I'd like to say that we didn't watch television this past week, but that would be a blatant lie and not nearly as interesting. We'll get back to that.
One of my friends from high school posed an interesting question to me last week on the book of face. She said that at a recent social gathering a few people had asked her what she did. She responded that she stays home with her daughter and apparently received a few eye rolls. Now, this particular high school friend(who played a mean saxophone if I recall) is an attorney as well as a mom. Her husband suggested that she lead with attorney and then say that she's staying home with her daughter right now.
Okay, really people? Does staying at home with your child really necessitate an eye roll? Uh-oh, here comes my rant...
I realized when she posed this that I often lead with the fact that I am an attorney but that I'm currently staying home with my children. For whose benefit am I providing this information? Is it me? Am I ashamed of my status of homemaker (and I make a mean home)? Do I lead with my credentials because I think raising children isn't a legitimate job? I'm not sure what I think, but this is definitely a subconscious/self-conscious thing that I do.
The bottom line is that staying home with your children is a job. It's a big, tiring, smelly, sticky(at times), thankless, wage-less job. Think about it this way: when your boss yells at you, does he ever get mad enough to vomit? Do you have to change your co-workers' diapers? Do all of your colleagues speak a foreign language for which there is no translation? Do they demand things of you all day in said foreign language? Do you spend literally all day every day with them?
Sidebar: I am not discounting or dismissing the real stress that any job can cause. Whatever you do, I'm sure you get stressed. This is merely my comparison of my current job to my previous employment experiences.
Back to my rant. If you answered "no" to any of the above, then let me tell you, I'd trade jobs with you for at least an hour every day. Unless you work for my former boss. I'm pretty sure at least one of the above applies to him.
So if motherhood and raising children is this difficult then why do I feel the need to qualify my responses to "what do you do?" with an addendum that lists my work experience and how many letters follow my name? The only possible answer can be, "it's not you, it's me." It's me that while I stand with diaper bag on shoulder and sippy cup in hand at story time, feels the need to say: "I'm actually an attorney and an adjunct professor. I choose to stay home with my children." It's not like anyone has ever responded with: "Oh, well since you said that I won't decide immediately that you are _____." (Insert anything here, i.e. uneducated, traditionalist, controlled, backwards, etc, I could keep going.) I guess this is what I'm afraid of.
The funny thing is that I don't think those things about my friends who also stay home with their children. I admire most of them. They're a bunch of crafty, creative, caring, intelligent, ambitious women who decided to stay home with their kids. I actually have an in-law that is a rocket scientist...yeah, like a real rocket scientist. She works from home, too. Does she have these same issues? Does she say I'm a mom and a rocket scientist? Do rocket scientists actually call themselves that? These are the pressing issues of my day.
The more I blog, the more I realize that I may be, in fact, a lunatic. Oh I could claim that I don't care what other people think about me, my children, my parenting, etc. But I do. Sometimes more than others but honestly, I usually care enough to have those after-the-fact conversations with myself in the car where I say something really clever in response to that bitchy remark. Beyond that though, I guess I'm not losing sleep (well, no more sleep than you lose when you have a baby who thinks you're an all-night buffet).
I'm challenging myself from this point forward to tell only half of the truth when asked what I do. The truth is that I am an attorney and adjunct professor. I'm also a mom and proud of it. If that's not good enough for the people asking, well they can politely dismiss themselves from my presence. Until then, I'll save my teething, temper tantrum and diaper stories for someone who cares or can at least relate.
So...TV...yeah, this past week wasn't so great for the non-TV viewing. Claire has been sick for a few weeks and I decided that she needed a true day of rest. I set her up on her tiny Sesame Street couch with Sprout, her blanket, her doll and a sippy of milk. What do you know, she got bored with it. Well, until Caillou came on then I don't think she even breathed for 20 minutes. I've also discovered that the little one (little as in age, she's actually quite a chunk of baby cuteness) is just as enthralled by television. Great, let's start 'em young. I have to say though, that Sprout is the lesser of all the television evils out there. I watched a bit of Nickelodeon this weekend and thought surely I'd taken some sort of hallucinogen. Scary.