Nothing Mere About Mum

Interesting use of words to describe what being a mum is all about!

Just a Mum?

A WOMAN, renewing her driver’s licence 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 Mum.’’

“We don’t list ‘Mum’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,’’ said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about that story until one day when I found myself in the same situation, this time at my 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 relations.’’

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly, emphasising the most significant words.

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 field?”

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing programme 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, (first the Lord and then the whole 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 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, seven and three.

Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, a six-month- old baby, in the child development programme, 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 Mum’’.

Motherhood! What a glorious career. Especially when there’s a title on the door.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. PhantomMidge
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 04:20:28

    Ha, I love it! Wish I could think that quickly on my feet. I usually think of the perfect thing to say five hours later (after stewing over it). So, since I was recently laid off, maybe I can now be a “researcher in the area of job development”?

    nylusmilk: i can totally relate – that’s pretty much the story of my life! hehe, sure beats the term ‘unemployed’!


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