Fitting Mommy Into a Box

Peanut LOVES boxes. I’m sure this is not unique to my little guy. But give this kid a present and he’s much more interested in the box it came in, putting things in the box, taking things out of the box, getting into the box, getting pushed around in the box, climbing out of the box, putting the box on his head, banging on the overturned box, whatever his little mind can conjure up to do with a box. Me, I’m pretty indifferent to boxes, I guess. They’re great for storing things. We have a few in our living room right now I’d like to get rid of (hint, hint to the hubby!). But beyond their functional purposes, a box is just a box.

Until I have to put myself into one.

I’ve been invited by the hubby to join LinkedIn. I’ve avoided the whole Facebook thing. (I know, I must be the only person NOT on Facebook. I just have a weird thing about it that I can’t really explain. Not to mention this.) But LinkedIn sounds more practical – a visual, online representation for business contacts. As a former salesperson, I’m all about who you know (and who who you know knows). And one of these days I’d like to get back into the game – not sure what game I’d like to play yet, but I’m more than confident that the folks I know from jobs and relationships past will be instrumental in getting me started. So I clicked to accept my invitation. Only I’m faced with the following choices:

“I am currently:
-a business owner
-looking for work
-working independently
-a student”

Hmmmm…none of the above? Writing the neighborhood newsletter, coordinating a social gathering once a month and ranting on this blog don’t really pay the bills, although they feel like work – work in a good way. Work in the way that is making a connection with people and allows me to write. And I won’t even get into how the day-to-day mothering tasks are work, I think we all get that any mom is nurse, teacher, maid, chef and so much more to her family.

But how do I represent that in a box?

And why is this always such a hot-button issue for me? The hubby’s office party is coming up and I am already dreading the small talk. Saying I’m a stay-at-home-mom seems so incomplete and can sometimes stop a conversation dead in its tracks. Mom certainly is a large part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me. There is an oh so much more complicated answer to that question. Like most labels, they aren’t the complete picture.

So I suppose I’ll check off working independently (although the peanut would probably disagree since our day-to-day life is totally dependent on his attitude) and start working on building some new boxes. Boxes with lots of compartments.

I might even let the peanut play with them.


3 thoughts on “Fitting Mommy Into a Box

  1. You and I are the only ones not on Facebook – I’ve avoided it, too!I think boxes are only pleasing to those who are affirmed by checking the largest/highest/top level box in a category. I’m employed professionally and by my peanut (although we affectionately call him ‘pork chop’), and I still don’t know what boxes to check sometimes. There just aren’t enough boxes offered to cover all my bases!

  2. One of my closest friends is an attorney now. We’re in a book club with another one of her attorney friends who lives with a med student. I’ve gone to quite a few parties hosted by the attorney/med student roomies, which are usually attended by people in those professions. Every single time–EVERY time–one of the male attorneys will sit down to talk to me. After a few minutes, he’ll ask what I do. As soon as I say, “I teach 7th and 8th grade Special Ed”, the conversation ends. It’s like because I’m a teacher I’m no longer worthy to converse with–like I’m OBVIOUSLY not living up to whatever standard everyone else in the room is because I’m JUST a teacher! Never mind my Masters degree and that he’d never be where he is without a long line of people in my profession. What’evs, buddy! And you don’t need to apologize for your profession either, Mama!

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