Thursday, April 4, 2013

Job Title?

As you may know, I have many, but I still consider “Mom” as my most important duty and calling.  Whether you’re a stay-at-home full-time mom (and yes, I know how hard that is) or whether you are pulling double duty working outside the home as well, I think we all agree that sometimes the job title of Mom just doesn’t cut it for all the work we put into our “career.”  While the pay may sometimes be a little lacking, we are more than rewarded for the work that we do.  I just thought this was a cute e-mail that I recently received from an old family friend.  She is retired from her career where she used to work with my Mom in our county’s Social Services Department.  She was a tough cookie, and if you didn’t pay your child support or support your children, you faced her wrath.  Haha!  She was also a single mother for a large part of her life and really understands the struggles of motherhood better than most.  Love you, Mrs. Diana! 

The Story

A woman renewing her driver’s license at the county clerk’s office (or DMV if you will) was asked by the woman clerk to state her occupation.  She hesitated because she was 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 Mom.” 

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ 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, this time in 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 don’t know.  The words simply popped out.  “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.” 

The clerk paused, ballpoint 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 for the Lord and then for my 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 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 (our 6 month old baby) in the child development program testing out a new vocal pattern.  I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!  I had gone on the records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than ‘just another Mom.’ 

So what do you think of that title, folks?  Can you think of a better one to describe your very important position?  It also suggested that grandmothers have earned the title of ‘Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations’ and great-grandmothers should be called ‘Executive Senior Research Associates.’  Aunts could be identified as ‘Associate Research Assistants.’  I thought it was a cute idea.  



  1. Love this! : )

    Mom & Co.
    order supplies
    manage finances
    maintain order
    damage control
    and the list goes on and on...

  2. I love this!! Especially the Aunt part! I play a big role in my niece and nephews lives...I feel like their my own :)

    By the way you look adorable in your pictures!!


  3. I nominated you on my blog for a award today! Check it out!

  4. I have a friends who has "Executive Director of The (Her Last Name) Corporation" listed as her Facebook career status.

    For me, I'm pretty happy and proud to be "just a mom."

  5. Quite interesting. I like it!


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