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The million dollar question - Page 3

post #41 of 121
You know, I remember dreading this question way more when I was working. I was a video editor (not a large industry in this market) and I used to get a lot of condescending responses.
"When are you moving to Vancouver?" (never)
"What's your day job?" (this is it.)
"You should be working for CNBC" (thanks, you're doing a great job driving this bus.)

Finally I started telling people I was a dental hygienist, and never got one stupid question.

So....SAHM isn't the only profession that inspires stupid questions.
post #42 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by nina_yyc View Post
"I'm a mom."
yeah that. No need to fancy it up.
post #43 of 121
I used to do the whole "well, I used to be an attorney but then ds was born early and so then I had to blah blah blah blah blah".

Now I just say that I stay at home with them.

It's not a big deal. Seriously. Who gives a s&$*...
post #44 of 121
I have a friend who recently started her youngest in preschool. She got tired of people asking, "What do you do now with all that time on your hands?"

She started answering, "I stay home and masterbate all day!"

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.
post #45 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBinTEX View Post
I have a friend who recently started her youngest in preschool. She got tired of people asking, "What do you do now with all that time on your hands?"

She started answering, "I stay home and masterbate all day!"

Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.
There is a woman who knows how to make the most of her time.
post #46 of 121
i get asked that alot hehehehehe

my answer iam a professional

and than they ask really what kind a professional chief,professional child care provider,professional house cleaner,professional stripper hubby only

see my job is very busy by the end of my job titles they get the point and walk away lol

ayah
post #47 of 121
I say "oh, I'm on Maternity Leave"

Never mind that i have been on mat leave for almost 6 years now...

I also will say "I stay home with my kids" and around here, that gets approving nods.
post #48 of 121
I tell people that I'm a nurse, but right now I'm at home with my son.
Not because I'm embarrassed to be a sahm. I'm not. I'm very proud of it actually. But I didn't just stop being a nurse when I had a child, I feel it's a much a part of my identity as being a mother is.

I am lucky that I've never encountered the "what do you do all day" comment. Most people will say (when I tell them I'm at home with my 4 year old) "well, that's a full time job", and I agree! And if they don't say it, I'm sure to tell them.
post #49 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikesmom View Post
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.
:

Well said, mama.
post #50 of 121
It's funny because I WAH but when people ask me, I usually forget about that part of my life. I tend to say, in a very excited voice (because I am excited about it), "I stay at home with my daughter". Then I launch into the various fun activities that we do.

DH is a grad student and I was at a party with him, his fellow grad students and some professors. One professor (economics) asked me what I do and I said that I stay at home. It was clear that he didn't know what to say when I remembered that I WAH so I said, "and I work for [insert large software company name here]". He clearly brightened and asked me a few questions about it. Later I laughed my a$$ off because my job is an aside to me and the fact that he thought it was important, I found tremendously funny.
post #51 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBinTEX View Post
She got tired of people asking, "What do you do now with all that time on your hands?"

She started answering, "I stay home and masterbate all day!"
OMG! I love it!

I have been following this thread, because although I work outside the home now, there was a time that I was at home full time all the time, and I have been the cause of conversation killers.

But, I occasionally socialize at barb-q's, kids parties and the like. And people *do* ask this question. Especially among strangers as a conversation starter. When a mom tells me she stays at home, I dont usually go silent and walk away, but typically ask "hows that going" and "how are you liking it so far?", those sort of questions. Is that insulting to any of you mamas at home? I never ask "what do you do all day" because i feel thats condescending, and as someone who has been at home for blocks of time, I pretty much know what goes on (outside of say a day in the life of parenting multiples or a special needs child). I would never want to be dismissive or rude.

What would you like people to say and ask?

Lisa
post #52 of 121
"I'm a stay-at-home-mom".

I never feel awkward because, honestly, my pre-sahm days were not anymore glamorous. I was an admin. asst. Big whoop!
post #53 of 121
i just tell people i stay at home w/my ds...although i did read a great thing about how you can answer this q...let me see if i can find it... i think this is really cute...


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.
She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.
"I'm a Mom."
"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."
"What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it??? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."
The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.
I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters).. Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood!
What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.
Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"
And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."
Please send this to another Mom, Grandmother, Aunt, And other friends you know.
May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!
AMEN!!
post #54 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
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?
Oh yes, I know that question! I always just flat out say, "I'm a stay-at-home-mom." I've always been proud to be a SAHM and I've never felt embarassed, ashamed, etc. when someone asks me what I do. I really don't care what people think about it anyway.
post #55 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3 View Post
But, I occasionally socialize at barb-q's, kids parties and the like. And people *do* ask this question. Especially among strangers as a conversation starter. When a mom tells me she stays at home, I dont usually go silent and walk away, but typically ask "hows that going" and "how are you liking it so far?", those sort of questions. Is that insulting to any of you mamas at home?

