My dear stepmother sent this to me a while ago, and I have been
searching for it so that i could share:
A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, a mother
I knew well rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation. "Do
you know what you and I are?" she demanded. Before I could answer (and
I didn't really have one handy) she blurted out the reason for her question.
It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver's license at
the County Clerk's office. Asked by the woman to state her occupation,
Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean
is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job, or are you just a....?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother." "We don't
list 'mother' as an occupation...'housewife" covers it," said the
I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same
situation, this time at our own town hall. The clerk was obviously a
career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title
like "Town Registrat" or "Official Interogator."
"And what is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it, I do
not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in
the field of Child Development and Human Relations." The clerk paused,
ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not
heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most
signifigant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous announcement
was written in blod black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in
Cooly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply,
"I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn't) in the
laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and
out). I', working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already
have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the
most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I
often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But, the job is more
challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are in
satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I
was greeted by my lab assistants - ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs, I could
hear our new experimental model (6 months) in the child-development
program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt triumphant! I had
scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as
someone more distinguished and indispensible to mankind than "just
Motherhood....what a glorious career. Especially when there's a title
on the door!!
The images of Mother:
4 years - My mommy can do anything!
8 years - My mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 years - My mother doesn't really know quite everything.
14 years - Naturally, MOther doesn't know that, either
16 years - Mother? SHe's hopelessly old-fashioned
18 years - That old woman? She''s way out of date!
25 years - Well, she might know a little bit about it
35 years - Before we decide, let's get MOm's opinion.
45 years - Wonder what MOm would have thought about it?
65 years - Wish I could talk it over with MOm.