I was reading my daily digest from Mamasource and someone asked: "What does the term 'Homemaker' mean to you?". While I have come to piece with that out-dated and irritating term I knew exactly what this mom was feeling.
I HATED using that word when I first started staying at home. I remember one time I was at the bank, I think opening an account for my son, and the teller asked occupation?
Teller: ummmm, okay do you have a job
Me: Yep, I;m a mom.
Teller: uhh, umm, so I guess that would be homemaker?
Me: No, trust me I don't make my home, you should see it, I pretty much focus on mom.
He was stumped, and I;m sure put "homemaker". I dislike the term because it does sound dated and trivial. I do SO much more then make a home, honestly I make people. I raise them to be good, honest, respectable humans. I don't keep a good house (see label: undomestic) and like one mom said, "I'm not making houses, this isn't construction". Many SAHM today are so much more, and many of have far more education then SAHM moms of the 40's and 50's when the term was popularized did. I am sure that is where this generations distaste for the word came from.
I struggled greatly going from working to SAHM, I'm sure lots of moms due. I remember being at an open house for a parent group and when we said what we did I said " Well I used to schedule surgeries and get a lot done in a day and now I struggle to get anything done" when another mom there said, "You don't get nothing done, you just get less done and you get different things done" She was right (which I rarely say about this particular mom!) The rewards of being a great SAHM are not like the rewards and accolades you get in the real world. On a good day I am lucky to get a thank you from anyone, but when those kids pile on you with hugs and kisses, who needs a shiny award saying you sold the most this, or you were the best that?
I once felt that I was "wasting my education" staying at home. My husband reminded me that I was wasting anything. I was teaching my son to love nature and the earth. I taught him everyday about the world around him. It may not be what I intended to do with my degree, but aside from the handful of doctors I know, I don't know anyone who is using their degree exactly. My education made me an awesome mom who can tell my kids how their body really works, what tarantulas eat and a whole lot more (as long as it not physics, I was never good at that). And while I still don't like the term, I do not visibly cringe when I check it and I don't stress out poor clerk with my somewhat sarcastic and snotty answers.
Although after reading all the fun titles on the Mamapedia site I may need to change my job and title on Facebook. Maybe I will use Head of Operations and Organization...or Undomestic Goddess and Supermom...what's your title?