What would you like people to say and ask?
"How old are your kids?"
"Girls or boys?"
"What is the toughest thing about staying home?"
Really, anything. I'm not easily offended. My favorite topics are childbirth and school, so I'm happy to discuss those too.

And to address the OP, I was a SAHM for 10 years, and don't remember ever being embarrassed in conversation when that came up. 90% of the women I know stay home. It is pretty common/expected here. I think the trick is that I'm not embarrassed when I say it. I think it is a fine and noble choice, and if stated proudly and with a smile on your face, there is nothing to be worried about.
post #56 of 121
I say that I'm a stay-at-home-mom and part-time student (which is the case). I have always been met with big smiles and nods when I've mentioned that I'm a SAHM. I've never been made to feel like I'm anything less (although DH's family is exempt from that.. a few of them don't understand it at all.. but no big loss. I don't talk to them much, anyway!) and most older women start to reminisce about their precious time spent at home with their children.
My mom was a SAHM and I'm glad that I have her support- she reminds me all the time what an important job is is
post #57 of 121
The thing that bugs me about this question is that when I answer that I SAH with the kids, people almost always assume I'm completely uneducated.

My dh is a grad student in chemistry and even with the other grad students, they hear I SAH with the kids and always seemed surprised that I actually also have a b.s. in chemistry. That degree was hard for me to get, and I'm pround of it (I was a single mom to ds1 when I was in college.) I think maybe that's why it annoys me so much that people assume I have no degree just because I'm not using it for a paying job. I help dh grade, but I don't get paid for it. Well, not unless you count non-monetary compensation.

I'm very happy to be a SAHM and when I say I am, I usually have a big proud grin on my face. So I don't think it's how I say it that makes people read anything into it. Maybe part of it is most of the people I give this answer to are young and childless. When we meet say friends of dh's parents when we visit, they don't bat a lash about my SAH, they just chat about how tough it must be to be home alone w/ 3 kids by myself so far from family w/ a dh in grad school, so he's not home much. They usually ask what I got my degree in like they assume I DO have one. SO maybe it's a maturity thing.
post #58 of 121
Wow, people can be really obnoxious can't they? I've been asked this plenty of times, lots of techie folks and corporate high-ups and all (when hubby still worked for other people and we had to attend various functions, etc..) but never had anyone seem weirded out or unsure what to say. Everyone just starts asking how old ds is and what he's up to lately and other questions, and chatting about their families, stuff like that.

Seems like a pretty obvious conversation to me? Someone says they stay home with the kids, you ask about the kids What's so hard about that?

Sweetbaby3, that sounds like exactly the sort of conversation most people make with me and it works out fine. It's the same sort of stuff I ask anyone about their job, really. 'Oh that sounds like fun' or 'how do you like it?' 'how long have you been in the field' etc..
So the things you used as examples sound fine to me, I bet if we met in that sort of situation (you were a work associate of my husband or something) we'd get a long fine.
post #59 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
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.
I still have that issue... I often share my work history and how I came to the decision... but I keep wishing that I had the guts to say: "Yeah, we're rich 'like that' and we can afford to SAHM, why can't you?" <-- in a really snarky voice. The truth is that we are definately, I mean absolutely not rich... . Anywho, I want to have the guts to say that so that I can make the stupid questioner feel awkward for a second... I mean, they would either have to explain why they can't afford to SAHM or say something else. I mean, since most ppl think that you have to be filthy rich to SAHM, vs the reality, which is that you have to be creative enough to make it work most times, then we should throw it back on them... make them defend their income.. lol. .

-L

PS: I hope that I didn't offend any WAHMs... I really mean this for folk who try to make me defend SAHMing... Or who try to make you feel stupid or beneath them for SAHMing... I guess its me airing my frustration.
post #60 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaraNicole View Post
i just tell people i stay at home w/my ds...although i did read a great thing about how you can answer this q...let me see if i can find it... i think this is really cute...


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.
She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.
"I'm a Mom."
"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."
"What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it??? I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."
The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.
I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters).. Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood!
What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.
Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"
And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."
Please send this to another Mom, Grandmother, Aunt, And other friends you know.
May your troubles be less,
Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door!
AMEN!!

AW SNIPPITY SNAP, i am SOOO using this when that fateful question comes up on that fateful day! :
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