When living in DC, “what do you do?” was the first question out of a person’s mouth when you met them anywhere – ball game, work function, the Metro. It was a city that defined who you are by what you did from the hours of 8 to 6. When we moved to Atlanta, I noticed that, although the question would certainly come up in the cocktail party small talk, it was certainly not the first, second or even third question (of course, in Atlanta, it seemed the first question was where you lived…but that’s a whole other post).
Of course, when you have an answer to that question, it’s a pretty simple thing. Since giving up the work-a-day world to be with peanut, the “what do you do” question has always been vexing. Do people really want to know? “Change several diapers a day, feed, bathe, play trains, sing silly songs, imagine ‘where is that car going?’ 30 times a day and otherwise answer to the beck and call of a two year old.” Probably not the answer they were looking for, nor does it really encapsulate all that I am. Do they want the big picture, makes me feel important answer? “Raising the next generation of thinkers to be responsible, generous citizens of the world.” Um, really, this would never roll off my tongue because I’d be too busy thinking about this.
Honestly, I’ve gotten used to simply stating I’m a stay-at-home-mom right now with a history in PR. I’m proud of what I do, even though I still struggle with keeping the non-mom parts of me fulfilled and challenged.
So, I was a little surprised at a recent gathering of our neighborhood Garden Club. Let me start by explaining that our Garden Club has VERY little to do with gardening. We are primarily a gal’s only group who gets together once a month to drink wine, eat yummy snacks, gossip and spend a few minutes discussing neighborhood improvements. We had a few new neighbors joining us, so we were going around the room stating our names and “what we do.” When it was my turn, I said I was a stay-at-home-mom and looked to my right to await the next introduction.
Imagine my surprise when several ladies spoke up and said, “wait, she’s also a writer.” They mentioned the blog and stroked my ego in a way I hadn’t experienced in awhile. I have always been a student who wanted to be a writer, a PR pro who wanted to be a writer, a mom who wants to be a writer. Always letting “real” life take a front seat to the writer inside. It was a wonderful moment to find some people on the outside describing me by the very word I would love to define myself with every day.
Ladies, it meant a lot.
And means I need to dust off the keyboard and the journals more often to live up to the definition. Knowing you’ve got my back (and a back-up bottle of chardonnay) should make it a little easier.