Thursday, November 11, 2010


When I go to these conferences with Ian held at the five star hotels, I invariably get seated next to some high powered professional woman at dinner.   It all goes very nicely at first ( I am pretty good at the small talk)  but then comes the dreaded question "What do you do for a living?"  As soon as I say I was a stay at home mom to five kids there's a visible change in my new table friend.  Eyes widen, there's a slight shake of the head in disbelief and the conversation usually pretty much ends right there.

I'm not going to lie, it makes me mad.  I chose to stay at home to raise my children not because I wasn't capable of doing anything else.  I loved being at home with my kids, I found it more fulfilling, challenging, and rewarding than any career I could ever have aspired to.  I couldn't for a second imagine doing anything else and I hate the assumption that because I stayed at home to raise my children, I am of lesser intelligence.

I have decided that the next time I find myself in this situation I am going to come up with something witty to say that will leave my new table friend at a loss for words.

"And what do you do for a living?"

"I'm a writer"

"Oh really?" (I can imagine their interest being piqued)

"Yes" I will answer casually.

"What do you write?"

"Mostly cheques, some emails and I have a blog."


  1. Don't worry Fiona - I'm sure being a "stay at home Mom/Mum" is deemed only narrowly less than being a "Crochet Fashion Designer".
    You could of course always just drop the "Crochet" you say - then people would take you seriously. And where would be the fun in THAT?

    I certainly wouldn't be able to deliver any withering looks at anyone insinuating that I designed Granny clothing. No fun at all.

  2. The high powered successful woman versus the "well kept woman"

    Awesome attitutde Fiona!! And I love your blog! You are correct in that the resentment held by some professional woman towards stay at home moms is very real. I am a professional woman who has and currently works with many high powered, educated professional woman. I know the kind of woman you are talking about. The ones who claim to be able to raise children, be a loving and supportive wife, have a demanding career, etc. Actually, I was raised by one. And believe me, there is no such thing as a super woman who can do it all and not miss a beat. If you are a woman who "chooses" to focus on a career, your children will be negatively affected. I know it, I lived it. I have also seen many woman come back to work after maternity leave terribly sadened at the fact that they had to leave their children in someone else's care. Some of these woman resent other woman (like you) who have the ability to stay home and raise their children. You my friend are referred to by some of these woman as a "well kept woman". This of course is a negative title given to woman who do not have to work. I know this because I have had the dipleasure of witnessing such conversations from "some" of these woman. I fully realize that some woman have to work and don't really have much of a choice. But there are more that choose to work in order to keep up their lifestyle. The result is that their children suffer. I know it!! I lived It!! I have witnessed it!!
    Know this Fiona. One day I will mary and have children, and when I do, my hope is that I will be in a position to give up my career to stay home and raise my chidren because the biggest responsibility a woman has in life is the raise her children. At least that is what I believe. So know that I as well as other professional woman look to woman like you as an example of what true success is.
    You are a "Domestic Engineer". The pay sucks but their is no career more rewarding. ;-)

  3. I love that the things you write most are checks. Excellent. :) Maybe you could say you run a brothel for Ian's high-dollar clients?

  4. Hi Fiona!

    My husband says: "Five stars! Super!"
    I laughed a lot while I was reading this. Especially in the end! You are such a great writer!

    When I was studying in university, everybody asked me if they wanted to know something about Rafael: "And what is your boyfriend studying?" I always made big eyes and it made me really, really mad. Who said that everybody has to study? Couldn't they ask me: "What is your boyfriend doing?" We still need some mechanics, workmen, engineers (or how ever you call it in English) in the world.

    I love to be married to a-non-studied-man but also a-non-stupid-man, of course, because he married me ;-)!

    Greetings from Germany!

  5. ...and I have a blog. LOL That will get them!

    :) People say the rudest things.

  6. This is a great post, Fionna! And I well remember the same thing happening to me. I get more respect now working for Boyd than I ever did as a full-time mom, and that job was a lot harder than this one! You actually do see a change in their eyes. Is it glazing over?

    I met one woman, though, who told everyone she was a Domestic Goddess.

    Another one said Family Relations Specialist.

    But - you know - I think you should go with Writer.

  7. Do you know any languages? If it were me I think I might pretend I didn't hear what they said and start scribbling random words in Greek on my napkin...
    Actually, today in Sunday school one of the youth said aloud "How to you KNOW all this stuff??" as I explained my theories that Xmas originated not from a conspiracy to rid Christmas of Christ but rather that it is not an X but in fact the Greek letter Khi, which is the first letter in the Greek Word Kristos meaning 'The anointed' from which our English word Christ is clearly derived. I swear it's like they think I'm totally uneducated or something.

    Why SO surprised "kiddies"? :P