At my 10-year high school reunion last weekend, I found myself repeatedly facing the weighted question, “So, what do you do?”
This question always throws me for a loop. I answered with the truth – “I’m a mom” – but then quickly followed up with, “But I also write from home and teach a college English class.”
I’m not sure why I feel the need to justify my existence in the world by detailing the various part-time jobs I do while also being a full-time mom. I know I shouldn’t need any title beside “mom,” but I couldn’t help but feel a little under-accomplished in front of my peers who are now making small fortunes on Wall Street.
Don’t get me wrong – I love being a mom and there’s no job in the world more important to me. I chose to give up a full-time career to raise my children day in and day out. I’m proud of what I do.
Still, there is a part of me that knows my choice isn’t valued as highly by everyone else. I think that’s why I also found myself saying things like “I’m just a mom” to my former high school colleagues.
After I got home that evening, I wish I hadn’t devalued myself that way. Even if the rest of the world doesn’t put a high value on stay-at-home moms, I should have been proud to say that I was a mom and not “just” anything.
What do you say when people ask you what you do for a living? Do you ever feel less important saying you are a mom?