I was filling out an application for something the other day and I found myself stuck at the OCCUPATION section. In the past, I’ve always filled out either N/A or homemaker. (Even though for some reason this title causes my brain to short circuit. I mean, the word itself feels like a cop-out.)
Now, I’m not saying that staying at home isn’t work or that the parent at home shouldn’t be showered with expensive gifts daily, I’m just stating that the word itself sucks. There must be a better way to say that I choose to raise my kids instead of letting someone else do it. But then that sentence sounds like I’m putting down working moms. This is such a touchy subject and I don’t really have an opinion about it at all, except that I really think you should do what works for you and your family.
This post is NOT about the never-ending debate of who is a better mother depending on if they work or not (all y’all are terrific because you care enough to argue). This post is about what I should be writing down for my job. What, exactly is my occupation?
Do I put N/A because what I do -- with my children and home -- doesn’t necessarily make money? Do I put homemaker to show how proud I am that I get to stay home, even though that word makes me cringe? Or do I jot down (deep breath in) Writer?
When strangers ask what I do, I usually just tell them, “Nothing. I stay at home.” But lately, with the publishing of my book, I wondered if I should change that up. But there is one thing bothering me. This is a self-published book. So there was no agent or publisher saying, “Wow. This is good enough to be published. Mostly it was just me sick of looking at the thing and needing it out of my ever-editing grasp.
An acquaintance and I got to talking a few days back. She was telling me about books she liked to purchase on her Kindle. Self-consciously, I plugged in that I had an eBook out on Kindle. And you should have seen the way she looked at me. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was the fact that we don’t really know each other yet, but I got the feeling that she thought I was a weirdo. She all but said, “Okay, bye.”
This makes me even more hesitant to declare what I do with my (sort of) free time. I don’t want to think of writing as a hobby. It’s work. It takes time from my kids. But it’s something I absolutely, positively have to do. I’m not going to make excuses for it or apologize. There are so many of us not living out our dreams. I know someone in particular that had this dream of going to New York City ALL of her life. She had always made the excuse that she had kids and couldn’t. Couldn’t save up money, yadda yadda yadda. When the opportunity was literally handed to her by someone she was dating, she passed it up. Because she was too afraid.
I might not be good enough NOW, but I don’t want to be afraid of taking that leap. I want to dress for the job I want instead of the job have. Metaphorically speaking of course; I don’t even bother to brush my hair most days.
So I guess I’ve decided. I’m going to take that leap. I. Am. (Unapologetically.) A Writer.
Photo Credit: dacheeses.
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