24 April 2008

Another of my unresolved issues

So I’m supposed to be writing an article for our church’s May newsletter, but I got hung up on nomenclature. I was trying to be inclusive of mothers who work outside the home as well as those who don’t, and I was reminded of how annoyed I am about the lack of a proper job title. I’ve never resolved this to my satisfaction. I mean, what am I supposed to put on my business cards? “Housewife”—sooo 50s. “Homemaker”—well, that’s a little better, but I feel like it represents me as more domestically gifted than I actually am. “Stay-at-home-mom”—don’t remind me of how trapped I feel in this house right now! (Or, when the kids get a little older and need to be carted all over creation, that one will take on an ironic twist). “A mom who doesn’t work outside the home” seems like an underachiever who can’t pull off the double duty done by many women.

So when I hang out my shingle, what title should be engraved on it? I think Rebekah’s mentioned that her official title is “Minister of the Interior." That’s pretty good. I’ve also heard “Domestic Engineer,” which has potential, although I’ve never been really good at math, so I’d feel rather fraudulent in claiming that one. Part of the problem is that after the last couple of weeks, the only ideas I have for descriptions of what I do would be things like Zookeeper or Sergeant-at-Arms. Or maybe Bouncer Extraordinaire (of bawling baby as well as brawling brothers).

Help me out here?


Gauntlets said...

My personal favorite is Angry. If you don't like that one, there's Mad--all connotations present and accounted for. ;)

But that aside, I actually rather like Homemaker. It's what I do; I make a home. At least, it's what I should be doing. And the title encapsulates all the Cs: childbearing, childrearing, cleaning, cooking . . . all that fruitful-vine-in-her-husband's-house stuff.

Minister of the Interior works for me, too. Housewife Ministry. Clever Rebekah.

Rebekah said...

MotI is indeed my official title, and yours too as far as I'm concerned, but for utility I'll usually put down "Home Economist" on forms.

What I hate is "Working Mom," as opposed to, you know, me.

Pr. Conner said...

Glue (full-time, full-strength, and fully-appreciated)

Kelly said...

I've always liked the Spanish "Ama de casa." The word "ama" connotes ownership or "in-chargeness" of someone or something. I think it is also a grammatic derivative of the verb "amar", meaning to love. Which means you have two ways to look at - owner or possessor of household responsibility, or a lover thereof.

But angry, mad, or glue works too.

Hmm, makes me think I need to savor these last few weeks of DINKdom before I get to pick up my new acronym. : )

Pr. H. R. said...

ἡ δεσπότειρα.

Despoteira. Greek equivalent of Kelly's Ama de Casa, but somehow even more sinister sounding.

[i] Don't mess with her - she's the Despoteira. [/i]

Liz said...

How about "Economist?" (That's my job title outside the home, too, by the way.) You're working to maximize where your dollars go while minimizing expense.

Reb. Mary said...

All right. I like 'em all. Gauntlets, I'm still just not sure I'm domestically gifted enough to claim "homemaker," but it's a worthy aspiration for me. "Glue," ha! MotI and "Economist" are businesslike and all-purpose. When I'm feeling competent yet nurturing, I can be the Ama de casa; and on my darker days I'll be the Angry/Mad Despoteira. I'll just have to have a super-sized business card printed.

Next project: figure out how to convert these titles into fancy initials to put after my name on my deskplate (oh wait, I don't have a desk. At least not one with room for a nameplate).

And Liz, what does the typical day of an outside-the-home Economist look like? I'm intrigued!

Susan said...

I find that "mom" works just fine. When you fill out a form at the bank or the hospital, if you put "mom" they know that you don't "have a real job" [barf, gag]. I've actually been surprised by the number of employees who give an affirming (although somewhat patronizing) response to the value of being a stay-at-home mom.

Lauren said...


Anthony Esolen has a post about the term stay-at-home-mom which fits in nicely with this discussion.

Reb. Mary said...

Thanks Lauren :)