Q: I'm thrilled to be able to stay home and raise my three children full time, but as a former Washingtonian, I still dread being asked "What do you do?" and having to label myself a stay-at-home mother. Any suggestions about rebranding this title so these encounters don't feel so awkward?
And yeah, yeah, I know my job is tougher and more important than many, and that I'm projecting my own feelings onto other people — it's just a hangup I've never been able to get past.
A: Nope, rebranding would only expose your discomfort further, which presumably is the opposite of what you hope to accomplish.
Please think of stay-at-home parenting (or working full time, or working part time) as a modern retelling of The Sneetches. First it was the non-working crowd that was fancy, then it was the working crowd that was fancy, then it was the I-can-afford-to-stay-home crowd again, then it was the crowd of people in enough control of their careers to swing part-time arrangements. At this point, so many stars have been on and off bellies that, from where I sit, it's pointless to try to determine who's fancy anymore.
You're a stay-at-home mom. You chose it. Now own it.