What Do I Do?

I was reading Memoirs of a Jewminicana (as I do most days – she is fascinating) and she has posted a video talking about what do us bloggers call ourselves, especially if we do not have other jobs that we get paid for. This was all started by Jew In the City asking the same question on her facebook fan page.

So as I am watching Aliza’s video (love the hair, so envious!!) I started to think about my own answer. For me it is very simple. First and foremost before everything paid or unpaid, I am a mother. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life, and even if I were a surgeon or President or well known civil rights activist, being a mum would be the accomplishment of which I am most proud.

But it isn’t paid work, being a mother. So does that count? Financially, yes you may be right, but those hugs and kisses and squishes, and “I love you”s make up for that. There is not enough money in the world that could make me as happy and fulfilled as these 4 sons of mine have. I hate the term “homemaker” – makes me picture a 50s woman in an apron and a beehive elbow deep in dishes. I am way more emancipated than that – in thought, if not in action, after all I do wash the dishes and the floors….but no beehive.

So first and foremost I say I am a mother, then I say, “and a writer” (or a blogger, depending on with whom I am speaking). The problem with that is that I have yet to have a book published, so it seems as if it is self aggrandizing, pronouncing oneself a writer, when in reality one should say an unpublished writer. But if they ask further I do say that I am working on a few books in between cooking and cleaning and loads of laundry. My blog takes up time, and I am into social networking, which gives me plenty of writing / blogging fodder. So should I say I am a social butterfly? A twitterer?

I write a lot about Judaism and have helped some people become closer to their religion, Does that make me an outreach professional? I have given some friends and contacts dating advice, does that make me a relationship expert?

My business card is very simple. It has my name and phone number on it, with my blog, Facebook and Twitter addresses. I do not specify what I do – if they check out my links they will know.

I am a proud mommy to four wonderful sons, and I am a writer too.

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  1. Abbi says:

    Dunno, I work 25 hours a week and can’t say I’m lacking for hugs or squishes from my three kids. Aren’t your kids in school? I’d imagine there are some squish-free hours during the day because of that.

    Getting caught up in labels always seems kind of pointless.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      labels are there, whether we like them or not. people always want to know what you DO.

      I did not mean to imply in any way shape or form that those moms who work outside of the house get less hugs and squishes. that was not my intent.

      • Mark says:

        “people always want to know what you DO.”

        For women, this questions means they want to judge you as a SAHM, or a career woman, or something else in between.

        For men, this question means they want to judge how much you are worth, as in exactly what your profession is, and how they can best estimate how much you earn.

        How do I answer the question when people ask, and they almost always DO ask it? I say “What do I do? Well, I teach my kids, I do homework with them, I take them swimming periodically, in fact I just recently taught my 4 YO twins how to swim, I watch all sorts of interesting TV shows with my wife, I putter around on the Internet, I cook, I maintain our home, I wash dishes, …” and I go on and on about the things that I “do”. Most people try to interject within the first sentence or two with “but what do you *DO* [emphasis on the word "do"], you know *at work*, what do you do for a living”, and I reply “so why didn’t you say that!”. At that point people who don’t “get it” just think I am a nut and disengage :-) No great loss, I probably wouldn’t have been very interested in them anyway, if the first thing they think of when they meet me is to try to figure out how much I am worth job-wise.

  2. Before I started getting pieces published in magazines and newspapers and online, wasn’t I still a writer? But yes, the first question people ask after you say, “I’m a writer” is “Where have you been publshed?” As if getting published is so easy or as if any of my Jewish friends even know Latina magazine exists. (Some do now.) :)

    • hadassahsabo says:

      How did you answer before you were published? I answer that I am working on a bestseller…and that one day they can say they knew me when…..

  3. Allison says:

    Wow! I didn’t know my thinking outloud yesterday on the JITC fan page would get this much conversation going.

    Glad to know other people are also unsure what to say! Makes me feel less weird! Perhaps the answer is just to have a different answer tailored to different types of people, however that requires getting a quick read on the new person in order to know which answer to give. It’s certainly not as simple as saying: a teacher, a doctor or a lawyer!

  4. Z! says:

    I used to be able to day Artist. Sadly, i haven’t given that answer for YEARS now! When people ask my mom, she still says artist.

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