So….what do you do?

My friend Ahna had a great post about this subject recently.

I have no idea how to answer this question in polite conversation. This has been a tough one for a long time, probably because when I became a mother for the second time 7 years ago I quit “working” for the man…well, working for my man, that is. I used to produce for projects Dave wrote and directed. You could say I stopped producing Film/Video for Dave and starting producing Children instead. har, har.

Now that I’ve hit my mid-life crisis though, which in reality is more about figuring out my own identity, this question makes me bristle more than ever.

Ahna had some incredible thought provoking insights on this and I fully plan to embrace those but in the meantime I have another idea.

Next time someone asks what I “do” rather than saying “I have no freakin idea” I shall answer thus:

I breathe every day
I parent
I wife
I caretake
I sleep
I write
I drink too much coffee
I work it out with fear and trembling
I fail
I pick up again
I worry
I remember to breathe
I start over the next day

and see what greets me.

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10 thoughts on “So….what do you do?

  1. When people ask me I say “As little as possible.” I usually then go on to explain that I’m an artist sponging off my husband, since he earns the real money… just over half what I used to earn in a year, per month. Sigh.

    Cheers

    BC

  2. Mrs M ~ I’m with Mercedes, and will be very curious what responses you get. I am so, so pleased and excited that you were inspired enough by what I had written that you were able to think how you can answer an “inside-the-box” question in an “outside-the-box” way!

    babychaos ~ “As little as possible” is a funny answer on the surface, but if you are an artist AND wife AND mother PLUS all the other things you must do — these are all *wonderful* roles to own in response to the question “What do you do?” This way it re-frames the question and gently subverts (and corrects) the mistaken notion that how we pay our bills (or how our bills are paid for us) is somehow inherently related to our worth or identity. I don’t know you, but I popped over to your blog, and it seems you are a good thinker, a good writer, and contribute MUCH more to the world than just being a mooching artist. 🙂

  3. …I have taught 3 of my children to read.
    …I encourage others
    ..I do a lot of laundry
    …I pray and do more laundry.
    …I vote
    …I blog ( this is somewhat new for me)
    …I love
    …I tell stories
    …I dance and hope no one is looking
    …I hope
    …I change

    Thanks Mrs. M for my meditation this morning.

  4. I’m really nervous about answering the “so, what do you do?” question next week when I am taking a class designed for alumni. I feel like I have to have something to show for myself and I am afraid that I don’t.

    Mrs., I wanted to let you know about the May-June issue of Mothering Magazine. Ani is on the cover and there are all kinds of photos of her and Petah with a great interview inside. You would dig it.

  5. My favorite was when I was breastfeeding, and someone said, “what do you do?” and I told them honestly, “I lactate. A lot. I mean a ton. You would have no idea if you didn’t have the opportunity to do this, but it’s the most wonderful, exhausting, exhilerating, strange, and wonderful thing.”

    blank stares usually, but it made me giggle.

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