Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Business of Writing/Parenting

I am in the business of writing. Am I a writer? I don't know.

That is what I told the kid who was selling magazines though. Here is the story:

Skinny kid clearly not from my neighborhood comes to the door. Gives me canned and nervous speech about how he is from the inner city, looking for a way out of his underprivileged life. He wants to know if I will buy a magazine. "Help him" he says. He says he knows I don't need magazines.

He sees my hesitation. He asks me what I do for a living. I notice he is taking in my hair, dress, house. He says "let me guess... full time mom."

I could have killed him. He lost all possibilities of business at that point.

(Sales Tip of the Day: Go ahead and make assumptions about the people you are selling to, but never, under any circumstances tell them what those assumptions are.)

I said, dead pan..."I'm a writer"

So why did it bother me? Well, for one, I have always hated the term "full time mom." Even parents will partial weekend/holiday custody are not referred to as "part-time parents." Parenting is work... but is it a job? That could be debated. It sometimes takes the place of a job. Sometimes it is in conjunction with a job. I do my "job" of writing, often while doing the "work" of parenting. Or at least I do the writing while my son sleeps, take conference calls while my son is in school and dream up story, blog and content ideas while driving the delightful preschooler to day camp/grandmas/chick-fil-a.

I am a full-time mom. All moms are full time... all dads are full time. It could be argued that mothers and fathers are not often full time I suppose... but "moms" and "dads"... semantics perhaps. That kid has no idea.

Maybe I just don't like that I look like a "mom" at all. Perhaps that is why that bothered me. He figured I looked "mommish" -- ug.

I did not buy any magazines. Although I gave the kid a soda as I told him "no". Thinking back, that was a pretty "mommish" thing to do.

No comments: