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?