What do you do? It’s a question asked of me at least five or six times a week. It’s small talk, I know, and an easy conversation starter at the playground. People just don’t seem to know the inner turmoil it causes in me.
My answer to that deep, dark query is usually, I’m at home with the baby for now. Or, I do graphic design while at home with the kids (um, yea… the last 3 things I designed were my children’s birth announcements and party invitations, but don’t tell.) Sometimes I’m vague. I work from home, I say, mysteriously. Or I pretend to spot one of my children tumbling from the jungle gym, and dart off to check on them, thus avoiding an answer all together.
The bottom line is that I stay at home. I am a stay at home mom. A, (God can I even type it?) housewife. A homemaker. I take care of the baby, the “big” kids, the lunches, the laundry, the grocery shopping, the dishes, the diapers, the errands, the scheduling etc.
And I love it. I love it like I’ve never loved a job before. And, admittedly, I’ve held some really cool jobs. I was an art director at a major department store where I got to direct fashion shoots with models flown in from NYC. We ate catered lunches and talked about their guest appearances on Sex in the City and Friends. I did store design for my favorite store ever, and got to dictate the entire look of the space (and get a big, fat discount to boot.) I’ve done graphic design for companies, large and small and seen my work flipping through magazines and on buses driving by. I was even, a million years ago, offered a job working for pennies for my idol.
But I don’t miss any of it. I don’t miss setting an alarm clock. I don’t miss high heels, nylons or or dry cleaning. I don’t miss collaborating with other adults or water cooler conversation. I don’t miss traffic or public transportation or conference calls. I don’t miss having a desk, an office or my own computer, free of toddler finger prints. And I really don’t miss having a boss.
Maybe someday I will open the store I dream about. Or perhaps I’ll actually utilize my four year degree in advertising. There’s time for that. But for now, I am thrilled to spend my days in pj’s getting crayon marks off the walls and eating grilled cheese sandwiches in my back yard. My co-workers are pretty damn cute, and the benefits simply can’t be beat.