Why I’m Celebrating My 14th Wedding Anniversary by Going to Work

…followed by teaching faith formation.

Unless you live under a rock (no judgment, I’m living under the one called Lent right now), you probably know that today, March 8, 2017 is International Women’s Day and in the US is the day chosen to be “A Day Without Women” protest/strike.

And I’m not participating. I’ve been emboldened by Molly at Molly Makes Do who posted a pic of herself in her work uniform on her instagram (@molly.makes.do) with this caption:

Today I do show up for work because I respect my job and it’s [sic] rules for PTO and sick leave. My patients don’t have the privilege of choosing a day off and I don’t get a day off from mothering. Today I wear blue because it’s my uniform and I don’t have the privilege of choosing what I wear. Today I buy things because women in other jobs, with small business, etc. rely on the money I spend. Today I do all these things because a woman before me fought for my right to work, have an education and be a mother, the best way I can show my importance is showing up and remaining visible in my world, not running from it. Support a woman run business today, support women in crisis in charity and volunteering, write more letters to your elected officials. We are important when we show up and get the job done.

to share with you why I am going to work today.

Today I show up to work because the children I work with deserve to have a safe place to be after school where they can learn, play and grow. Today I show up to work because the mothers of those children deserve to have a safe place for their children to be cared for while they work. Today I show up in particular for the single mothers of some of those children who don’t have a choice to not work because their every penny earned pays to feed, clothe, and shelter their children. Today I show up because I work with two amazing women who are also mothers and we are a sisterhood that depends on one another. Nothing works quite the same when one of us is forced to be out because of illness or emergency. Today I show up out of respect to my own mother who made the difficult decision to go back to work to try and build better futures for her four children. Today I go to work to earn money to help women in small businesses provide for their families and donate to women in situations who need it. Today I show up to work because I will not been seen and not valued if I do not show up (yes, it really is that simple). Today I show up to work to show my daughter and my sons that we have to carefully decide what is worth fighting for but also how we take up arms in that fight. Today I show up to work to honor the many women who came before me  who fought for my right to be there.

Finally, and most importantly, today I show I up for work because it’s my 14th wedding anniversary to my amazing husband. When we stood before God and our families we vowed to each other and God that we would be united in marriage for richer or poorer. There’s been a lot of poorer over the last 14 years as we’ve struggled to parent three young children, one of whom has special needs, on a single income that he provided. My unemployment and under-employment meant we’ve done without a lot; more that most people understand. While we are certainly not rich by earthly standards, my job, acquired less than a year ago, has put us in one of the richest (materially) times of our marriage. It has relieved much of the stress on my husband for me to pay a few bills and buy groceries. Today I go into work to honor my husband and our marriage vows. We’ll celebrate when we’re both scheduled to be off in a slightly larger way than in years past. And we’ll celebrate today by supporting each other for richer or poorer.

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