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The million dollar question

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
Okay, I've had enough awkward moments during social gatherings when THE question was asked. You know which one I'm talking about...the one that everybody asks somebody they have just met..."So, what do you do?"

I'm really curious about how other SAHM's eloquently answer this question without feeling embarrassed, humiliated, or leading to an awkward silent moment as I have so many times.

I typically say that I stay at home with the children. People usually kind of nod their head and then stand there like they don't know what else to say. I got so tired of this question that I finally started answering non work related things like "oh, I like to hang out at Skipper's, go see some live bands, camping". I thought that might work. After all, it is a legitimate answer to what do you do but this bewildered people even more and they would continue to pursue, "no, I mean what do you do for a living?" Geez, I guess nothing in life is more important than what you do for a living.

For example, let me give you a scenario. I was out at a bar to see my husband's band play one time and he introduced me to some old pals. I started talking to another young woman my age who was telling me all about her starving artist adventures in San Francisco. Then when it came to the part of me talking about myself not only did I feel like I had nothing to compare to her romantic lifestyle but when I answered there was an awkward silence so long that I finally excused myself to the bathroom to put her out of her misery.

So honestly, how do you all deal with this situation?
post #2 of 121
Honestly... I still feel the need to say, "Well I used to be computer programmer but decided to not go back to work after having our daughter." Sometimes I feel the pressure to somehow validate myself outside of the home. But anymore, I just say something like "Well, I'm a stay-at-home-mom. How awesome is that?" I actually work very part-time (from home) for the state as a breastfeeding coordinator, but being a SAHM really defines me at this point in my life and that is my current occupation.

You're gonna feel uncomfortable from any angle. THERE IS NO RIGHT ANSWER. When you're with moms, you might feel the need to overemphasize your SAHM-ness and with women who work, you feel the need to downplay it. That's pretty normal because we're subjected to the mommy wars at every level.

In Turkey, where my dh is from, nobody asks that... it's assumed you stay at home. If you are married, you stay at home. Period. End of subject. But even then, women from the US would be upset at the lack of feminism. Ya just can't win.
post #3 of 121
"I'm a middle aged, middle class, suburban housewife." Honestly, no one's asked since I stopped working last August. I'm quite proud that we can afford for me to be a SAHM -- not an easy thing in San Diego.
post #4 of 121
"I'm a mom."
post #5 of 121
I say 'Right now, I stay at home with the kids'. Works for me. If its the type of conversation that warrants it I'll go into my background.

velochic - I'm that you were also a computer programmer. Man, no wonder we think so much alike.
post #6 of 121
My usual answer is, "Breeder."

When I first started SAHMing, I used to feel more compelled to work it in that I was (am) an attorney. Now I just answer it as is - SAHM. If it's someone that I'm talking to in more than passing conversation - ie if we're building any sort of relationship or if they're interested in learning more about me - my past professional life usually comes up soon enough. If it's a casual encounter, I doubt they care too much about what I did 5 years ago and my other credentials.
post #7 of 121
I once read someone's answer to this question: "We play"
post #8 of 121
I prefer to describe myself as "housewife". I like the 50's mental picture it brings to mind. I actually like when people ask me what I "do". I in some ways feel superior...or more just very proud. I think staying home with the kids is something that alot of moms deep down wish they could do. I am doing that. I'm also proud that we are not wealthy and we lost 1/2 our income to have me stay at home. The only thing that makes me feel crappy is that I LOOK like a SAHM! Same clothes from 3 years ago and no makeup. I wish I LOOKED more glamorous.
post #9 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chug-a-Pug View Post
I once read someone's answer to this question: "We play"

:

Or "I'm a play at home mum."


I'm also an artist - and the one question I HATE is,

"Oh, what do you do?"
"Everything."
"No, but I mean, what do you make?"

Its such an impossible question to answer.
post #10 of 121
Quote:
I prefer to describe myself as "housewife". I like the 50's mental picture it brings to mind. I actually like when people ask me what I "do". I in some ways feel superior...or more just very proud. I think staying home with the kids is something that alot of moms deep down wish they could do. I am doing that. I'm also proud that we are not wealthy and we lost 1/2 our income to have me stay at home. The only thing that makes me feel crappy is that I LOOK like a SAHM! Same clothes from 3 years ago and no makeup. I wish I LOOKED more glamorous.
That is exactly my thoughts on that, I couldnt have said it any better..
post #11 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
velochic - I'm that you were also a computer programmer. Man, no wonder we think so much alike.

Very cool!!
post #12 of 121
I am a Mom to 3 boys.
post #13 of 121
I think that's its sad that some people would make you feel ashamed/awkward when you tell them your a SHAM. I think it's something to be proud of! I'm not a mommy yet, but when I am I will be staying at home. That's what I've always wanted to do. I don't get why some people think it's a bad thing or that it's not as interesting or important as their "real jobs".

pixiewytch
post #14 of 121
I've said everything from "I was a Software Project Manager before I chose to stay home to homeschool my son and take care of the baby" to "I sit home and play video games all day while DH supports my mt dew and pizza habit" which I DEFINITELY dont do these days, lol, but in the circles we move in, such as they are, I always end up with "can I marry your husband" or "my kinda girl" comments, in light hearted fun. I don't take it personal and if its not good enough for someone else, that doesnt really bother me. I do whats right for me and my family, and thats good enough for me.
post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenlaana View Post
I don't take it personal and if its not good enough for someone else, that doesnt really bother me. I do whats right for me and my family, and thats good enough for me.
Good for you! I feel the same way, and I also feel that it goes the other way around: me NOT being a SAHM is not "good enough" for our family, either!
post #16 of 121
I just say that I am a stay-at-home-mom.
I am proud of it and don't feel the need to talk about past work/educational experiences nor my future career endeavours.

Hold your head up high and be proud of your choice to SAH. Trust me... although some may look down on your position, many are probably envious of your "job".
post #17 of 121
I happily say that I am a stay at home mom. I'm proud of the fact I'm able to be at home raising my children.
post #18 of 121
I say I am a stay-at-home mom.

I don't need to add to that (but sometimes I will say and I love it) , or justify it, and nobody has ever tried to engage me in a debate about it or anything.

This kind of thread seems to come up all the time. I am just not getting the idea that it is awkward to answer this. Nor do I understand why anyone would look down on me. Most people think I am fortunate!!
post #19 of 121
I say Jill of all trades. I said that on a questionaire the other day under occupation. Sometimes I say I am a Domestic Goddess.
post #20 of 121
I just say that I'm a stay-at-home mom. If that makes someone else uncomfortable, that's their problem, not mine. I think it threw a few people at my 20-year grad reunion last summer (I was the female "brain" and the best-known stoner-metalhead-whateve in our grade), but...their problem, not mine. Most of them said something like, "what's that like?" and I told them - honestly - that I like it much better than anything else I've done. I think some of them decided that I'm lazy...c'est la vie.
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