Is being a mum a job?

Posted Sunday 8th February 2015   By Ericka Waller

So I was on the phone to the police to report my phone as stolen. I was already feeling a bit upset, and that was before she asked me, “What is your occupation?”. Am I the only person who hates this question? “Full-time mum” is a burn against all my working sisters (because you cannot work and still be a mum obviously). “Stay-at-home mum“ suggests I am agoraphobic and don’t do anything, and what am I when I go out, an ‘out-and-about mum’? “I don’t work/have a job” are words that are never going to pass this Trojan’s lips. “Unemployed” makes me feel like a failure, and being a mum of three children who find my scary voice funny already makes me feel failure enough.

So I told her I was a Dolphin Trainer.

But what am I really? As of today, if you go on to Amazon, you can order my book. Does that make me an author? I have not earned a penny from it and most of the people who bought my book were nagged into doing it by me. (I could be a professional nagger?)

I’m not exactly JK Rowling, but was she me once? At what stage did she get to answer the “What is your occupation” question with “I’m a writer, Kedavra!”

Being a mum is a wonderful leveler. You can be perfect at getting your eyeliner across the top of your eye in one fluid movement (I’m not. I think it’s just above my lashes, but then I open my eyes and see it’s on my eyebrows) or been team leader to fifty staff members (Again, I failed, I had one member of staff who ended up taking my job, while I served her tea. Milk in last, should have guessed she was fishy). But, when you are on day 14 of broken sleep, there is no milk in the fridge and everyone else on Facebook is having a Yabba Dabba Do time, we are all the same.

I have this Tuesday lunch club. Between us we are ‘Every Woman’ (please sing Chaka Khan as you read this, or maybe ‘I’m a Bitch’ – Meredith Brooks). A nurse, a solicitor, a teacher, a journalist, a model, a singer, and a kickboxer, but we all talk about the same thing… food, children, sleep and sex.

In summary, as the amazing film Breakfast Club says, “I think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain,  and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours.

So my photo gallery today is of my mum friends.

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