Being Interesting

Toronto Star blogger Michele Henry wrote earlier this month, “I am also quickly learning about how life without a paying, get-out-of-the-house, gainful, brain-utilizing job, for me, means I can’t possibly be a good mother to my child. If I’m not an interesting person, with other-than-mothering topics to discuss nightly, how can I expect my son to want to become one?”

I realize she’s careful not to speak about all SAHMs, thoughtfully adding a “for me” insert. But her comment suggests that life outside the house is what makes one interesting and that if one is not interesting, your child is doomed to be boring clod, too.

I despised the conversations I brought into the house when I was working. More often than not, they were born of frustration about office politics, my insane boss or a client that had delusional expectations. It wasn’t thoughtful or meaningful discussions. It was necessary venting at the end of the day, in order to go back for another round tomorrow. While not every day was like that and other days I did come home with a moment that moved me or a funny story, I wouldn’t say that my work experience made people hang on my every word.

At the end of the day, I would try to cram in reading the newspaper, a few chapters of a book or work up the enthusiasm to try a new recipe for dinner and end up making spaghetti. On weekends, I would choose between errands and chores or knitting and gardening and end up feeling stretched thin.

I think about the SAHMs with blogs, who share more than diaper changing secrets or tips on how to fold fitted sheets. I think of the hobbies and diversions that they find because they have the time and desire to follow something about which they are passionate, despite the fact that these passions don’t necessarily offer a paycheck. I think about how creative they can be when solving problems and how resourceful they can be so that staying home is a viable option, because they believe staying home makes a difference.

Maybe we aren’t building skyscrapers or forging corporate mergers, but creating a rich and authentic home life for our families isn’t what makes for an uninteresting child.

What makes you interesting?

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6 Comments

Filed under This Is Me

6 responses to “Being Interesting

  1. I agree with this post… I think it’s pretty sad that she thinks she is only interesting because she works outside the home… so normally she’s a dull person? Makes no sense to me… I think everyone is interesting in one way or another, and what appeals to each person is different.

    What makes me interesting? I think I’m fun to be around, easygoing, and definitely outgoing, I have a good sense of humor and am genuinely interested in other people. I think that’s what makes me interesting… It’s who I am, not what I do.

  2. If one’s worth (or interesting-ness) only comes from the outside world, then you are subject to the whims and opinions of those that don’t know the real you.

    I understand the need to have outside stimulation… but you can do that and still be a sahm. Museums, parks, libraries all offer oppotunities for learning and growth. Even being an active blogger brings the outside in.

    As for what makes me interesting, well that’s debatable. The things I read, ponder and then incorperate into who I am… the things I cook… my faith… all shape how I interact with the world.

  3. Great post! It is very sad that she thinks that being a SAHM means you’re a boring person. I have learned so much about myself since I made the decision to leave the corporate world.

    I’m a lot happier and no longer have this cloud hanging above my head whining or complaining about a project I hate, coworkers I get annoyed with and the colleague who forgets to wash their hands after going to the washroom.

    I am a far more interesting person now than I was back then. Because now I have time to read books on topics other than the latest programming language, get involved in the community by volunteering to run mom groups, and I don’t spend the majority of my time daydreaming about the life I want to have (now I have it!)

    As for what makes me interesting, I did a complete 180 from my pre-mom life. I used to a web developer hiding in the corner just doing things as orders were barked to me. Now I am a work at home mom running two online businesses which I built from the ground up. I’ve improved my writing and communication skills and found that I love connecting with other women in similar situations online through blogging. I’ve met so many ppl which I now call my friends from all over the country. I’m truly blown away at how powerful the internet is.

    Yes, I do get lonely sometimes because I do this to myself and don’t get out of the house as much as I should but every night when I hear “I love you Mommy” and get a kiss from my daughter I know the decision to quit was the right one despite whatever they say in the media or articles like the one you mentioned above.

    I don’t regret it one bit. There will always be time for me to find another cubicle job. Watching your child take her first steps, say her first words comes only once in a lifetime and I don’t want to miss it.

  4. Sorry for the long rant/comment! Hahaha… as you can tell this is a very touchy subject for me as I had very few supporters when I made the decision to stay at home.

    • Canadian Home

      Don’t apologize! It’s nice to hear from someone else that feels this way. I’m not expecting a lot of support about my decision, either.

  5. I keep checking your blog every day for you and it’s been 4 days since you’ve posted!! 🙂 I *assume* that means that you have a lovely new baby in your arms! I can’t wait to hear the news!

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