My college has recently gone on a campaign for their new alumni directory asking everyone to call into a hotline to update their info. Normally, I would ignoring these things because I don’t really care. Yes, I’m a bad person. It’s just I don’t like sitting on hold to talk to someone when it could easily be done via the internet. Apparently I’m in favor of giving all jobs to machines….
Anyway… I’m digressing.
The point is for some reason I was feeling generous with my time and I called in. Surprisingly enough I got to talk to a grandmotherly type almost immediately. After admitting that I had not actually lived at the address on file in the past 4 years and had gotten married (thus having a new last name) and had mothered a child, I think she realized it was going to be “a long one.” We then got to my favorite part, “So what would you like me to put as your profession?”
Me: “I Raise Damian.”
Pseudo- Grandmother: “Great! So you’re a homemaker?”
Me: “Uhhh sure?”
I’m not going to lie, when she said “homemaker” a lot of me cringed. Really? Homemaker? Is that what I am? Clearly she did not get that I meant “I Raise Damian” as a job title and not merely a statement of fact. Perhaps I should have asked for the more politically correct “Domestic Engineer” title. Or maybe the “Creator of A Human Life” title, although that sounds a little pompous. I’m not even ashamed of being at home with Damian so I have no clue why part of me shuttered at the word “homemaker.” Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in the post-feminist world where “homemaker” might as well be a four letter word. Or because it conjures up images of me walking around with an apron and pearls while baking pie and helping Jimmy with his homework, none of which I do, thus making me a homemaking failure…
But I guess at the end of the day, I do make a home. I could get all philosophical on you here and discuss the implications of homemaking on society and the person, etc etc. but I’ll spare you (although it would let me put that philosophy degree to good use.) Instead I will say this… While I wasn’t around before or during the women’s rights movement and really have no right to make any opinion or judgment at all (not gonna stop me), I do wonder if there was some harm done to the overall woman’s psyche by telling her she ‘deserved more than being at home.’ I’m totally for women in the work place, equal pay, voting, and all that jazz, but did maybe we go overboard a bit with the rhetoric? Did we give women the impression they were too good to stay at home and raise a family and thus belittle any woman who saw it as her calling? I know I don’t speak for all women, but I can’t be the only one who, although absolutely happy with her decision to stay home, still shutters when someone calls her a homemaker. I just hope as our culture progresses we can embrace the fact that woman can really be anything–including stay at home moms.
So sure, call me a homemaker!