I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
When we were in Utah visiting my parents a few months ago, we drove by a Walmart and, apropos of nothing, my three-year-old son announced proudly, “That’s where my mom works!” I don’t know where that came from (kid hasn’t been to a Walmart in his life), and although it was probably just a random comment, it did make me wonder if he has any idea what I do all day while he’s at daycare.
I’d always assumed he knew my job involved sitting at a computer and not, say, standing behind a register or stocking shelves, but when I thought about it, why wouldn’t he think I had some sort of service job? When we go to a store or a restaurant, he always wants to point out and acknowledge the “helpers” who are scanning our merch or cooking and bringing him food. Conversely, how many times does he go into an office building and look over the shoulders of people typing memos and consulting spreadsheets and copyediting manuscripts? Pretty much never.
My job is relatively easy to explain—I wrote some words he knows on a piece of paper and included some spelling mistakes, then told him I was in charge of fixing those sorts of things—but I wonder what other people do to explain their more complicated or esoteric careers. I grew up the child of a nurse and an electrician, and from a young age I visited their workplaces and knew the gist of what they did. I imagine this is harder for parents who, say, go to an office and project manage a technical team, or perhaps work from home as a social media consultant.
Do your kids know what you do for work? How do you explain your job to them? And how important is it to you that they understand?
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