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The million dollar question - Page 2

post #21 of 121
I was thinking about this last nite. Dh's old school friend called last nite - (I've never met him, but heard alot about him, dh is out of town) so we chat for a moment or two and he asks what I do, I tell him I'm at home with the kids. He pauses and says something to the effect of "well, its the hardest job in the world!". Um, okay. It seemed so.....condensending? Like I was being patted on the head or something. Or that he felt I needed some sort of validation from him. Very weird.
I mean, who else comments on someones job like that? Rocket Scientist? Well, that takes alot of brains! Any other profession starts another conversation - brain surgeon? wow, how many years of schooling was that? do you enjoy it? etc, etc.
But I guess what sort of question would come after "sahm", "what do you do during the day?" wouldnt come across very well.
post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmander View Post
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.
Agreed. I think most people who are just making small-talk would just nod their head and not say much no matter what your answer to the "what do you do" question was. You could say you're a teacher/vet/landscaper/cpa/etc and they'd just nod. Would you be offended in those scenarios?
post #23 of 121
Domestic goddess.

Seriously. We just moved and I've put it down for every "Occupation" question I've had to answer (loan apps, medical records, etc.). I'm new to SAHMing, only since early December. There haven't been too many social situations as of yet (due to move and I'm pg with twins, don't get out much ). But I have noticed that certain family members have already started to dismiss me from conversations because now I'm "only a mom." Seriously people, I still have well thought-out opinions on many work topics, politics, religion, etc.
post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Any other profession starts another conversation - brain surgeon? wow, how many years of schooling was that? do you enjoy it? etc, etc. But I guess what sort of question would come after "sahm", "what do you do during the day?" wouldnt come across very well.
I think the natural extension of the conversation, and the question I ask next when someone tells me she's a SAHM, is, "Oh, how old are your kids?" and go from there -- there's plenty to talk about! It's interesting that some SAHMs are characterizing their own "job" as something about which there's nothing of interest to discuss.
post #25 of 121
I would like to think that no SAHM would be embarrassed when defining her role, identity, and well discovered purpose. It is such a hindrance to hide behind the mask of a title. To only identify with someone because of what they can only do and not who they really are. I am proud of you all. Hold your chin up , smile and say I am a SAHM.
post #26 of 121
It depends, i ususally just say SAHM though i dont meet too many new people who would ask me that. All my friends are SAHM except one (and she is 60 and childless by choice). On forms i write "domestic goddess" and the last one i was feeling silly and i wrote "yo mama!"
I love being a SAHM and am proud too!
post #27 of 121
I really think that people just don't know what to say when someone says SAHM. I don't think they mean to slam us... or be condescending... well most of the time. I think this because I started adding that I SAH and volunteer. I've found that people are quick to jump on the volunteering because they know how to ask/talk about that easily. Later in the conversation sah will come up sometimes more comfortably.

I do think that I'll switch to housewife though.. I too like the images.
post #28 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Agreed. I think most people who are just making small-talk would just nod their head and not say much no matter what your answer to the "what do you do" question was. You could say you're a teacher/vet/landscaper/cpa/etc and they'd just nod. Would you be offended in those scenarios?
It isn't the nodding that bothers me it is the awkward silence that ensues after what was a thriving conversation. I've been saying that lately the SAHM card seems to be a conversation killer. Honestly though, I'm sure that some people just aren't interested in discussing it because they don't have children or can't relate to that scenario. I still feel like I would get a more positive response if I rattled off some fancy job title or degree.

I also get those condescending responses like "good for you" or "hardest job in the world." Now I don't think saying those things is necessarily condescending but it is the tone people use when they say it...almost like they are talking to a child or puppy dog. I don't know if that makes sense but it feels like I'm being almost dumbed down to.
post #29 of 121
"Umm... what's today?" I answer this way sometimes, and laugh, saying, "I mostly am a stay home mommy, but three nights a week I'm a student, and I also have a Candle Business..." for me, this leads into PERFECT opportunities to either book a candle party or inspire another mom to try a business that'll make more money for her family (mine paid for half my wedding and is now paying for my tuition and chocolate needs...) while having more time for the house and kids, since the majority of my business is done from home, on the computer or phone, maybe an hour a day!
post #30 of 121
Quote:
I also get those condescending responses like "good for you" or "hardest job in the world." Now I don't think saying those things is necessarily condescending but it is the tone people use when they say it...almost like they are talking to a child or puppy dog. I don't know if that makes sense but it feels like I'm being almost dumbed down to.
Yes exactly! That tone thats used sometimes. Argh.
post #31 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
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".
Yup. Me too.
post #32 of 121
I say, "I have two little kids I tend to."

