So what do you do?
I am a mum. Conversation killer, well, it could be a starter depending on who you talk to, but mostly a killer.
At the moment, I am not doing any waged work. I am trying to write articles from my PhD research, but nobody is paying me to do so. I went to a conference recently, but that’s about it. The rest of the time, I manage the house, and I am with r. Since last week, she is doing 3.30 hours at the Montessori. For the last two and a half weeks, she was settling in, which meant she was going one hour, and then extending it slowly by 15 minutes. And I was staying there, waiting for her. So it has only been a few days that I have had my three hours. And sometimes it is even less, if I take her in the mornings. Luckily, my partner has agreed to take her, but we are still working it out. So yes, mostly full-time mom.
We moved recently, so I am meeting people here and they ask, as anybody would ‘so what do you do? And I am struggling here. I feel the need to explain that I just finished my PhD, that I have done a little bit of consultancy since, but that at the moment I am a mum. But it does not seem enough to be a mum. I think that is quite crap to be honest. I feel like the waiters who shout at you that really, they are actors/comedians/students…but in reality, no, I‘m ‘really’ a mum, and very happy of being one, and hopefully, eventually, I will also have a paid job. But I struggle to just state that nonchalantly. I think these little instances, those uncomfortable moments when I say I am a mum and eyes glaze over, show the diminished view of motherhood, and the (invisible) work that it entails, which is as sorry a state as when working for a wage was shameful in my view…