Something I’ve been thinking about – I have friends who are stay-at-home moms and a common theme among them is people who dismiss them as though they have nothing interesting to say because they stay at home with their kids. At any given gathering, people will always ask you what you do for a living and the conversation generally flows from that. For some of my SAHM friends, once they say they stay at home, people dismiss them with “Oh” and move on to someone else.
Obviously, the fault here lies with the person who is dismissive because if you honestly cannot think of something to talk about other than work, something is wrong with you. People are multi-faceted and interesting in many different ways. You can ask what someone does for a living, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you should also be able to talk about them as a PERSON, not them as a job. So, if you encounter someone who is a SAHM, you can ask what challenges they find with that, what do they enjoy about it, what are their hobbies, what books have they recently read, do they have pets, and on and on it goes. You may be surprised to learn that the SAHM you just dismissed volunteers her time reading to the blind or that she was once a statistician and now uses those skills at home, that she likes to watch professional wrestling after the kids are in bed.
I have had interesting conversations with everyone from stay-at-home parents to lawyers to the garbage man to the lifeguard at the pool. Any number of “Really, I never would have thought that” moments can come out of a conversation if you’re willing to listen and not be dismissive based simply on what someone does for a living. Just saying.