Do You Use “Air Quotes” When You Talk About Work?

Oh boy! As a mom, this question is a doozy. If I have been asked this once, I have been asked the same question in a different way many times before. By my kids. My family. Old coworkers. Neighbors.

I work. Period. I don’t spend all day lying in bed watching reruns. Nor do I eat bon bons. I work hard to provide a safe, nurturing home for my family. I earn a little income here and there, get zero benefits, and occasionally have to deal with reclacitrant coworkers (the kids!). I don’t need a paycheck to let me know I am doing a good job. I know I am a good mom by the way my children are developing. Like other families we have more or less problems…depending on the week.

In my mind I have a job, but to the rest of the world it is a different story. If I look at my social security forms and W2 forms, I see very little income for the last few years.

I made a commitment to not go back to work fulltime 14 years ago. For the first six years I worked from home when my oldest two were babies through preK. The next 6 years I was a SAHM to youngest son. I loved being at home with him. Adored hearing the phone ring as it signalled that I was not getting a work call from a colleague about a missed deadline. My son and I had a glorious six years staying home. When he started kindergarten I returned to “work.”

I use air quotes when saying the word “work.” Do I work? I know I work hard as a mom, calendar scheduler, taxi driver, food engineer, cleaner, laundress, and jack-of-all-trades.  I can now add blogger, photographer, writer, guest poster, and marketer to my list of “work”!

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