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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What do you do?

You're at an affair with your husband. You're smiling, mingling, and meeting new people, when someone turns and asks you the question: "What do you do?" 

When I first came home, I dreaded that question. I found myself often apologizing for my decision to stay home or trying to explain that although I didn't work outside the home full-time, I did do some freelance work here and there. I felt that I needed to highlight that in order to be respected.

Thankfully, I have come to embrace the fact that quitting full-time employment in order to pour my energy, talents, and attention into my family and home-life; is as daunting a task as any "well respected" profession we could think of. In fact, it may be even more so because its one that comes without any end time or time off. The rewards are often long term and hard to keep in sight, and society generally does not see it as "legitimate" work.  

At this point, I usually answer the "What do you do?" question by simply saying; "I stay home with my children" or "I'm a Stay at Home Mom."  However, with the many titles being used, it can be difficult to decide which one actually does the job justice. In addition, because of the negative connotations attached to some, there are women who feel more comfortable with certain titles than others.

I've compiled a list of some of the most commonly used titles. Which do you prefer? Why?




Stay At Home Mom

Domestic Engineer

Domestic Goddess

Household Manager


Domestic Artist

Work at Home Mom

Can you think of any I may missed?


  1. Haha! I can just see it. Someone asks you what you do for a living.
    "Oh, I'm a Domestic Goddess."
    The looks you'd get would be priceless...
    If any of these applied to me, I would probably go for Stay at Home Wife, Stay at Home Mom, Housewife, or Homemaker.
    But they don't apply to me, so I can't say for sure. :D

  2. I'm still working on this. I will say I'm a stay-at-home-mom if I don't feel my audience is very judgmental. Sometimes I say "I used to be a teacher, now I just teach this little one:) " BUT, I think I may start saying "I'm in full-time ministry"

  3. I tell people I'm a full time stay-at-home-mom and a part-time nurse. =)

  4. Keeper of the Home. (Think I'll Blog about this)
    One of my favorites when I'm onery is Estate Manager!

    I've gotten more relaxed about being at Home. I use to get really uneasy, not so much anymore.

    Have you noticed how some people are trying to be sensitive to the homemaker by asking "Do you work outside the home?" I got witty and said back...yes, sometimes I do yardwork!!! Ha ha ha. They look at me like I DON'T GET IT...

    You have an honorable position as you are raising ETERNAL BEINGS WITH /ETERNAL SOULS. Tending to the spiritual priest of your family, your hubby. AND as a Homemaker-Keeper of the Home, you're taking care of royalty and the day to day details of making a haven for your love ones.

    Just think, all the other employment positions will cease to exist...yes, they can be important, but your children are for eternity.

    You have much to be proud of and hold your head high. Nothing second class about what you do. You are soooooo valued and worthy.

    Momma Deanna speakin' here.
    God richly bless you.

  5. Homemaker is my choice now. It has changed over the years. Staying at home with six childern takes on a different feel from being at home with one. Because there are so many more jobs I have to perform. And so many titles fall under Homemaker. Such as Teacher, Cook, Referee, Judge, Hairdresser, Organzier, Dishwasher, Housekeeper, Nurse and etc... I could go on and on. I will just name a few. I find this very interesting because so many people think that staying at home means leisure.

    pam j.

  6. Great post. Well for one...don't tell them what you USE to do...tell them you're at home doing the hardest job on earth (Oh that's easy to say...something different seems to pop out of my mouth each time.) I've got an award for u over on my from one Domestic Engineer to a Domestic Goddess...ur awesummm.

  7. I tell them I'm homeschooling the little ones or that I'm 'raising' my children. But from now on I think I'll embrace Homemaker. Then again, over here those terms that we all understand would rewuire me to do some more explaining...Hmm.SAHM is only just beginning to take off.So the rest would make them say "Huh?" LOL.

  8. Kirsten, that would be hilarious!

  9. Tiffany~You're right! I was just reading about the way that we as women tend to value church ministries above our ministry at home.

  10. Deanna- Amen! Thanks for that!

  11. Pam, you're so right! Sometimes I wish all I was doing at home was sitting around, eating bon bons! LOL!

    Thanks for the comment...very well said;)

  12. Thandi- I like that: "I'm raising my children"

  13. i feel the opposite. around my neck of the words (southern indiana)... especially my husbands family (who are all amish and mennonite) staying home is the way to go. so when i asked what i do and i say i work, i feel guilty. actually i feel guilty all the time, but we just haven't found a way to swing it since my husband works for his dad and has no health insurance... my employer has amazing insurance and thus my reason for working. i feel like i have to explain all that to everyone... of all my friends with kids i have two that work, the rest all stay home. i'm very jealous of that fact and i hate that i am that way.


Your ideas, questions, and comments are welcome!