Today was a Career Day at the elementary school, which is always fun for the kids. Katie learned all about how a taser works, and the about importance of physical therapy, and about how Weight Watchers can help you meet your nutritional goals. There were farmers and firemen, a policewoman and a librarian. All the major occupations were represented, save one.
"I should have come in for stay at home moms!" I joked when I picked her up from school. She rolled her eyes from the back seat. "I could have taught everyone how to make homemade Play Doh and change poopy diapers and check homework and make dinner, all at the same time."
"Mom, I actually think you're called a housewife, and it's not really a job."
I could have seriously injured myself whipping my head around like I did.
The hell it's not a job. And that term...housewife, does anyone actually say that anymore, aside from my 10 year old daughter? The word conjures up visions of women in pearls, serving meatloaf at precisely 6 PM to well scrubbed and buttoned up children and a Brylcreem husband. That is not me, that is not my family. Even if we did have meatloaf tonight for dinner.
It's a word that I associate with subservience*, and there is nothing second class about my role in our family. My staying at home was a choice my husband and I made together. With it came sacrifices and adjustments. But I love it, it works for us, and I'm thankful that we can make it work right now.
I don't care what other parents do. I don't care if both parents work full time, or if the mom stays home, or the dad stays home, or they work from home writing a dumb blog where they constantly reference their bowels and say the f-word. But I do resent the implication that what I'm doing isn't work.
It sure feels like work.
I missed Career Day this year, but I'm already preparing my presentation for next year. And when the sign up sheet comes home, I will resist the temptation to list my occupation as 'housewife'.
*And admittedly, I don't know if I should. Is housewife acceptable? Outdated? Derogatory?
2 weeks ago