Thursday, 23 August 2007


No quilt or cross stitch news to blog today, but I just had to share this email my sister sent to me.

A woman, renewing her driver's license at the Motor Registration office, was asked by the counter clerk to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the counter clerk, "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 clerk emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Medicare office. 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 emphasizing 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 program 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 a 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, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, 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.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations" And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?" I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants." And as for Honourary Aunts, what more can I say?

Please send this to another Mum, Grandmother, Aunt, And other friends you know. May your troubles be less, Your blessings be more, And nothing but happiness come through your door.

So my fellow research assistants, have a great day.


Gerry said...

**BRAVO** You go girl! I love it :-)

katepang said...

Thanks for stopping by on my blog, glad you liked some of my work! Great that you are exploring patchwork, and I love the job title and description for being a Mum. I'm a resaerch associate in this field too, but I'm also doing research at the University too, so I think that grandmothers are professors and great grandmothers are emeritus professors.

Colleen said...

I loved your post on motherhood. I could never think of a snappy comeback when in that situation.

mereth said...

Yes, I feel affronted when women say they're 'just' a mother.
I read back over your posts and can't imagine not having a stash to play in. You're going to have to work on that, every quilter needs one!

Gina E. said...

I'm not a mother, but I love those answers!! Thanks for being a frequent flyer at Patra's Place! I love fuschias too - hence my excitement over those two cloths. You don't see many with fuschias embroidered on, they are mostly roses and daisies, aren't they?

Rose said...

That was great!!! We really dont need a label, being a Mum is the best job in the world!!!!

Jane Weston said...

What a clever email. I think I'll start adding initials to the end of my name too :o)
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I've added you to my blogroll so I'll be back.

Rose Marie said...

Hear ye, hear ye! Enjoyed this piece very much. Having no children and no longer working, I'm now the Associate Researcher (think I need to change my little blurb on my blog header) and I'm not sure which of my careers has been the most challenging, frustrating and rewarding.

anne bebbington said...

This is brilliant - all those smug individual bureaucrats who look down their noses at mums forget they had one themselves and would probably be mortified if their own mother was denigrated in such fashion