you won't

(Just a housewife)

People say that they think it's fine
if the choice is mine
but you know they don't

What I do, what I choose to do
may be dumb to you
but it's not to me

Is it dumb that they need me there?
Is it dumb to care?
Cause I do, you see

And I mean, did ya ever think,
really stop and think
what a job it was --

Doing all the things
that a housewife does?

I'm afraid it's unimpressive

(All I am is someone's mother
nothing special)

What I do is

(What I do is)


(Kinda dull)

Take the kids here,

Take the kids there


I don't mean to complain at all

(All I am is...

All I am is...)

Busy, busy...


(All I am is...)

Like my mother...

(All I am is...)

Just a housewife

Don't you love the lines, "Is it dumb that they need me there? Is it dumb to care? Cause I do you see"??

Now, before all of you working moms jump all over me, I am not, in any way, putting you down! That is not what this is about. In the midst of all the football hoopla, I just want to give a shout out to stay-at-home-moms, because they don't have bosses or coworkers patting them on the back, giving them promotions, sending them flowers on Secretary's Day (or whatever the politically correct term is these days), giving them Christmas bonuses or any of the other things that go along with working outside of the home. What do they get? Oh yeah...snotty faced kisses and endless recitings of the alphabet. And you know what? Nothing can beat that for them.

But what they deserve is a stadium full of screaming fans waving Terrible Towels...or maybe some well-worn cloth diapers! They deserve media attention and society's devotion. Well guess what? I am a fan. A devoted, diehard fan. And in the Super Bowl of life, you ladies are all winners!

And that's what I wanted to share with you today because it has been on my mind a lot lately.

Yes, I know it's Monday and I usually write about my Sabbath Experiment on Mondays. But I really didn't have anything exciting to share about that. Although I do have a confession to make. Due to the blessing of an enormous workload last week, I did end up having to put a few hours in at the office yesterday. But, believe me, I fully intend on resuming my day of rest this coming weekend. I'll let you know how that goes next Monday!

Sharing my heart,


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