I was recently at the doctor’s office, answering questions on those lengthy health forms, when the lady taking my information asked where I was employed. When I told her I stay at home, she wrote in large print: unemployed.
I felt so deflated! I wanted to say – hey wait! I have a bachelor’s degree! I could “work” if I wanted to! I plan to work again someday! I wanted to validate myself. And then I thought…but I do work! I work very hard, all day. I don’t sit around eating ice cream and watching soap operas! In fact, I hardly sit at all, and I only watch one hour of TV a week.
Now, I don’t fault the lady at the desk. By all technical accounts, I am unemployed. I don’t have a work phone or my own insurance or anything else that would matter for their collection of fees.
But I decided to have a little fun with this concept and looked up the definition of unemployed on Merriam-Webster’s site. In the explanation it says:
“Condition of a person who is able to work, is actively seeking work, but is unable to find any.”
I agree with two-thirds of that statement as I work at home. I am able to work, and I actively seek it. (Although I sometimes I actively run from it — I run away from the windows that need washing so I do not have to see the dirt on them!)
The last part of the sentence is the fun part! “Unable to find any work..”
As a mom I find work as a…
Nurse to kiss and bandage the wounds
Teacher as I teach a child to multiply, another to read, another his colors, another her animals
Chauffeur as I them drive to and from their sports and social events
Chef as I make two to three meals a day
Fashion consultant as I nix the idea of wearing polka dot pants with a striped shirt
Judge as I mediate the latest conflict
Counselor as we problem solve how to not get into conflict in the first place
Personal shopper as I go to the store to pick up whatever is needed
Professional organizer as I stack and label the kids’ items into tubs
Seamstress as I repair buttons on pants
Dental hygienist as I help them brush and floss their teeth
Entomologist as I help identify (via the internet) the latest bug caught
Exterminator as I kill those crazy bugs
Hairdresser as I wash and comb hair
Detective as I try to figure out who really had the toy first
Maid as I pick up, clean up, and wash up many, many messes
So, no. I am not really unable to “find work” as I work at home as a full-time mom. But neither am I unable to find payment. I would take smiles, hugs, and kisses from my kids over any salary, any day.