My least favorite question: Occupation.
Usually there's just space for one word. Or you have to fill in a check box. By process of elimination, I check "Other," and then I have a teeny tiny space for one word.
Some forms have "Homemaker" as an occupation, which I'll check because it seems to fit the best given my choices, but even that doesn't really describe what I do. That makes me feel like I should be Martha Stewart (insert hysterical sobbing laughter here).
On the forms that don't have a "Homemaker" category, I don't know what to put in the one small space that accurately describes the ever-nagging question: WHAT DO YOU DO?
I think I usually just put "Mom."
Declaration of the day: we should just scrap the whole "stay at home mom" concept. Or SAHM or whatever Internet-savvy people call it these days.
I'm not a SAHM, I'm not a full-time WAHM (work at home mom) -- I'm more of a hybrid WAHM-SAHM-I'll-do-what-I-happen-to-get-to-today-raiser-of-children. That's a WAHM-SAHM-IDWIHTGTTROC.
Yes, I think I'll enter that on my next form.
Seriously, we have weird issues with labels. Somehow, the stay at home mom conjures images in my mind of apron and dress wearers from the 1950's with pearls who never ever leave the house. Or it makes me thinks of obsessive soccer moms who live vicariously through their under-accomplished children. Or some combination.
Most of the moms I know are just not "stay at home," even if they're labeled that way and primarily operate out of their homes. Many of them work side jobs -- selling products out of their homes, providing babysitting/daycare, performing odd jobs for friends and family, WRITING, even doing part-time work outside the home. They juggle schedules with their husbands (or friends and family. Don't even get me started on the heroic schedules of single moms). Others are homeschooling their kids and volunteering and doing all sorts of things that can hardly be classified as stereotypical housewivery.
As if stereotypical housewivery wasn't enough by itself. Did you ever notice that the mom in Mary Poppins not only had a nanny but also a cook and a maid? Hook me up with three assistants, please.
Oh, not to mention -- Dads "stay at home" too! Why don't we hear more about the SAHDs???? Or WAHDs? Or WAHD-SAHD-IDWIHTGTTROCs?
At any rate...what's my point? Over the past several years of hybrid housewivery, I've had all my standard definitions turned upside down. Forget the labels, what they represent.
I'll note a certain biblical tidbit here...my blog's namesake, in fact. The Proverbs 31 wife of noble character, the holder of the distaff. Hardly a stay at home mom, she burns the candle at both ends making fine linens and selling them at the marketplace, taking responsibility for keeping her family warm, well-fed and happy.
Ancient wisdom. Ever so relevant.