I don't like being a SAHM
You know when you have to fill out paperwork (usually for a new doctor) and you get to the section of Occupation and Employer? I have no idea what to write. The first time, I panicked and wrote N/A. Yep. I N/A’d myself. I was saying that I am not applicable and everything I do on a daily basis is not worthy of a title.
I got so mad because why would I do that?! I meant to cross it out and change it but I got distracted by something baby-related and forgot.
The second time, I was a little more settled in my new role. So, I proudly and simply wrote, “Mom.”
The third time was very recent, after getting settled in to our current home as a homeowner. By this time, I had/have a toddler running around, my feet more firmly planted and my head clear of any lingering ‘mom brain’ fog. I wrote, “Household Manager.” It felt corny as hell, but I left it.
I just don’t know if I like to call myself a stay-at-home mom. Maybe it’s the writer in me who doesn’t like clichés, but, when people ask (the very clichéd ‘what do you do?’), I usually say “I’m home with my son…and I write…” and let it trail off until they nod their heads understandingly or ask me a follow-up question. But, I always felt annoyed by how much easier it is to say, “I’m a stay-at-home mom” and couldn’t quite put my finger on why it bothered me so much.
I don’t “stay.” I’m not a dog. I don’t stay at home, either. I don’t hunker down while everyone else who doesn’t “stay home” goes off and does something they deem ‘productive’ while I hang around eating Oreos and watching Bravo. No. I’m responsible for a little human. I’m a teacher, caregiver, morals and manners instiller, playmate, housekeeper, cook, errand-runner, social/appointment secretary, nurse, and probably at least 3 other things I can’t think of at the moment.
And I know I’m not alone.
To be honest, I’m not sure what to call myself. Full-time mom? No. I don’t want to inadvertently label moms who work outside of the home as part-time moms, because they’re obviously not. We’re all full-time moms because it never stops, even if we’re not physically with them. I swear, at least half of mom exhaustion is mental, isn’t it?
Homemaker? Barf. Stop. You might as well just slap a poofy dress on me, hand me a cigarette, a Manhattan and call me a Housewife. Domestic Engineer sounds too joke-y to me. Non-working mother? I will cut you. This is the hardest job I’ve ever had.
Maybe there is no one title. Maybe, the next time I have to fill out Occupation/Employer in that tiny little 1 inch line they provide, I’ll just write ‘See Attached’ in both spots and staple this blog post to it.