I’ve probably been reading too many mommy blogs, but it’s so much easier than being social in a real way. I don’t have to get Paul dressed to read mommy blogs, and he’s teething.
One of the weird things I’ve noticed on most of these blogs (including my own) is that in the little “about me” sections, very few stay-at-home moms describe themselves that simply. They usually say something like “former teacher/CEO/lawyer/doctor/etc staying home with her children.” Now the weird thing about this is, you don’t usually see anyone else describing their current occupation by telling you what they used to do. No one says, “I’m a barista turned administrative assistant,” or “former college student, currently working in the IT department at such-and-such company.”
I’m going to suggest that maybe we stay-at-home moms encourage any stigma that might exist about us, by our own defensiveness. I admit, I felt a lot better when I added “pretending to be a grad student’ to my “about me” section. I’ve read a lot of blogs where moms marvel at the irony that they have found themselves in the position of staying home with children even though they’ve received so very many degrees and accolades.
It seems to imply that it is out of the ordinary for a stay-at-home mom to be good at anything else besides wiping bottoms. Is this what we really think of each other?
Why do we feel the need to point out that childcare isn’t the only thing we’ve ever done in our lives? So that people won’t think we are one of those mothers? Who has never had any other interest, and who, when her children leave the nest, will have absolutely no purpose on the planet?
I hope that most stay-at-home mothers don’t believe this about each other, but even if we don’t, I don’t think that the defensiveness and the poorly-masked insecurity that lies behind the constant reminders of how many degrees we’ve got is helping.
We shouldn’t have to remind people of our other talents, anymore than a CEO should have to remind you that he was once a darn good drive-thru attendant.