Someone once said that she wanted laundry to count. When asked what she did that day, she said she should be able to add laundry to the list.

Many of us wash, dry, fold, and put away a load or two of laundry every day. It’s something that’s added to the countless other activities we run around doing. But it isn’t the type of thing we tell others. When asked about our day, we don’t respond, “Great. I threw in a load of laundry.” Unless we spent the day in the laundry room, we don’t consider it mentionable.

The necessary, mundane, routine activities consume most of our time and are vital to getting from one day to the next, and yet, don’t seem to count. It is as if our whole day, our whole life is insignificant. So how do we make it all meaningful?

In addition to our outside work, ministries, and activities, there is an endless list of tasks that keep a household running: caregiving, laundry, cooking, cleaning, house maintenance, grocery shopping, business calls, and so many errands. If we have children there is an extensive list involved with them as well.

Perhaps acknowledging the importance of our work begins with a title. Years ago women came up with “Domestic Goddess” to replace housewife and homemaker. It’s not a bad name but does not recognize the men who fill this position. An appropriate title that recognizes both men and women and all of the responsibilities involved is needed.

Family CEO or President are starters but the position is bigger than that because, not only are we overseeing all of the work, we also must complete most it ourselves. We are more than President, more than CEO.

A new friend recently told me she is considered essential to her company. So perhaps that is our title. Essential. If we are completing all of these vital responsibilities, we are – Essential.

As the saying from Saturday Night Live once went, “Now aren’t we special!”

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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