How important is it to have a title that accurately reflects your duties and responsibilities? This one may turn into a bit of a rambler. I’m not sure. But let’s see where it goes.
Well here I am. I’m not fifty yet. But it’s approaching. My 25th wedding anniversary is next week. I’m a mother of two boys, both in college. The oldest lives away near school and will receive his degree at the end of this year. The younger one still lives at home and is just completing his freshman year. But between his full-time college student status, part-time employment and volunteering at the local fire department as well as the rescue squad he’s hardly ever home. The only one left to mother here is the dog (and occasionally the husband).
So, given that 1) I decided many moons ago to stay home to raise my children, thereby taking on the job title of stay-at-home-mom, 2) those children are now grown and 3) I am not looking to start a career at this stage of the game, what do I say I am or do? I’m no longer a “stay at home mom” because there’s not much mothering to be done.
Furthermore, I do volunteer work outside the home. It’s part of who I am to help here and there where I can. I did it at the kids’ schools, I did it for a family crisis center, I do it now for my church and community. How do I marry, for lack of a better word, the work I do at home with the work I do outside the home into a meaningful but realistic title? Is that even possible? I suppose it’s not necessary, but it would be nice to wrap up both types of unpaid, untaxed, and uncredited work into a neat-sounding little nugget.
I always hated the sound of “homemaker” or worse yet “housewife”. I still perform the tasks and responsibilities those titles entail, but I can’t stand those labels. Plus they don’t account for volunteer work outside the home.
I think it’s time to come up with a more updated title. Secretaries are now “Administrative Assistants”, janitors are “Custodians”, bartenders are “Mixologists”. There are people out there going by “Influencer”, “Brand Ambassador”, “Story Strategist” and “Professional Evangelist”. Don’t we need a newer term for the lowly housewife or house husband? Something along the lines of “Household Management and Activities Coordinator”. And for those not just staying at home? Maybe something with the word “Freelance” in it would work, especially if there’s monetary compensation. Or something referring to one’s being in “Volunteer Services”. This might work for me: “I’m in Domestic and Volunteer Services.” Short, sweet and accurate. I’ll have to try that out and see how it feels 🙂