Friday, January 9, 2009

Time for a Name Change

I've had it. I'm tired of calling myself a stay-at-home-mother. Stay at home? I left the house on at least five occasions this week alone.

I've hated that this title ever since I chose to give up full time work for full time mothering and household maintenance (although I should have read the fine print stating no time off for weekends, vacations, holidays or sick days).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the job even through all the whining, spills, unrecognizable stains, and the repetitive disorder which inflicts uncontrollable bouts of deja vu forcing you to repeat the same statements or acts hundreds of times in one day. Through all the battles and tears (even those of the kids), diapers, boo-boos, and vomit, there are these creatures that make you go all weak in the knees despite it all. I love the job. It's the title I hate.

Stay at home for me conjures up images of home arrests, security bracelets, and guards posted outside of doors. Is it any wonder people usually give me that pitying look when the conversation veers into the dreaded "what do you do?" moment. Over the years (13 to be exact) the most common reply has been to say something along the lines of "Oh, I wish I got to stay home too," before moving on to someone who gets to leave their house. It's like telling a prisoner in solitary confinement how lucky they are to get some "me" time.

Popular culture shows working mothers as strong, confident, chic women ready to take on the world. Heck, they even have their own magazine. Your stay-at-home mother, on the other hand, is seen at home or, if she is out of the house, trapped in some massive SUV (which really is like a house) schlepping kids from one activity to the next. Is she confident? Is she stylish? Nope, her hair hasn't been washed in days and she's wearing the same sweat pants for weeks praying no one will notice. Do we get a magazine? Nope, all we get is sympathy from those looking at us through the fog of sterotypes.

I'm not trying to add more fuel to the cultural wars here between mothers who work outside of the house and those that work from home. I'm just trying to get an update to our image- a little p.r. razzamatazz.

For you moms like me who've been dissatisfied with the stay-at-home moniker, the next time someone ask what you do throw some title at them that knocks them off balance. Maybe an out-in-the-world-mom or a domestic resource manager. Or try just printing up your job description and just handing it to them, smiling gleefully as they sift through all the pages. Hey the President of the United States has a massive bureacracy to help him get the job done; you on the otherhand have only your wits. Whatever it is you tell them just make sure it's more colorful than just being someone who simply stays in the house.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I'm new to Blogging, and finally figured out how to search for other bloggers......I was "downsized in May 08 and have not returned to work, so I have officially earned the title stay-at-home dad. Now, I never thought that being a stay at home parent was easy, but this is ridiculous. I don't know how we ever got everything done when I was working. There are many advantages to being home as I'm sure you know, but the days go by so much faster.....I still have trouble getting it all done sometimes