As a stay-at-home mom, adapting to my new profession has been a continuous process. For many people in our culture, it’s their job that defines them. It’s their title, it’s what they do, it’s the niche they are a part of, and it’s what their conversations revolve around.
Without said job, who are you? What niche do you belong to? And what do you talk about? Unfortunately I feel as though being a stay-at-home mom isn’t an encouraged profession, or propagated as it should be in our capitalistic, American-dream pursuing, women’s-liberated society. I take pride in staying home with my baby; however, when I’m in a social situation I find it difficult to participate in the discourse when it constantly revolves around work. Now don’t get me wrong, I do plenty of work; but when people are venting about bosses, teachers are venting about standardized tests, or office workers are discussing paperwork and procedures, I feel out of place interjecting with anecdotes about diaper explosions, storytimes, and sleep patterns. And although I’ve been a teacher, and a coach, I am completely immersed in motherhood now.
Being a mom is what defines me. Yet sometimes when I tell people that I’m a stay-at-home mom our conversation is stifled, or ceases to exist. It’s as though we could have nothing to talk about for my lack of a societally-recognized profession. This social awkwardness isn’t the end of the world; but if I’m going to be a full-time mom for a while, I’m going to have to find a way to reconcile this job with my social agenda.