One of my best friends got a promotion at her fancy finance job yesterday, and is now a Vice President. When she told me the news, which of course is wonderful, I was in the middle of finger painting. Oh how our lives have taken different paths: she is the VP of something or other, and I am...what the hell is my title?
Lately I feel like I have been filing out a lot of paperwork that requires me to fill in the "occupation" box with an appropriate title for what I do day to day. And it has gotten me thinking a lot about what it means to be a mom, and a stay at home mom...and what exactly the job posting on Monster.com would say if you were looking to become a mom.
Job Title: Stay At Home Mother a.k.a Coordinator of Chaos, Lady of the Manor, Enforcer of Family Law, Keeper of the House, Head Woman In Charge
Experience Needed: NONE
Job Description: Do you want to give up your current life and live the most rewarding life you possibly could? Well, have some sex, get pregnant and pop out a child (or in my case try to get pregnant for 2 years and then make a baby in a testtube and do IVF!)! Sounds easy doesn't it? I forgot to mention, you have to now make sure that kid survives! You have to feed it, water it, change it, clean it, sing to it, teach it, read to it, clothe it, entertain it every second you are awake, bring it with you everywhere you go and make sure it never gets hurt! Sounds like a lot of work, no? Well it is, and it is the best job you could ever have. And to top it all of your annual salary will be $0! The hardest job in the world and you get paid in hugs and kisses, which when they come from your kid are actually the best things in the world.
Before I had M, I quit my professional marketing job and was designing jewelry full time. I had (have, I guess) my own line of jewelry, that I would sell at shows, at Bloomingdales, and is still in a few stores. This was my "full-time" job, and what I would say was my occupation. Basically I was self-employed, making little to no money after expenses, and my husband was paying all the bills. So when it came time for me to put down my occupation I would say "Jewelry Designer."
Now I haven't actually designed jewelry in 18 months, as some days I don't have time to shower, let alone work on a piece of jewelry that takes 24 hours of very precise, intricate work. I miss it terribly, and I guess I could get back into it, but most days when M is finally down for a nap I want to catch up on my reality tv, not sit in my studio and bead. So when at the hospital last week updating my insurance info, the woman asked me "so occupation...still a jewelry designer?" And instead of going into a big life story, I just said "yup!"
But that is totally a lie! If someone asked me flat out what I my job was these days, what am I? A stay-at-home-mom? I hate that term because I am so much more than that!
I am a teacher most of the day. Granted, I don't have a classroom full of students in front of me, but every day I am teaching M new things; how to count, the alphabet, colors, new songs, how to play instruments, names for body parts, how to walk (still working on this one).
I am responsible for "keeping house;" cleaning, laundry, gardening, repairing things, putting things together, dealing with repair men, etc.
I am a dog-walker. I am a dog-groomer.
I am a photographer (a passion of mine - thank God I have a willing model at home). I am a crafter (you name it, I think I can make it myself).
I am a chauffeur. I am a personal shopper (for both M and my husband who refuses to buy himself any new clothes - I just got that 8 years ago!).
I am a personal chef to a picky toddler (and the hubs seems to be picky lately too).
And once all of that is taken care of, it is time to take care of me, which lately is in the form of shopping online and watching reality tv. Forget working out every day like I used to, forget trying to eat well (5 of the 15 pounds lost earlier this year are back with a vengeance)...I just don't have it in me right now.
And to top all this off, I am adding the stress of trying to get pregnant again.
But I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world. I have an incredible, kind, talented, beautiful kid, and a husband who loves me more than anything in the world, and treats me like a queen. Who wouldn't want that as part of their job description?
So what is my occupation? Lucky Lady.