In my life, I’ve been a stay-at-home parent twice. The first time lasted more than a year, while the second lasted only two months. Both happened after I had my children. Let me tell you something, and I’m not embarrassed to say it. I couldn’t wait to get back to work both times. That is, work away from home. I never got any rest when I was a stay-at-home parent. While at work, I could take a ten-minute lunch break and do nothing except eat. I could also go to the bathroom without running back to the nursery because someone was standing outside the door. Don’t get me wrong: I adored my children and treasured my time with them. What I mean is that being a stay-at-home parent is highly demanding. Not to mention that these mothers are responsible for the essential job in the world: nurturing the next generation. The following story exemplifies this wonderfully. We’re not sure if this is a true story, but it’s been going around, and we couldn’t resist sharing it. Enjoy!
A recorder asked Emily to state her occupation as she was renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office. She paused, unsure of how to categorize herself.
“What I mean,” the recorder said, “is do you have a job, or are you just a…?”
Emily snarled, “Of course I have a job.” “I’m a mother,” she says.
“We don’t have mothers listed as an occupation… “It’s covered by ‘housewife,'” the recorder stated confidently.
I had forgotten entirely about her incident until I found myself in a similar predicament, only this time at our own Town Hall. The clerk was a career woman, poised and efficient, with a title like “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar” to her name.
“What do you do for a living?” She enquired.
I’m not sure what prompted me to say that. The words just came out of nowhere. “In the field of child development and human relations, I work as a research associate.”
The clerk looked up, her ball-point pen halted in mid-air, as if she hadn’t heard correctly.
I gently repeated the title, emphasizing the most important words. Then I watched in awe as my declaration was written on the official form in bold, black ink.
“Could I ask,” the cashier inquired, “just what you do in your field?”
I heard myself respond without any hint of embarrassment in my voice. “I’m working on a long-term research project in the lab and the field.” I’m working on my master’s degree and have four credits so far (all daughters). Of course, my profession is one of the most demanding in the humanities (does any mother disagree?), and I frequently work 14-hour days. However, the job is more complicated than most regular jobs, and the rewards are more in the form of satisfaction than money.”
As she finished the form, rose, and personally guided me to the door, the clerk’s voice became increasingly respectful. My lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3 – greeted me as I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my fancy new job. I could hear our new experimental model (a 6-month-old infant) testing out a new voice pattern in the child-development program upstairs. I was overjoyed! I’d beaten bureaucracy to the punch! And I had gone down in history as someone more notable and vital to humanity than “just another mother.”
Motherhood. What an incredible career! Especially if the door has a title on it. Is this to say that grandmothers are “Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations,” and great grandparents are “Executive Senior Research Associates”? Yes, I believe so! It also makes Aunts “Associate Research Assistants,” in my opinion.
Sunny Skyz is the source of this information.