Mothers

Since I have to go take my mom to work this morning and I FINALLY slept till the alarm this week, here's another cheat.

Just Mom

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, ball-point 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, (the whole darned 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 mo re 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.

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2 comments:

Shesawriter said...

This reminds me of the situation I always find myself in. Do I say writer, housewife, stay-at-home mom, or homemaker? All are loaded answers and all get the same "oh, you don't work" look. I mean, if you say you're a writer, the next obvious question is, what have you published? If you say you're a domestic goddess/housewife/homemaker ... blah, blah, blah, it's the same thing too. I guess I answer the question depending on my mood. It was much easier when I was a QA/System Test Consultant. People had no idea what that meant. All they knew was it sounded important. LOL! Little do these folks know that my mommy job is way more important and complicated. Add writing on top of that and I'm a regular superwoman. :-)

Tanya

MaryF said...

Tanya, I would be so tempted to say writer. And grr on the "not working." Sheesh. As glad as I am to be on vacation, I know I'm going to have to budget my time to get everything done! And my kid is 14!

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