So….What Do You DO?
I was asked this question recently, not for the first time, but just like every time, it threw me for a loop. You see, this question is always asked after people find out that my husband is the only one in our relationship who works outside of the home, and it’s never asked…let’s say…politely. It’s asked with the semblance of politeness, masking the real question, which is “Why doesn’t your lazy ass have a job?” I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking “Christina, you’re projecting, they’re just genuinely curious.” But no. NO. I’m not projecting. People actually do this, and they mean it exactly the way I’m taking it. Because when I answer: “Oh, I work from home and tend to my babies.”, the response is a dismissive ” Oh, that sounds fun.” O_O FUN? FUN?! It sounds…..FUN?! So, anything that’s not clocking into a job, at an office or wherever….is fun? Whatever, girl. (Because, of course, only women ask me this $%#^, and respond this way.)
I’m not going to spend time going into a detailed list of everything that I did as a SAHM, and everything that I currently do, as a WAHM (which is everything from before, just…working.) because that’s not the point of this post, really. What I AM going to do is tell you not to ever, not never, not ever in your life look another woman in her face and devalue what she does as a woman, wife, mother, whatever. Just because it’s different from what you do, or not in line with your experience, or not a part of your worldview. Can you believe I’m almost embarrassed to answer the question sometimes? Not that I’m insecure in my role in my family, because really? I’m pretty freaking awesome, and I don’t mind tooting my own horn. But somehow, THAT question, asked in THAT way just brings me to a place where I feel ashamed to say “Oh, I stay at home with my kids.” And that’s not ok. But I know that’s my own deep seated fear that maybe what I’m doing really isn’t good enough. Which begs the question “Not good enough for who?”. My kids are happy. My husband is happy, and insanely proud of me. In awe, actually, and he never fails to tell me that. So really, who am I trying to impress? OH, right, the people that think being home with your kids is FUN. You know what though? ” I WORK HARD, B&^%$!” (points if you can tell me what that’s from!)
I know this post is quite rambly, so, I’m going to wind this down. I guess the only thing I can really do is forge ahead, with my head held high, knowing that not only is what I do valuable, it’s the right thing for MY family. And when I get that followup question of “Hey, are you still just at home, or have you found a job yet?” I need to learn to say, with confidence, “Yep. I’m still at home.”