Jump to content

Menu

Is being a parent a job?


Recommended Posts

I've seen this stated many times and I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around the idea. I've also seen people say being a homemaker is a job. Is being a wife/husband also a job?

 

I don't my roles as a parent, spouse, or homemaker as jobs. When people ask me if I work, I tell them no, I stay home.

 

What's your response to the question, Do you work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking is that it's definitely work, but it's not a job. If that makes sense.

 

Yes, this. A "job" is something for which you earn a paycheck. "Work" doesn't necessarily mean you get paid for it, but it does require effort on your part.

 

Although, there are days where I'd like to say, "yes, it is a job, and you can take this job and, well, you know..." :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say it is at times hard work (if you do it right). Are you thinking that a "job" is something that you do and get paid for or as a profession and so it just doesn't seem like the right word? Like at 5:00 many jobs stop and the workers go home. Not if you're a parent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking is that it's definitely work, but it's not a job. If that makes sense.

 

Yes, there is definitely a difference between the words job and work. I always assume the person who asks that question is wondering about the 'job for pay' someone might have and not be asking 'are you a lazy person who sits around doing nothing all day'. And yes, I know there are people who say that staying home is being lazy, but their opinion is so stupid it's not worth my consideration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a state of being. It is also not for wimps. In the context of which people are using it (which is important, in my opinion) yes, it is a job. Because in the context that I've seen it stated as such, it is being compared to sitting around and doing nothing. Or at least being referred to something that is not as important as other choices someone might make.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. IMHO, it's not a job.

 

It is LIFE. You can look at it as a job. Or a blessing. Or a calling. Or whatever you want. Or, just life.

 

To me, calling it "WORK" or a "JOB" implies that it is OTHER, as in NOT family/fun/pleasure. Dh & I WORK to support our LIVES. The family is our LIFE, not WORK.

 

Of course it is effort/labor/work. So is growing a vegetable garden, or having goats or horses or lots of dogs. So is cooking gourmet meals. So is caring for aging parents. Or training for a marathon. So is volunteering a lot at church. I wouldn't call any of those things "WORK" or a "JOB", and I treasure and enjoy my kids more than any of those things!

 

It's life. I don't need to call it "work" or a "job" to feel validated. I think calling raising (or educating) my kids a job insults my kids and my dh. I am thrilled and honored that dh can support us at home and am happy to contribute financially to our family business in the relatively small (but still vital) ways that I do.

 

I think it is a compliment to dh that he works so hard and has achieved so much that he can support his family without his wife having to WORK (much). I get to focus on the FAMILY, which is certainly plenty of work, but it is not WORK.

 

(This is not to say that it doesn't piss me off when people expect me to do/jump/provide various services/time/etc b/c they assume my time is unlimited and valueless since I don't work. It rarely happens to me any longer, as I have reacted negatively enough to it in the past that people who know me at all would never try it . . . But, it makes my head explode when people assume THEIR time is more valuable than someone else's just b/c they work for money and someone else chooses to sacrifice the $$ for something of other value . . . family.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say it is at times hard work (if you do it right). Are you thinking that a "job" is something that you do and get paid for or as a profession and so it just doesn't seem like the right word? Like at 5:00 many jobs stop and the workers go home. Not if you're a parent.

 

Yes, I see a job as something that ends at some point. I don't think I'll ever retire from being a parent, a spouse, or a homemaker. At least I hope I never do! Well, wait, maybe being a homemaker is a job. That proably will end at some point before I die. My grandmother lives alone but does very little for herself. But I can't find a better word to use for job in this case. The word privilege keeps coming to mind. I really do consider my roles in life as being privileges. But that word isn't the same as job at all.

 

Oh well, it's just something I'm sitting here contemplating as my DH plays Tetris, my dd19 is working, and my other teens are in their rooms doing whatever it is that they do in their rooms. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a state of being. It is also not for wimps. In the context of which people are using it (which is important, in my opinion) yes, it is a job. Because in the context that I've seen it stated as such, it is being compared to sitting around and doing nothing. Or at least being referred to something that is not as important as other choices someone might make.

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't consider being a parent or a homemaker a job. I do consider homeschooling a job.

 

Somehow in my mind parent and homemaker are things that *I am* (and was when I was working full time outside the home) and homeschooling is something that *I do.*

 

That might only make sense in my mind, though :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking is that it's definitely work, but it's not a job. If that makes sense.

