It was said in innocence. I was attempting to reschedule my massage appointment due to my son missing school. (He broke his arm, wrestling with a friend, my husband believed it was just fine and I was over-reacting in wanting an x-ray, so we went a week before taking him in only to find out it WAS friggin’ broken … and then had to spend a day in the hospital as they put him under anesthesia to reset the damn thing … grrrrrrr.) As we attempted to work out a new time via mobile text, she sent that comment to me.
I nearly went through the roof.
I bit my tongue. Set the phone down. Walked away. When I felt I could reply nicely, I came back and confirmed that the date and time she suggested would be fine. Then I started thinking how I might just be TOO busy for massage therapy.
What the hell does she think I do all day? Why does working from home automatically equal being a “Stay at Home Mom”? Is this what everyone thinks I am? And why does that offend me so much?
For the record, I am a writer. I am nearly finished with my first novel … which I think is pretty damn good and i have high hopes for. Granted, since BabyZone.com closed up shop a few years ago, I haven’t made a ton of money writing, but that was OK, because it allowed me the time necessary to focus on writing something worthwhile. “Most of the time” I have been working very hard and making tremendous progress. <Pats self on the back>
However, when I am NOT writing, I guess I am technically a “Stay at Home Mom” and let’s take a look at what that means.
- I am acting CFO of the family. This means that I manage all finances, coming and going. I ensure that all the bills are paid on time so that we have heat, electricity and food. I somehow manage to set aside what’s left for vacations and unforeseen emergencies.
- I am Head Chef, along with Chief Housekeeper. I maintain this home, from its cleanliness to its folded clothing. I plan menus, purchase supplies, cook, serve and clean up after all meals. (Note: we have 1 severe gluten intolerant person in the family, so there is extra work involved in cooking due to the necessity of keeping gluten-full and gluten-free meals separated.)
- I am the Head Chauffeur, which includes all vehicle maintenance. This includes ferrying my husband (Chief Bread Winner) to and from the airport for his various business trips and ensuring that both our vehicles are up to date on all maintenance and licenses, which often includes hours spent in the waiting room of the respective car dealerships and the local DMV.
- I am the acting Chief Medic. This involves diagnosing and treating injuries as well as transporting the injured to their various doctor’s appointments (overlaps with head chauffeur responsibilities). This also involves cajoling and convincing (and sometimes relenting to) persons of the male persuasion to go to necessary health facilities (including dental).
- I am the official Pet Sitter of the family. It is within my duties to: walk the dog, clean up the dog’s poo (although I am training my son to do this for me), feed and water her and keep her from getting into trouble. I am also responsible for the feeding and care of 2 cats and, most importantly, the cleaning and maintenance of their litter boxes. (Nasty piece of work, that.) Until recently, I was also responsible for the care and maintenance of a ferret and a goldfish.
FortunatelyUNfortunately, they have passed to the Rainbow Bridge and the Pet Sitter there takes care of them for me.
Those are my official duties as a SAHM. I am also a Reading Tutor at my son’s school and attempt to volunteer whenever they ask for help. He enters Middle School next year, so I will be persona non-grata soon enough. I WAS the Volunteer Coordinator and Board Member for my son’s youth football team, but I relinquished that responsibility at the end of 2013. Listed under “Mommy Maintenance” are working out, main/pedi’s, hair appointments, massage therapy, doctor/dentist appts … and these things are squeezed in between all the other responsibilities. I come last. My needs (wants) come LAST.
WHY in God’s name do people think that being a SAHM is bon-bons and soap opera’s? Why do they think it is not a “Job”? It’s offensive really. True, I am not currently contributing to the household income. It is a fact that my husband asked me to not submit any further freelance articles due to the whole tax bracket issue. However, I have not quit working. I just don’t get paid by an outside source (yet) for the jobs that I do. My not having an “employer” does not make me any less busy than the office workers, retail employees, hospital staff, massage therapists of the world.
I still seethe over it and I am certain it was not intended to sound as it did. She meant no harm. She was just voicing the silent opinion we ALL have about Stay at Home Mums. Myself included. Why else would I have been so offended that she called me one? Without hesitation I can say that I am busier now, with more important responsibilities, as a SAHM than I ever was in the outside working world. We are ALL working mum’s, whether we have to pay taxes from our payroll or not.
I’ll forgive her for her shortsightedness, my Massage Therapist. She is, after all, a working mum as well and sometimes that makes our brains a little fuzzy and the grass on the other side appear a smidge greener than on our own.