It’s one question that used to make me sweat profusely and get all hot and bothered. Asked with an ease and nonchalance, “So, what are you doing now?” The one doing the asking, of course, is employed, my age, and interested in knowing my career status. “What are you doing now?”
For some reason, even writing it out makes me cringe.
While perfectly OK with being a stay-at-home mom on most days, whenever asked about my career status (or lack thereof) I once got defensive, very defensive. No. I didn’t sound defensive or even look it. I just felt it (or defensive.)
“I’m raising my daughter!” There, is that what you wanted to hear?!? (deep breath)
Of course not.
To most of my twenty-something, college graduate peers on the up-and-up in their careers, the thought of leaving a job to stay home with a child is mostly unfathomable.
I know because I once thought my current life circumstance unfathomable for any woman of “promise.” So, my old thoughts on the matter drove my insecurity in twenty-something settings. If attending a friend’s engagement party, I would wonder, “Will they ask what I do for a living?” “Will there be an awkward silence when I respond honestly.” “Will they somehow think less of me for choosing this path?”
And, there would always be an awkward silence, then tripping over words to cover the silence, words about “daycare being expensive” or something else about it being good that we’re able to afford all that we have on one income or “good for you!”
Making the decision to be a stay at home mom is tough and was tough for me. Most women, myself included, don’t as young girls, imagine that they will grow up to wipe their children’s butts all day and have to schedule in “lunch times.” Most women, no, most human beings who have worked in their life find earning an income and receiving favorable performance reviews empowering.
But many women do choose, in becoming mothers, to become stay at home moms, not because they can’t do anything else or because their husband’s put them up to it, but because they’ve decided that they’d rather stay home. And, there’s nothing wrong with that or with mothers who choose to go to work each day. It’s their choice. Both realities are tough and come with their share of sacrifices. Trust me, I know.
In becoming a stay at home mom, I’ve learned these truths, and it is these truths that I’d most like to get stamped on a card or maybe even a flyer that I can then give to anyone who asks what I am doing now. I’m doing what I think is best for me and my family right now. Please, don’t judge me for that.
This is supposed to be a rant from a stay at home mom feeling misunderstood or unappreciated, but it may appear that way and for that, I apologize.
Moms who work inside and outside of the home for pay or not, what do you wish to tell the world about your lived reality as a “working” woman? Please use the comment field to speak your mind to the world.