 

:iagree:

Usually if people ask, they ask if I work. I say no, I'm a stay at home mom. USUALLY this is met with, 'ok, great.'

On occasion it is met with, 'oh, so you don't do anything?'

And sometimes later comments of, 'I really wish I could stay home and do nothing.' :glare::glare::glare:

THOSE people really p*ss me off.

 

Oh, and DS8 said once, 'nah, mom doesn't work.' I said, 'Oh yes I do! What do you think teaching you is?' but that was more of a joking thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thinking is that it's definitely work, but it's not a job. If that makes sense.

 

Well put and I agree! You get the star for today, Mergath!

 

Also, love your new pic! Has your hair always been long or have you grown it since your older avatar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen this stated many times and I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around the idea. I've also seen people say being a homemaker is a job. Is being a wife/husband also a job?

 

I don't my roles as a parent, spouse, or homemaker as jobs. When people ask me if I work, I tell them no, I stay home.

 

What's your response to the question, Do you work?

 

In response to the bolded in my case it was a chore not a job ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hell yes it's a job.

 

:lol:

 

I think of it as a vocation more than a job.

 

A vocation (from Latin vocare, meaning "to call"[1]), is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which he or she is suited, trained, or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.

 

OHHHH! I like this!

 

I don't see it as a job. I see it as one of my many titles or identifiers. However, homeschooling is definitely a job. I may not get paid monetarily, but I chose to do it as my vocation, therefore, it is my job.

 

Blessings!

Dorinda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know. It's just what I do.

 

I've only gotten a negative comment once and I really think the person had a foot in mouth moment rather than a malicious intent.

 

Other than that, I get positive comments or people telling me that yes, I do work.

 

I can't say I've put a lot of thought into it though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not consider parenting or being a wife a "job". Job refers, IMO, to work outside these roles.

 

Btw, I consider homeschooling a part of my parenting responsibilities and not a job either. I do it because I need to for my children's best interest. Just as I feed them healthy food, take them on walks, watch over their health.

Edited by regentrude
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a job.

 

When someone asks, "So, do you work?" They aren't asking whether or not you receive a paycheck. They are asking something like, "Is your schedule flexible or can we count on you for volunteer work?" or "Do you do something interesting with your day that we can spend the next 15 minutes discussing so we don't feel awkward?" For all intents and purposes, homeschooling fits the bill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Semantics.

 

My days are spent doing nearly the same things as professional teachers and daycare providers. I do both jobs simultaneously, as well as the extra housekeeping that comes with being home more.

 

I don't get paid for doing those things. I *choose* to do those things for free. But they ARE very much jobs that other people DO get paid to do, and are valid occupations.

 

So I can't go so far as to say they're NOT jobs.

But I also don't pretend I have any sort of career!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think of it as a vocation more than a job.

 

A vocation (from Latin vocare, meaning "to call"[1]), is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which he or she is suited, trained, or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.

 

True, but nursing, teaching, social work, etc are often referred to as vocations. All vocations on some level are also jobs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would depend on the context. Isn't it usually just a way to try to make conversation? And in that case, doesn't it really mean "so do you do anything interesting with your time?" You can answer it all kinds of ways. "I keep pretty busy homeschooling my kids" sounds fine to me.

 

Personally I'm a single mom with a full-time paying job, so yeah, I "work" in more ways than one; but nobody has ever asked me "do you work," as far as I can remember.

 

But no, I don't think that it's a "job" to do the things all moms (working and stay-at-home) do. We all parent our kids, keep our households running, manage a social calendar, etc. To say that constitutes a "job" basically defines "job" as anything more than eating, sleeping, and playing. Hopefully there aren't many sane adults who don't have a "job" by that definition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If people ask if I work, I know they mean outside of the home, for a paycheck. I say, no, I'm at home with my kids. I usually mention that we homeschool. Homeschooling in this area is very common and I've never once gotten a negative comment (knock on wood).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well put and I agree! You get the star for today, Mergath!

 

Also, love your new pic! Has your hair always been long or have you grown it since your older avatar?

 

Thanks! It was actually quite long before, and I recently just chopped much of it off, to what you see in the picture. :001_smile: It was always in a ponytail in my old avatar pictures, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's a personal lifestyle choice. The people at schools or day care centers getting paid to raise children are working a job. When asked if I work I proudly say no and explain that I raise my children and my husband pays the bills. If it's a snooty person I say exactly how long it's been since I've worked and how much I love not working. The cringing and crickets are so worth it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one definition of job is :anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility:

 

 

if you have kids, parenting is your responsibility. It's your responsibility to keep your home up, etc.

