Friday, July 26, 2013

Jobs

I think I have kind of touched on the subject of stay at home mothering here before, but I feel like talking about it again. Bear with me.

Did you know that I am a stay at home mother? I am. I spend my days with these two girls.

My girls

Did you know that I am also an artist? I make and sell art. Check it out here.

almosthomerowboat
My husband is a curator and an artist. His curatorial job is rather high profile in our community and he is often invited to art related events. While I attend these events (often with two girls in tow) if I happen to mention that I am a stay at home mother I can seriously watch the conversation end before my eyes. I have seen many people just drop out of the conversation with an, "Oh, that's nice." While I am not trying to rag on people it is certainly frustrating for me. Why isn't it enough? Are they afraid that I only know how to talk about my kids (no way, that's what my blog is for, wink)?

If, on the other hand, I mention that I am involved in the art world (I teach art history at the college, I spend one day a week painting at a local gallery, I teach classes at the art museum, I teach private lessons, I sell my art) people are suddenly far more interested in me and suddenly they want to talk to me. What's up with that? Aren't they worried I will talk endlessly about paint and dead artists?

I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing . Am I guilty of doing the same to others?! I certainly hope not, but suspect I have done so in the past.

What are your thoughts?

11 comments:

Kate said...

Thank you for this. I'm am a grad student SAHM who is no longer interesting to talk to, but my babes are the most fascinating people in the world. Just give me a chance, folks! It won't be al clothies and fingerprints, I promise. "listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story." Not that I think I'm dull and/or ignorant, lol, but you know what I mean.

Kate said...

Also, I love time a million your silhouettes.

Anne Marie said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I get pity looks all the time when I tell people that I am stay-at-home. It doesn't mean I'm too lazy to "get a job", or a prisoner in my home, that I never get out of the house, for pete's sake. I also have an evening cleaning business several nights per week. I get to raise my own child and not pay someone else to do that for me! I get to help my mother when she needs it. I completely detest the pity looks from "career women". Yep, I may "stay at home", but here's the list of my careers as a stay-at-home mom: I am a maid, laundress, personal shopper, chauffeur, cook, accountant, nurse, counselor, veteranarian, landscaper, gardener, dog walker, crafter, Sunday school teacher...and probably many more things that I am just not thinking of right at this very moment. I do not watch soap operas and talk shows (our TV is almost never on). I am not bored in the least. The only difference between me and someone who has a career outside the home, is the rate of pay! :)

Marie Roxanne said...

I am actually envious of those who could stay at home with their kids. I had to get a job and I finally got one that was understanding and I only worked when my child was in school. I brought him to school and brought him back home after school and I worked in between.
I would love for you to talk my ear off as a SAHM subject! A lot more interesting to me than any other "career" out there!

Maria Rose said...

You know I am thankful every day that I get to stay with the girls. We have made some major financial sacrifices, but those are a small trade off for a few short years

Emily said...

I think you do an amazing job of mothering two little girls full time and working hard as an artist, teacher and writer. You constantly inspire me to up my game. For reals. I understand what you mean about the blank stares though....if the person isn't a parent, it is hard for them to relate. I just wish people would try harder, to get to know us SAHM's a little more. We are pretty smart, creative, and hard working creatures!!

Sarah Purdy said...

Thank goodness you don't talk about dead artists all the time. I'd be like, "Uh, next stop Snooze City ya'll!" I think you've done a wonderful job balancing motherhood and maintaining your own identity, which is key to being an interesting human to talk to. Now if you'd only hone some other talents which would take care of those pesky social situations...how are you for sword swallowing? Ventriliquism? I know you own a lot of black...maybe a mime? Cause then NO ONE would have to talk to you anyway! [[[this is me commenting in a box]]]]

Mom said...

I am proud of you for the choices you've made regarding how to raise your girls.

Victoria said...

My thoughts on this: I think people like to stroke their egos by engaging in what they consider meaningful conversation with other adults.Discussing domestic events, including children or the children of others does not give them the ego boost they are looking for, especially if they admit to themselves that creating a happy home and rearing children (IMHO one of the hardest jobs on the planet)is an endeavor equal to their 9-5 corporate job.

Marianne said...

I spent 5 years at home with the kids. In Finland it's common to stay 1-3 years at home with each kid. I think being with your kids is much more important than being at work. Those years pass so quickly and children grow so fast.

If I were you, I'd be proud to say I'm a stay-at-home mom. It's hard work. I thought I'd have time for art and workout, but the kids and home maintenance took all my time. And they still do. :-)

sara said...

My social circle right now is mostly stay at home moms (and we don't just talk about our kids, surprise!), so I don't really experience this judgmental attitude firsthand. But I get your frustration. The funny thing is, most jobs are pretty boring. I don't want to hear about anyone's job for more than a couple minutes if it involves sitting at a desk and looking at a computer screen. But thankfully, most people have other things to talk about besides their jobs! When I was a librarian, it wasn't like I could ONLY talk about my library. So why do people make that assumption about stay at home moms?

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