Friday, August 8, 2008

Identity

I've long been reading the witty and creative ways to fill in the blanks;

__________________
title

or

__________________
occupation

We find them on every doctor, dentist, insurance, application.

I hate the title "stay at home mom." I am home with my boys, but we rarely stay. It sounds frumpy. I picture someone that is at home wearing socks and a lacy 80's church-marm dress with teensy flowers and a little bow on it.

I'm not that stay at home mom.

But I feel deceitful if I write anything else. If I write "teacher" (though I am) I am misleading someone to a degree. If I write mother...well, that's not so much of an explanation.

Giver of nurturing,nourishment, health care, taxi, educator, janitor, activities coordinator, manager.... well, who is my audience? YOU, all my mama friends know. But what do we write on that little line? What do you write on that blank spot? Daughter, mother, sister, wife, friend, mother, claimed by a Mighty Creator.

This afternoon I was putting food in the pantry and E, from his perch at the bar told me, "Mom, you look like a doctor." I giggled, and told him it's true. I do help these boys to feel better sometimes, right?

It reminded me of when J was about 2. He told all folks that would listen that I was a nurse. It took awhile for me to figure out that he probably overheard me talk about "nursing" and assumed I was, therefore a nurse. Well, I am. When my boys don't feel so hot I take them into the office of my arms, speak to them softly and try to figure out what's bugging. I measure them too, and have them step on a scale- make a big deal that J is now 50 lbs, N is 40 lbs, and E is 30 lbs. How do you like that, all in a row. :)

Anyhow, I still don't know how to answer this age old question. Maybe I'll just print this out and staple it to every upcoming application;

5 comments:

Jennifer in OR said...

I think the stapling is a great idea! It's terrible being reduced to one little label.

Hazel Dodge said...

I call myself a working-at-home mother. I work to raise my son to be a happy, healthy person. I work keep the house safe, if not entirely clean. And I work on my writing when not working on making life good for my son and fella. Oh, and the cat.
I do a lot of work.

"Stay at home" always seems to imply that one just STAYS. Is still, immobile. Like when someone commands a dog--"Stay!"

We mothers are busy, we are fluid like water, going from one level (dishes at the sink, dinner simmering on the stove) to another (cars on the floor, dressing up dollies) in seconds, and then defying gravity by traveling upward again. We are facile, making things so easy for everyone else because we do the prep work to the nth degree. We are flexible like those deep-rooted trees in the wind, even in storms, we can whip around all over the place, but are grounded and firm and anchored in.

Trees are a nice analogy, actually, to mothering, because they shelter us, make the air better, and are sometimes their own micro-ecosystem with millions of critters from bacteria to owls to you-name-it dependent upon them. A lot of dimensions, but when a tree is observed, most of the time, the observer just sees a tree. Just the surface.

Being a mother is just like that. There's alot of life going on inside the grasp of our arms (especially when we are hugging our kids and loved ones). There's a lot of sheltering and nurturing.

Labeling what kind of mother we are just scratches the surface, and is oh-so-vague. And, actually, pretty divisive. We are all working mothers.

"Occupation: Too Complex to Fit Into this Itty-Bitty Slot. See details on reverse."

DotBlogger said...

I love the staple idea. I'm gonna do it, too.

Now, off to print some pictures that do my "job" justice...

:)

MooBeeMa said...

I often tell the kids to "GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!" when I'm trying to cook dinner. So I guess that makes me a Chef!

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

I personally like "Executive Domestic Engineer and Home Educator"

(sounds so grandiose! and a bit like we should be earing well into the 6 figures....)

thanks for stopping by my blog. I think we have a lot in common!