 

 

 

its responsibility and it's work. That doesn't mean it's not to be enjoyed or that it's not your passion in life. It is what it is.

 

when I'm asked if I work and I say I'm a homemaker and homeschooler - I always get "Oh you work all right!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hell yes it's a job.

 

It's a job.

 

When someone asks, "So, do you work?" They aren't asking whether or not you receive a paycheck. They are asking something like, "Is your schedule flexible or can we count on you for volunteer work?" or "Do you do something interesting with your day that we can spend the next 15 minutes discussing so we don't feel awkward?" For all intents and purposes, homeschooling fits the bill.

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would depend on the context. Isn't it usually just a way to try to make conversation? And in that case, doesn't it really mean "so do you do anything interesting with your time?"

 

 

I think we're actually saying the same thing.

 

I've actually been directly asked, "Do you have a job?" or "Do you work?" usually by work acquaintances of my husband's. In that case I think it's fine to answer in the affirmative. "Yes, I teach my kids full time." Because hey, that's what I do. Saying, "I keep pretty busy homeschooling my kids" sounds like a hobby and seriously downplays what I do. Sorry but now that he's retired my dad says he keeps pretty busy serving on the board of his condo, trading stocks on his computer and volunteering at the museum now and again. He could quit any one of those things any time he wanted to without a major upheaval. That is what I think of when I hear the phrase, "Keeps pretty busy."

Edited by Barb F. PA in AZ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not consider parenting or being a wife a "job". Job refers, IMO, to work outside these roles.

 

Btw, I consider homeschooling a part of my parenting responsibilities and not a job either. I do it because I need to for my children's best interest. Just as I feed them healthy food, take them on walks, watch over their health.

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saying, "I keep pretty busy homeschooling my kids" sounds like a hobby and seriously downplays what I do.

 

I guess what I was trying to say was that you needn't think of "do you work / have a job" as a yes/no question. You would answer it with a substantive description of what you do. Whether it's "I'm a nurse" or "I teach my kids full-time" or whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one definition of job is :anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility:

if you have kids, parenting is your responsibility. It's your responsibility to keep your home up, etc.

its responsibility and it's work. That doesn't mean it's not to be enjoyed or that it's not your passion in life. It is what it is.

when I'm asked if I work and I say I'm a homemaker and homeschooler - I always get "Oh you work all right!"

 

:iagree: This exactly. That's why the other day when a friend asked why I didn't answer her text earlier in the day, I apologized and said I teaching and didn't think to check my cell. She looked at me frankly confused until it dawned on her that I meant I was teaching my kids. Somehow people don't realize that homeschooling means you are actively teaching all day long.

 

Look, we want others (friends, family, telemarketers) to respect our time and understand the responsibility we're taking on. How can we do that if we are undermining our own position with the language we're using? I find that thinking of homeschooling as my job, career, vocation, what have you--and speak of it in the same way to others--helps me to take what I do seriously and give my children the focus and the effort they deserve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess what I was trying to say was that you needn't think of "do you work / have a job" as a yes/no question. You would answer it with a substantive description of what you do. Whether it's "I'm a nurse" or "I teach my kids full-time" or whatever.

 

I agree with you. But I would answer, "Yes" before giving the fuller picture. I think that yes is important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a job.

 

When someone asks, "So, do you work?" They aren't asking whether or not you receive a paycheck. They are asking something like, "Is your schedule flexible or can we count on you for volunteer work?" or "Do you do something interesting with your day that we can spend the next 15 minutes discussing so we don't feel awkward?" For all intents and purposes, homeschooling fits the bill.

 

I agree with this and all your subsequent posts.

 

I think Jean said the same thing upthread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't consider my role as a parent to be a job, because it never ends. But I do see the work I do as a homemaker and homeschooler to be a job, because I'm choosing to do that. Actually, it's really a calling for me. It's different than being a parent, because I could ignore that calling, step back into my career, put my children in public school and daycare and hire a nanny and a housekeeper. I would still be a parent, but I would no longer be a homemaker and homeschooler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one definition of job is :anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility:

Yes, the word has many definitions. The meaning of paid employment gets top billing in the American Heritage Dictionary, but is listed lower down in Merriam-Webster, Collins, and Dictionary.com. These others give a higher listing to the meaning of "job" as a specified task (paid or unpaid), which makes sense to me. A drifter might find odd jobs to make a little money. My children have jobs to do around the house and yard, and Montessori students have jobs in the classroom. And if you make a mess, it's your job to clean it up! :D

 

Going by this meaning, there's nothing self-defining about having a "job" per se. It's not the same thing as a profession or a career, let alone a vocation. And that's just as well, if you look at the etymology of the word. It seems to come from the Old English gobbe, a mass or lump, which is also related to gob. Dr. Johnson defined job as:

 

(1) A low mean lucrative busy affair. (2) Petty, piddling work; a piece of chance work.

