Back when I was applying to colleges, I think I wrote close to one hundred essays. Each school or scholarship contest wanted to know something different about me. I hated writing the essays (what senior in high school likes spending their free time doing glorified homework?) but the topics were basic and the words came easily. I could usually bust out an essay in an hour or two. That is, until I got to the essay question that simply asked, “Who are you?”
That’s a pretty heavy question for a 17-year-old, don’t you think?
I struggled with it then. Many of the things I used to define myself we no longer going to be relevant in college. I’d just quit playing softball, so I wasn’t an athlete anymore. Student Body President? Not for much longer. Twin? He was applying to different colleges. Choir member, homecoming princess, class disrupter, I was all those things and none of those things. I ended up writing at the end of my essay, “Who am I? I have no idea.”
The other day I did a survey on the phone, and the facilitator on the other end of the line needed to gather some basic information from me. I gave my age range, education history, etc, and then he said, “And what do you do?” I immediately replied, “sales,” and then I trailed off. “Sales?” asked the facilitator, “What kind of sales?” I then corrected myself and said, actually, I no longer work in sales, I am a stay home mom now.
“Aaaahhh…going the full-time mom route now, gotcha. I’ll put down “Homemaker” for your occupation.”
Besides the fact that the term “full-time mom” makes my blood boil, hearing the word “Homemaker” totally startled me. Is that what I am now? I still think of myself as a saleswoman, but I suppose I’m really not anymore. I’ve wanted to be home with Maddie ever since we knew she wouldn’t be a typical newborn, but now that I AM with her, I’m adjusting a little slower than I’d anticipated.
Wife, mother, daughter, friend, facebook user…homemaker? I am all these things and not only those things. What are the other aspects of me? I never thought that some twelve-odd years after I attempted that essay, I’d still have no idea what the answer is.
Mr Lady says:
You and me both, baby.
Mr Ladys last blog post..I’ve Got Friends in Low Places
I’ve been at this over a year, and I still haven’t adjusted yet.
At least people get all warm and fuzzy about you when you have to say you’re a homemaker, right? I get sad, confused, and possibly disgusted looks.
LiteralDans last blog post..Thanksgiving’s done, now on to Christmas, right?
When I say it to myself I really like the “stay at home mum” tag, but if someone asks me what I do I always stammer a little bit. Mainly because I know what people think when you say your home with your kid. People kind of stop seeing you as an actual person and your opinions don’t seem to matter as much.
Or worse, people out and out assume that, because you stay home with your kid you do *nothing*. When I was working people accepted that I was busy and that they couldn’t just drop around whenever even though I worked at home. Now that I don’t work for an outside employer people assume that I’ve got all the time in the world and that I can just fit in whatever they need because, afterall, what have I got to do all day?
Becs last blog post..Grown up!
Ms. Moon says:
It is hard. I have gotten to the point where I reply “housewife” when asked what it is I do. Yes, I know it’s out of fashion and slightly insulting to myself, but f***-it. I am rebelling against all the stereotypes by using the word. It’s like when the hippies started calling themselves “freaks.”
There is no one word to describe what a stay-at-home mother does. It’s like trying to define god or motherhood or nature in one word.
There is no one short way to describe who we are, either. We change, we evolve, we begin again and again, endlessly.
Ms. Moons last blog post..Beautiful Mess
midwest mommy says:
Since staying home with the kids I struggle with this. When people ask me what I do I almost always say “I was a teacher before staying home” If I just say I stay home I feel like people judge me as an uneducated, slob, who sits and eats bon bons all day while watching soaps. Know what I mean?
midwest mommys last blog post..Not Me! Monday
Mmmm……Writer, photographer, advocate, Ebelskiver maker and a KICK ASS person all around. You’re the bestest!!
you are so much more than a silly little title….
alis last blog post..broken limbs and apple-themed decor
I think we are constantly adding and changing who we are. And what are labels anyway? It just boxes us into a group so that other people can define us. I am comfortable to not be defined…. frankly, I dont know who I am- and dont think I ever will.
Headless Mom says:
I’ve been a SAHM for 9 years now and I still don’t know. But! the first year or so was the hardest and now I’m comfortable with the ‘title’-whatever that means. You are new to the gig-just give it a little time to sink in. With a cutie like Maddie around, it shouldn’t take long!
Headless Moms last blog post..Thankful (Also Known as Fat and Happy)
I am right there with you
No idea who I am –
Jamies last blog post..You talk, I am gonna listen.
Ditto to Dana’s comment (except that I had to google what an Ebelskiver maker was – now that I know, I’m excited about this)…and, we could keep adding adjectives if you’d like. But, regardless of your definition, you’re one of the most amazing people I know. Love you forever.
Homemaker? Is it 1962 in that lady’s head?
You don’t have to be one thing. You are many things!
Kristabellas last blog post..Happy Baconsgiving!
The journey is so much more fun than the destination. If you already “knew” you, what fun would the next 50 years be?
Homemaker? WTH – was the survey about whether you would rather be a) barefoot and pregnant? or b) chained to the stove?
Em (SAHM and loving it, 90% of the time any way)
Ems last blog post..Confessions of Castro’s chauffeur.
I wrote a post a lot like this after I lost my job. Like you, I’m also still not sure what my definition is. It’s funny how much your job adds to who you are though. It’s just what you do so you’d think it shouldn’t matter that much, but it does.
Good luck with your definition.
Joannas last blog post..Gratitude, Day 30
I hate that label too. I always tell people I’m a retired lawyer, which is true, but of course my tax return says homemaker. I’m more like a mama/referee/lunchmaker/boobookisser/awesome person. Apparently that doesn’t fit the box on my tax return.
Kristins last blog post..Christmas Music and Holiday Hearts
Anita Doberman says:
So true – I hate it when people say homemaker. I try to not define who I am but describe some of the things that I do – I stay home, I write, I exercise, I run, I go to a book club and so on.
Not an easy transition – thank goodness for blogs!
Anita Dobermans last blog post..It’s official: my daughter Livia is obese
When do you make Ebelskivers? I want some! Also, I am proud of everything you do! Especially when it involves decorating your house for Christmas.
I leave the “homemaking” for carpenters and plumbers and electricians and such. I appreciate the confidence, but seriously, make a home? No way could I do that! (hehe)
And Stay at home mom? Please! How many moms really STAY home? More like work in, out and around the home mom.
We need to make up some awesome word that stops people in their tracks – and shuts them up so they don’t go “Oh, a homemaker”. Hmmm…..
I’d say that you are “on hiatus from Marketing” because you are a mother, wife, homemaker, housekeeper, etc. whether you are ALSO working outside the home or not.