This morning I was made aware of yet another commonly-used term that has become a new no-no: Stay at Home Mom. For some reason it is now offensive to use this as a reference for a woman who opts to pass on the day job in order to care for her family and home. I did try to watch the interview explaining why, but the responsible party had a loud, obnoxious voice and weird white wires sprouting from her ears (those iPod things? Not sure), a combo that frankly I found a little unbearable at 7:00 am.
I was a stay at home mom for ten years, so I'm also a little perplexed. I never minded being called a housewife or homemaker, but when those terms became no-nos I was okay with the replacement (which happened to be stay at home mom). It's a tough, thankless job and really, no one else wants to do it; you don't see all that many new fathers marching into work and declaring "I'm quitting so I can stay home with my kids and take care of the house." I do have one guy friend whose circumstances led him to become a stay at home dad while his wife worked for the last year, and let me tell you, he has all kinds of new respect for his lady.
Sometimes -- probably more frequently than most gals -- I simply don't understand my gender. Having a job and generating income is great, especially in this economy, but it doesn't make you superior to someone who elects to be whatever we're now supposed to call a stay at home mother. Nor does the opposite. You do what you have to so you can take care of your family. If that means a day job, good for you. If that means no day job, good for you. Why do we have to call you anything? Whatever sex we are and wherever we choose to work, if we have kids or we don't have kids, we're all working people, yes?
Right now I do both: I work as a professional writer, and I work at the house in order to care for my family and home. Honestly, I'm tired of having to relearn a new term for my second job every couple of years. So if we're going to do away with stay at mom, I vote we come up with something so grand that it will forever shut up the nit-pickers. My personal favorite is Domestic Crises Manager; that's a one-size fits all unisex term that embraces all aspects of the job. Can never be called sexist, sounds important, and looks good on an application or resume when it's time to stop being a Domestic Crises Manager and work outside the home.
I'd also like to hear from those of you who are stay at home moms or dads: what do you want to be called? Let us know in comments.