Since moving out of a major metropolitan area, it's a LOT less awkward.
post #33 of 121
My typical response is "I stay at home with my kids", though I'm now seriously tempted to use the Domestic Goddess title or the "I play" line. . I don't go into what I used to do because it's not really relevant to how I define myself right now.

I don't think I've ever really noticed anyone being condesending towards me. I've had lots of acquaintances who have assumed I'd be going back to work and have been surprised to hear that I'm not. I just explain that DH and I have decided that it's what's best for our family.
post #34 of 121
I usually say that I am a full-time student and SAHM (I take classes online). I'm not sure why I feel the need to put the student part in there but it does make me feel like I'm justifying something. Isn't it weird how some of us feel the need to defend being a SAHM? I'm not sure why I do.
post #35 of 121
I've done the "Domestic Goddess" line. I've also said that I'm employed by my children to be their caretaker, which was a job that I couldn't refuse because the benefits were fabulous.

I've only run into a couple of situations where I felt the need to tell someone what I did before I was a SAHM. Most times, people will immediately tell me that being a SAHM mom is a noble profession and understand that it isn't always an easy job.
post #36 of 121
A couple years back one of my boys was doing an "all about me" project for school. There was the part about parents - age, likes, dislikes, occupation. So for fun I say, put "domestic goddess", ha ha, just put sahm. Ds ends up putting in DG! The teacher apparently laughed out loud reading it and was sure to bring it up at the next p/t meeting. Telling us how much he loved the term.
post #37 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
I usually say that I am a full-time student and SAHM (I take classes online). I'm not sure why I feel the need to put the student part in there but it does make me feel like I'm justifying something. Isn't it weird how some of us feel the need to defend being a SAHM? I'm not sure why I do.
Why does saying what you do (you're a SAHM AND a student) make you feel guilty? If you weren't a mom, would you feel guilty telling people you're a student?
post #38 of 121
IME, when people ask that it's just a conversation starter. Or an opportunity to launch into something else. I don't take it personally if it's a killer, since I've experienced far more conversation killing 'what do you do' moments when I was a corrections officer and a nanny.

If you're not artsy with the art crowd and not in some kind of cubicle thing for just about everyone else, people will kind of blinkblink and say 'that's nice'.

I suspect that some of the convo-killers I've read about so far were more of the kids/no-kids divide than the SAHM status. I've never had a problem with people sidelining me in a political/current events discussion, because I don't tend to wait for an invitation if that's the topic. I get sidelined all the time with my DH's buddies, because they lapse into code-geek stuff, so I tend to speak with the other people standing around who are drawing a blank with me.

So when someone asks me what I do, I just tell the truth (in varying degrees of flip-ness, depending on the situation). I stay at home with our three kids, and do the homemaker thing, without heels and pearls. I'm not ashamed of it. I don't think it's the most interesting job in the world, but to be honest I think working in an office is the most boring thing on earth so I don't have any room to be upset if someone else things that what I do is boring!
post #39 of 121
I usually start with "Domestic Engineer" followed by what I *hope* is a mature giggle. : For kicks I actually wrote my 'resume' once. I am pretty impressive I think.

But often this is asked only as a "what can we talk about" question. So I usually quickly follow up with (depending on what I know of the person, or anyway quess) something like: Gardening/Garden Design, Cooking, Baking, Paper Crafts, Painting, [Shopping!!]... Or, frankly, if it is a male, I mention something like: Ex-Director of Engineering for a Software Startup, Ex-Autocross Racer (Real WOMen Drive MOPAR), Real Estate Investor (LLC), Financial Planner, Furniture Remodeling, Tiling/Wallpapering in Bathroom/Kitchen, Fence/Deck/Playhouse Design... And in a REAL pinch I start chatting about Travel and all the really cool places I've been, that *you* might've been too... Etc.
post #40 of 121
usually my 1yr old son is not too far away, so I point to him and say "I chase him around all day". depending on the situation, sometimes for kicks I just say "I"m a kept woman". My husband gets a kick out of that one- apeals to his macho side I guess.
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