I completed a survey recently.
One of the questions I was asked was about my principal status. The list of statuses to choose from included Working for payment/Profit, Looking for a job, Unemployed, Student/Pupil and somewhere in between those I saw Looking after home/family/Not Working.
I am not working for profit or looking for a job. I am also not a student. So I guessLooking after home/family/Not Working, it had to be.
Hang on a second!
Looking after home/ family/ Not Working?
Reading this got my dormant inner bitch raging.
I am pissed. Are we seriously happy with this description?
“Looking after my family/ Not Working” is a paradox. It is a contradiction. An irony. An absurdity. Call it what you may.
I have recently given up full-time work to raise my family, one of the hardest jobs out there. (and no, I don’t want a medal!) Seeing this in the survey caught me completely off guard and I went from zero to adequately annoyed. There are numerous names and labels – stay at home mum, full-time mum, home carer – for people like me who make it their full responsibility to raise their children and run the family business. None of them do any justice to the work that I do.
I call it ‘business‘ because that is exactly what it is.
It is running a business.
So let’s clear a few things up.
I am not a stay at home mum, or a full-time mum, or not working. I am not a homecarer. I am none of those.
Stay at home mum would imply that I am a mum who simply stays at home. And does nothing.
Full-time mum would imply that all I am is a mum. 24/7. All the time. Is someone who goes to work then a part-time mum? Do you stop being a mum when you work away from the home? You don’t. Exactly my point.
Home carer, yeah, I am not even going to go into that one. What the hell is a home carer?!
And Looking after my family/home/Not working, that one just takes the biscuit.
I am NOT not working!
I am a family manager.
This is the only appropriate description I can attribute to my job. (says the girl who read this once in someone’s CV and nearly spat out her coffee laughing thinking “Family Manager. What the hell!? You don’t half fancy yourself!” )
I am in a state of perpetual exhaustion and always running on a short fuse. I clean toothpaste off the bathroom mirror. I fish toys out of the toilet. I vacuum the floor twice a day with a toddler clinging my leg and cook dinners with a toddler on my hip. I do the washing and tidying. I clean banana off the walls and Weetabix off the floor.
Family Manager (and I am sticking with it) is at least 12 jobs rolled into one. At least!
I am CEO,
I am psychologist,
I am teacher,
I am chef,
I am nurse,
I am facilities manager,
I am house keeper
I am chauffeur.
I am babysitter,
I’m the security officer,
I’m the advisor,
I am judge and jury,
I am the comforter,
I have no holidays,
I have no days off.
I’m on duty all the time,
In other news, the variety of my responsibilities is beyond what most jobs would expect from an employee.
I don’t receive monetary compensation. I get paid in hugs and kisses, which are priceless, of course.
I show up every morning with a smile (but first, coffee!) and a heart full of love. I work over 100h a week.
The natural result of being a parent is to love and care for my children minus the quantifiable monies that you could attribute to the services rendered. And I am ok with that.
But Not working!?
I deserve an adequate title.
Give me a damn title!
I am on Facebook.
This article was first published on Huffington Post.