 

Among people of British origin, "doing a jobby" is still a common slang expression for "going #2." When I was little, we even called dog poop DJ's -- short for dog's jobs. (It might sound silly, but it's a quick and discreet thing to call out to a family member when you see some on the sidewalk. And we were all about being discreet. Keep Calm and Don't Step in the DJ's! :lol:)

 

Although my vocation isn't a lucrative one, it is certainly busy for most of the day, and it involves much dealing with piddlers, gobs of guck, and unmentionable lumps. So I'd say that yes, for most of the day I do have a job. Upon reflection, I would just as soon not have as many of these types of jobs as I do. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one definition of job is :anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility:

if you have kids, parenting is your responsibility. It's your responsibility to keep your home up, etc.

its responsibility and it's work. That doesn't mean it's not to be enjoyed or that it's not your passion in life. It is what it is.

when I'm asked if I work and I say I'm a homemaker and homeschooler - I always get "Oh you work all right!"

 

:iagree: This is what I think people mean when they say it is a job. And a job entails that you take the responsiblity, get the rewards, but also have to do the legwork when it gets less pleasant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't consider it a job per se but if there is a spot on a form that I'm filling out that says "occupation" I will write "homemaker". I don't want to write "unemployed" as that indicates to me they I'm looking for work, and I'm not! ;). Plus it would seem I've been simply unemployed for over 10 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If someone were to say "I saw a job listing that looks perfect for you." (And they have!) I respond, "I have a job, several in fact."

 

When someone says "Do you work?" I say "Yes, but not for monetary compensation. I'm a SAHM and HS mom among other things." :001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't view being a parent or keeping up with the house a job. I view being a parent as a privilege, but one that does have responsibility attached to the privilege.

 

I do view homeschooling as a job though. I have found it works better for me that way. I don't usually refer to it as my job, but in my head, I think of it that way. It helps me power through when I just don't feel like doing it. I have seen a lot of people (IRL) who focus more on the flexibility and freedom of homeschooling, to the point school rarely gets done. I don't want that to happen to me, so I approach it as a job. I do still take time off as needed and we are flexible, but I have found for *me* the mental shift has been a good thing. We always got school done, but as my kids get older, more and more things start to creep in and get in the way. This places the priority on school. I also don't do housework/answer phone etc. during school. Thinking of it as a job has helped ease my guilt over not doing 10 things at once just because I am home.

 

For housework, I view it as personal responsibility. It has to get done because we need to clean up after ourselves. My whole family works together because we all live here. I do the bulk because I don't work, but my DH also does a lot because he is home about 13-15 days per month. He is a shift-worker.

 

 

If someone asks me if I have a a job, I reply that I stay at home with my 3 boys and homeschool. Most people respond with something along of the lines of, "I bet that keeps you busier than a full-time job" or something else along those lines. I have never gotten a negative response. FTR, I don't think I am busier than with a FT job bc even if I worked FT, I would still have 3 kids and housework PLUS school work which would have to be done bt 4 and bedtime each day. Assuming I was home by 4 - my kids would be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
I've seen this stated many times and I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around the idea. I've also seen people say being a homemaker is a job. Is being a wife/husband also a job?

 

I don't my roles as a parent, spouse, or homemaker as jobs. When people ask me if I work, I tell them no, I stay home.

 

What's your response to the question, Do you work?

 

Well, I do have paid employment so my response is always yes LOL.

 

I took several years off on maternity and parental leave, and during that time I'd always answer no. Not because I didn't work, but because I knew what they meant by the question - and what they meant was: do you have paid employment :).

 

I consider a homemaker to be a job, worthy of writing in on an application. I see wife/husband as roles. Those roles certainly require work and can sometimes feel like a job ;), but of a very different nature I'm sure most would agree, so not worthy of writing in on an application.

 

"Would I write it down on an application?" and "What is this person really asking?" are my gauges in answering; context matters, so I don't have a set or pat response to the question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...