Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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in judgement of SAHMs

Technically, I have a lot of jobs.

For instance, I'm technically a security specialist, considering I've blocked about a jillion people on Facebook and I hardly ever fall for it when scraggly dudes at the bus station ask for my autograph on a blank check. Who should I make this out to? That's funny, the last guy's name was Cash, too!
Some would say I'm technically a consultant, since one time someone emailed me with a question about blogging and I made up some sort of response. They can't legally prove that my advice is what caused their site to crash. The point is, they asked for my guidance and then did what I suggested, which I'm fairly certain is what a consultant does, though technically I never said this article was well-researched so I'm not 100% sure.
am technically an editor, too, based on how often I point out spelling and grammatical errors in the Sunday paper inserts. The fact that no one asked me to do it is immaterial, as far as I'm concerned.
These would all be valuable, marketable skills (technically), which I could probably utilize for some positive cash flow if I weren't so busy eating snacks, which can be very time consuming.

So, when people ask me what I do, what do I tell them?

For a while, I stopped calling myself a SAHM. Although stay-at-home-momming does occupy the workday, it's hard to carve a career out of providing enough Goldfish crackers to prevent people from starving, or providing enough diversions to prevent the words "I'm bored" from causing your head to implode.

Instead, I started telling people I'm a freelance writer.

Behind their blank stares, I know they're mentally translating the Writer Language of "freelance" into the Reality Language equivalent — "unemployed" — even though I don't generally include the fact that freelance writing has earned me approximately $9.38 (less tax).

Technically, I'm getting paid to write, which is all that matters.

Because it's not about impressing people, or even about avoiding judgment — it's about not having to hear people judge me.

Let me explain — if I can technically say I'm a writer, people respond, "That's nice" and then they shut up, presumably because they're silently wondering if all Artists wear stained capris and wonky, half-undone ponytails. I don't care, as long as they keep it to themselves.

Yet if you're a SAHM, there's scarcely a random person at the local MegaMart who doesn't have advice about how you should do it — that is, after they scold you for the bad example you're setting with the filthy capris and messy hair.

If I let my kids run the aisles, screaming and knocking small appliances off the shelves, then I'm being too permissive — but if I make them wear their muzzles, suddenly I'm branded as controlling! Likewise, there's always someone there with a disapproving "tsk" if I add processed cheese to my shopping cart, but minutes later some little old lady will be offended when I decline her offer of half-melted peppermint candies she dug out of the bottom of her purse, still matted with Jack Russell terrier hair.

Note to MegaMart patrons: Whatever else I am, it's no secret that I'm also a mother — there are children hanging off all my limbs. As such, I already question everything I say, everything I do, and everything I might accidentally communicate with my facial expressions because I'm unable to hide seething rage no matter how many times I count to ten. I don't need you to judge me. Especially considering that your AC/DC tank top is on backwards.

No wonder SAHMs sometimes grasp at straws when asked what they do. There aren't many other 24-hour-per-day careers that are under-appreciated, criticized, and subjected to judgment from people who wear high-heeled flip flops paired with sweatpants that say "juicy" across the rear.

Well, enough is enough. I'm taking the moniker back.

My name is Robyn, and I'm a mother.

In fact, I'm an excellent mother! Well, technically excellent. I mean, I did excel at expelling them from my uterus, which is how I became a mother, after all. Technically. Let's just leave all of the subsequent screw-ups, processed cheese slices, and muzzle usage out of polite conversation.

(Article originally published on In The Powder Room. Reprinted with permission.)

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