Exactly What Do I Do?

In our society, we like labels. They help us put people into roles and more define how we see them. This can be helpful and completely the opposite of helpful because all of us at some point do not fit every aspect of the labels we are given. Labels are rigid boxes instead of flexible spheres.

The absolute go-to label is that of occupation. When we meet someone new, “What do you do?” is almost always the second question after “What is your name?” We are very much about being defined by our careers. Once upon a time the answers were usually easy. Doctor. Fireman. Milkman. Businessman. Homemaker. Nurse. Teacher. Now? I am the manager of the software and web development team for an international multimedia conglomerate does not roll of the tongue. Because we like simple and boxes over spheres, the answer becomes, IT Manager.

Homemaker has morphed into Stay-At-Home-Parent for the most part. (Nothing against anyone who manages a household minus the parenting part.) Which on the surface seems like it fits that simple formula. Even when we acknowledge it is not an easy career, it is a simple idea to understand. It’s a tidy, neat box even if the house you work in is not.

After my son was born and I chose to be a SAHM, though that label didn’t fit perfectly. I worked very part-time as a babysitter in the Y’s Childwatch and several days a month at a public library at the reference desk. Still my children were the focus of my career. I enjoyed the time outside the house. I liked what I did at the library, it was rewarding and stimulating, without making me feel like I was juggling, and I liked the free Y membership.

Both jobs ended in July 2013, and I started a new position that now clocks in at 24 hours a week.

So how do I answer, “What do you do?” I am no longer a SAHM, but I do not consider my job, my career. I still think of my family as my career. I want mother to be my career even if I do a job outside the home. I want to contribute to the financial stability and savings for my family, but I do not want to be defined by the activity I do towards that goal. I want to be defined as a mother, wife, pet owner, watcher of My Little Pony and Scooby Doo, reader of Harry Potter, art critic of Crayola No Mess masterpieces, catcher of pool jumpers, snowman building supervisor, bugkiller, Amigurmi aficionado, friend, and occasional novel writer.

There’s no box for that.

So I say librarian. And maybe as someone gets to know me better, they start seeing all the other things, the important things. The things that are me and not just what I do.

Stealing the Random

I haven’t written here in a while, and I want to keep more up-to-date. I’m having topic block though, so I thought I would steal from my husband and throw everything at the blog and see what sticks.

* I miss my dog. (He will get his own post soon, but I am not ready yet.)

* My kids miss our dog, and the honesty of their grief is almost overpowering.

* John misses our dog and has managed to be strong and honest and wonderful.

* The kids are going through a major defiant streak. There should be a CrossFit move called Carrying the Preschooler to Timeout. All you have to do is carry a limp punching bag around the room and place it in the corner.

* Despite workout out a lot and recording my calories (and trying to keep them under a certain level), I am not losing weight. The doctor is concerned. He gave me two months to try and change things up and see if the weight comes off before we try any tests or medication. He wants more cardio and suggested no “carbs” for at least a little while. So I have been severely limiting my bpp (bread, pasta, potato) intake. And, fuck it, it is working. But FUCK IT. I hate it. I am not one of these people who will happily post pictures of the mashed cauliflower and spaghetti squash dinners they are loving. I want some mac and cheese stat. I will always want garlic bread. Hamburgers should not be eaten without fries. And I will live by that creed even if I weigh 120 lbs.

* Also it is really annoying that my current obese weight is the healthy weight for someone six inches taller. Sometimes I hate the Greek genes.

* I got my notes back from the editors at Bannerwing whom John hired as a Mother’s Day present. I have also met with them via Facebook chat. I am overwhelmed and energized by rewrites all at the same time. I am really hoping to have a publish-ready manuscript by the end of the year.

* I wish I could think of my writing as serious and not as a hobby or something that takes away time from things I should be doing.

* In August I leave my husband and kids behind to attend a wedding in Napa Valley. On one hand, I am thrilled for a get-away to a place I have not been with family with whom I do not get to spend much time. On the other hand, I am going to wine country without John. On a third hand, I am glad the kids will be with him because then I don’t have to worry as much about what is going on at home. I know he’s got it. It would be different if we had to leave them with another family member. So less worry, but no romantic wine tastings. I am conflicted.

* Our trip to the beach can not come soon enough. Four weeks seems so long right now.

 

 

Catch Up Haikus

I have to admit that these birthday haikus are not as easy as I thought they would be. Thus, I have put them off and then forgotten to do them, especially when there is a stretch between birthdays. Add that I spent a day trying to get pictures to load to an SD card for a digital frame present, and you see how I am just not getting around to my sister and Anne. It doesn’t mean I love either of you any less. It just means I am not creative, organized, or sharp-minded.

Alex

She’s small but mighty

Always cumblebeets aware

We are so lucky

 

Anne

Red wine makes giggle

Tasty gluten and dairy free

Only her cooking