Am I unemployed? I sat staring at the box titled, “Job Title?” Do I put freelance writer? I mean “writer” is my dream job and all, but it’s not exactly like I bring home a regular paycheck by any leap of the definition. Do I put “unemployed?” I’ve been unemployed before. I sure remember being a lot less busy than I am now. I don’t feel unemployed. Do I put SAHM? I linger here.
So often, I hear people referring to SAHM in an employment context, as a respectable job, but I just never felt like I fit here either. Certainly, my tiny beasts make it more difficult for me to also work, especially if I am not currently outsourcing the M-F, 9-5 care-taking… But is SAHM a job? Frustrated, I just leave it blank. It was completely irrelevant (as many of these caption categories are) to the information needed. (Seriously, I was just filling out a form for an obstacle course workout). And I hate being “boxed” in anyways.
But it got me thinking… Is “SAHM” a job?
I am going to have to go with NO. And here are my top five reasons why I believe being a SAHM is NOT a job.
- Everyday I work my ass off, and then I walk to my mailbox, and all I see are bills. No one has sent me any paychecks. The NERVE people! The NERVE! Then I check my bank account. Nothing new. Seriously? If this is a job, this is ridiculous! Someone call the Labor Advocacy groups stat!
- Today I got a three minute lunch. That’s right, 3 minutes. You bet I timed it. I noticed how fast I was having to eat lately, so this time I actually looked at the clock, and was shocked that instead of taking a damn minute to inhale, I was inhaling my food at an unprecedented rate. Maybe I should enter those hotdog eating contests now? At my worse jobs, I would complain about a thirty minute lunch. Thirty minutes? I cannot even imagine eating for thirty whole minutes. What would that be like? Again, pretty sure this is a violation of some labor law. Pretty damn sure.
- My boss acts like a two year old! How did this Diva get promoted to Boss Babe? Oh wait she IS two!
- THERE ARE NO PRIVATE BATHROOM BREAKS. NONE. EVER. END OF STORY. Unless having your whole office go to the bathroom with you is your norm OTJ… this can hardly be considered appropriate workplace etiquette. SHOOT, somehow Dads get away with peeing and pooping by themselves. But if you are MOM…? Forget it! So if SAHM is a job, you are looking at an entire work day of social bathroom critters (aka tiny humans). That’s just weird job dynamics if you ask me.
- But most importantly, I get to hang out with tiny people that I am raising for the better majority of 24 hours. It isn’t always easy. Some days are so exhausting. But this is my home. The kitchen and toy room are not my office. That desk upstairs where I squeeze in a little writing before the break of dawn when the house still sleeps? That is my office. But my home will never be my office.
I joke. But in all seriousness, it seems silly to feel the need to define ourselves as Moms. Staying at home with your children is no greater or less than the choice to work, in any capacity. We shouldn’t feel a need to redefine motherhood in terms of our job to be respected. As Moms, as women, and better yet, as humans, we should not feel the need to reduce motherhood or anyone’s personal journey to a job label.
When we reduce SAHM to a “job” title, are we implying that a working mom’s motherhood journey is not a job, and a SAHM’s is? At the same time, by calling a SAHM a “job,” are we implying that her worth must be proven or earned? Motherhood, no matter how you paint it, is the most complex and intense road I have ever navigated, and I for one, am hesitant to box it in.
And I’ll be damned if I let my two year old be in charge of my performance review this year 😉