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MaAlet

'Mother' as an occupation

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A woman renewing her driver's license at the DMV was asked by the clerk to state her occupation.
She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is," explained the clerk, "do you have a job, or are you just a ...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman. "I'm a mother."
"We don't list 'Mother' as an occupation ... 'Housewife' covers it," said the clerk emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, years later, at our local police station.
The clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessing 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, pen frozen in mid-air, 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, in the laboratory and in the field. I'm working for my master's, and already have four credits. Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, and I often work 14 hours a day. But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are much more satisfactory than just money." There was an increasing note of respect in the woman's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

When I got home, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants: ages 10, 7, and 3. Upstairs, I could hear our new experimental model, 6 months old, in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt I had triumphed over bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official record as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another mother."
Motherhood ... What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.

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It is infuriating to observe the disdain that most hold for the job title of "Mother".... The majority of society holds no respect for those who are ..."Just a housewife"... or "Just a Mother".... Why is that?  Is it because you don't need a degree or any special license?  Is it because the perception is that you didn't have to "work" to achieve the status?  I spent many years as a single, working Mom... and I felt cheated on a daily basis because I was not able to be with my babies on a 24/7 basis.

I've seen women who were true superwomen and seemed to be able to do it all.... and I've seen those who were so negligent in child rearing that they didn't deserve the privilege of having children in their care...  When all is said and done, I will count myself as a decent, successful human being if my children can honestly say that I was a good Mother.....

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I was a housewife for several years, and I was a single, working mother for several years, and I can honestly say that they are both hard.  Motherhood is hard work!  Now I am a married, working a mere 30 hours a week mother instead :D (for years it was a 2 job lifestyle due to the need to not starve to death :D)  Frankly it is the hardest, most rewarding job on the planet, and one that does NOT get the respect it deserves. 

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I loved this!

I too have faced this as being a stay at home mom for many years. I always got respect for working at a job with a fancy title..but the job at home was always more rewarding and often harder.

Nowadays I tell people I have retired..but as a Mom to grown children and a grandma..There is no retirement allowed! instead I've been promoted to Chief Consultant!

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On 9/16/2016 at 4:00 PM, NeverForsaken said:

Nowadays I tell people I have retired..but as a Mom to grown children and a grandma..There is no retirement allowed! instead I've been promoted to Chief Consultant!

I love the new title and immediately adopted it for myself! Thank you, Lisa!

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