“So, Lisa, what do you do?”
“I’m an away-from-home mom.”
“Um…okay…what does that mean? What do you do all day?”
“I keep my company’s financial records in order, supervise their taxes, reconcile billing vouchers, analyze financial operations…”
“Wait, so you’re an accountant. Why didn’t you say that in the first place?”
“Yeah…I guess that would’ve made more sense.”
“So, what does your husband do?”
“He’s a sit-at-desk employee.”
” … “
Do you see where I’m going with this? The term “Stay-at-home-mom” (SAHM) is not helpful. The reasons to create a new one are too many to count. No, wait. I take that back. Let’s count a few:
- Your location does not equal your occupation. This is what I was trying to illustrate above. What you’re actually doing has little to do with your physical location, so why describe it that way?
- “Stay At Home Mom” puts the focus on what you DON’T do. And apparently what you don’t do is…leave your home…ever? I mean, according to the term, your whole “thing” is that you stay at home. This leads to my third point:
- It’s inaccurate.
Do you really not leave the house with your kid(s), not even for a walk? And if you do, are you no longer doing the stay-at-home-mom thing? I guess you get to stop watching them when you take them places. Haha. Ha. No. The work doesn’t end when you leave home, yet the name implies that it does.
It seems reasonable to come up with an adequate term for what we do. I don’t buy the idea that SAHMs do too many things to be able to come up with a concise title. There are plenty of occupations that involve a diverse set of tasks, and we’ve managed to come up with sufficient names for what they do, rather than what they don’t do, or where they don’t do it.
I propose something like Full-Time Household Manager. I like the term “household” here rather than “home” because you’re not just managing the home, but probably also the lives of the people who make up the household (doing things like scheduling, finances, parenting, etc). That’s also why “Homemaker” is too narrow, since it doesn’t leave room for children or any other work you do.
What do you think about being called a “Stay at home mom”? Do you have any better ideas? Post them in the comments below!