A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office was
asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated,
uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is," explained the
recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman. "I'm a Mom."
"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, "housewife covers it," said the
I forgot all about her story until one day..I found myself in the same
situation, this time at our own Town Hall.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of
a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."
"What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out.
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though
she had not heard right.
I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. "I'm a
Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black
ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I
have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) in the
laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out.)
I'm working for my Masters, (the whole darned family) and already have four
credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in
the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a
day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most
run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather
than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was
greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear
our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development
program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."
Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door.
Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" and great grandmothers Executive Senior Research Associates"? I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants.
May your troubles be less, your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door!