Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Oprah's Final Show & My Calling
Like thousands of women, I grew up watching Oprah. It seems like her voice was always filling the background of my afternoon play times. She was a constant. Once I got older and started college and then got married, I stopped watching her. Mostly because I was busy and interested in other things. A little bit because she kind of drives me crazy with her self-involved talk. And while I still struggle to see her as a fully genuine person, I really did want to tune into her final few shows.
And I'm glad I did. The words in her final show really struck me.
At one point she said, "You have the power to change somebody’s life, Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it."
My job right now is being a stay-at-home-mom. I'm not sure a day goes by that I don't feel conflicted about this. It's not that I don't want to be at home, because trust me I do. It's that I struggle to feel that it is enough. When I peacefully go to bed on a Sunday night, not dreading Monday, it makes me feel like my job isn't hard enough. When I catch a nap while Meredith sleeps, I feel lazy, sometimes even dragging myself up to do laundry or dishes so I don't feel guilty. When I hear about moms who are showered, dressed and out the door on their way to daycare by 7 am, I often feel less than.
But today while watching Oprah, I had one of her signature aha-moments as she spoke these words.
"You have the power to change somebody’s life, Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it."
Because not only is stay-at-home-mom my current occupation, it is also, without a doubt, my calling. When I cuddle in bed with Meredith in the morning, I know. When I watch her pick up her cut up grilled cheese sandwich with careful precision, I know. When I watch her wave and squawk at the big kids at the park, I know. When only I can calm her crying, I know. When she "helps" me fold the laundry, I know. I know that spending my days elbow deep in the sometimes mundane, often magical minutia of stay-at-home motherhood is, for now, what I am meant to be doing.
I know there is nothing worthier, nothing more important, nothing better I could be doing with my time. There is no job I would rather be doing. There is no job I could do better. Being a mother is my calling. At the moment I might be changing only one life, little Meredith's, but that is more than enough. And who knows how her life will one day change the world. Even if the only life she betters is her own daughter's one day, that too will be more than enough.
So, Oprah, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for restoring in me the confidence that what I am doing is worth something.