Happy homemaker

On our tax return, my occupation is listed as “homemaker.” I loathe that title, even though that is exactly what I am.  For me, it conjures up images of women from past generations, isolated at home with no ambition (then, opportunity) to make something of themselves.  Like I can’t handle it out in the world so I’ll just stay home.  (BTW, this is way more challenging than working in an office… for me anyway.  And I think it’s way more important.) 

I completely agree that there is still a stigma in society about being a SAHM.  When I’m asked what I “do” and I answer, I usually hear some platitude about that being the hardest job there is and then… nada.  The person doesn’t have anything else to say.  Do they think I don’t follow current events, read books and magazines, or get involved in my community? I do have a life outside of my child, albeit a completely different one than in my pre-baby days.  Just because I change diapers doesn’t mean I can’t change the world too.

I love this article on CNN today about being a stay-at-home mom.  It talks about the benefits of being a SAHM today, working part-time from home, and about blogging too. 

“In my pre-kid life, I never imagined that someday I’d be a stay-at-home mom — hey, I didn’t go to grad school to spend my days changing diapers. But when I held my first baby, Mathilda, I had a complete change of heart. As soon as we locked eyes, all those career and financial worries faded. They didn’t disappear, but they certainly became secondary. 

… They all have something in common: a deep desire to be there for every moment of their babies’ lives — the good, the bad and the unbelievably messy.”

The article mentions some of the benefits of being home: a realistic schedule (except I also race to the computer as soon as naptime begins so I can catch up on blogs, e-mail, and pictures), time to smell the coffee (being in the moment and savoring the day with our babies, who grow up so fast), direct-access breastfeeding (I pumped at work for a few months — no fun), among others.

* * * * *

“Plug “mom bloggers” into a search engine and you’ll come up with thousands of SAHMs who chronicle their daily lives online. Moms share stories and tips about single parenting, adoption, home schooling and more.  “Mom bloggers are hugely influential because they represent the authentic voices of other moms,” says Jennifer James.”

I enjoy blogging and reading blogs because it connects me to other parents with days similar to mine.  I feel less isolated and more a part of a giant force out there.  Boy do I wish I’d found this community when my daughter was born.

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16 thoughts on “Happy homemaker

  1. We women who choose to make the raising of our children our full time work, are so marginalized and derided. The message is have a career, and kids on the side, like fries as another woman aptly noted. I hate that many assume that I do this because that is ALL I CAN DO! They don’t realize that I could have a very big career but I have chosen not to pursue it for now as I do what I think is the most important work of my life: raising my boys. The writing really helps me in this and I wish I had found it much earlier in my motherhood journey. Great topic. So timely. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I especially like the line, just because we change dirty diapers doesn’t mean I can’t change the world. Once I started to get out and do things other than mother, I began to feel so accomplished. Being a mom has changed me in many ways, I think it has improved me. Thanks for posting this!

  3. I think we need a new name for “stay at home mom”, I personally prefer that to “homemaker”, but there have been times that I have written, “self employed” on the occupation line of forms…bc I just can’t stomach the though of writing SAHM. It sounds so pitiful, useless and 1950’s. I love what I do…but we need a name more fitting to ALL that we do in 2011. Lovely post.

  4. Ya, self employed, I love it! Great post Naomi, and great points made by your commenters. I hate saying “stay at home mom” for the reasons you mention. But it IS the hardest job ever and working at my career was easy peasy compared to this!

  5. Once a woman at Bill’s office asked what it was like to be a “woman of leisure” since I wasn’t working. I must have looked at her like she was crazy b/c she turned a little red. Then I laughed and said “what’s leisure? none of that at my house”. For some reason that always stuck with me. of course, as I lay around eating bonbons, I do feel alittle sorry for her. heehee

  6. Naomi, Great post. As you know, I am not a SAHM, but I totally agree with your post and earlier comments. My “break” time is when I’m in the office. (I’m lucky to have a job and coworkers that I love.) When I stay home with my son, I am always overwhelmed and have no time to do anything for myself. At work, I can actually chat without interruption, go for walks, catch up on the news, and of course, work, too. 🙂 I think you should definitely switch the title on your tax return to Goddess.

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