Saturday, February 3, 2007

Are we just a 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, (first the Lord and then the whole 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 more 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".


  1. I have read that many times, and not only I LOVE it, I beleive in it 100% and thensome :)
    Your lil sis

  2. loved this entry.  i am going to remember that job title for the next time i am asked what i do for a living

  3. i have felt that way when they have asked me what i do before...its like belittling when the person looks at you after they mark housewife.
    that was cute thanks for shairing it
    <3, emily

  4. ha ha ha that's g

  5. HA HA HA this is good.  Thank you for the lovely Valentine card that you sent!!  I love it!  It was nice of you to remember me, Cindy.
    Love ya,

  6. Great entry...hope you have a lovely weekend,

  7. I know I'm not just a mom!

  8. Cindy,
    Isn't that the truth?

  9. Cute.. I'll have to remember that one. John basically told his attorney I don't do anything. All I am is a mom. Sorry if I think that is the best title I've ever had and yes, I've had the career too and gladly gave that up. I guess it all depends on who you ask.
    Take care, Chrissie

  10. Very good.