And..what do you do?

Baggage

I always find this question disconcerting.  I internally stumble a little while I grasp for the words to define me: artist, writer, therapist, mama, jill-of-more-than-one-trade.  I was at a gathering for queer parents the other day and this question came up.  When I ask about a person, I try to choose my words carefully: “How do you spend your days?”  The usual answer is about what they do for a living and not who they are or what feeds their soul.

I am still trying to tease this all out and to not lose some of my self-worth to my lack of a paycheck.  I love what I do.  I am raising a stellar human being who will go on to raise other stellar humans who will continue our legacy.  Even still, I cringe a little when I tell people I am a stay-at-home mom.  I even fumble over the words, “Oh, I …stay home with him.”  What I should be saying is, “I am so lucky to get to spend my time with this amazing person just being his mom.”  And I do feel lucky.  I do.  Sometimes, though, the old baggage gets flung open and I feel like I should be doing more.

I have heard a million people talk about “having it all” in life.  Meaning, career and family.  For me, I think having it all means the family part.  One day maybe I will publish a NY Times bestseller.  Or maybe not.  Either way, my life will still be full today and tomorrow.  Now if only my baggage can get the memo…

-Betsy

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2 responses to “And..what do you do?

  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a stay-at-home mom! I do know, my partner has expressed the same kinds of sentiments you expressed here though. So, don’t feel like you should stumble, stand up and be proud, being home with a toddler all day is hard work. I know I couldn’t do it!

  2. I try to ask, ‘what do you like to do?’ instead of ‘what do you do?’ but it seems to throw most people off, and they don’t know how to respond. Maybe asking how they spend their days is a better approach.

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