Do You Work?

“Do you work?”

I get this question all the time but it has never bothered me. In my mind I sarcastically think, “Oh no, not an ounce of work all day. Just lounging poolside with my mojito getting a tan.” Out of my mouth comes, “No, just a mom.” And I’m fine with being “just a mom.” It is my favorite job to date!

I don’t have to say it as others already have–being a mom is tough work. The hardest job ever? No. I bet The President is more stressed out than I am. But being my child’s full-time nanny is stressful, 24/7, ever-changing, joyful, challenging, fun.

But since I’ve opened my Etsy shop and sold a few things, it is starting to feel like I am a tiny business owner too. I sure have been putting in the hours! Lots of hours. Overlapping with toddler-time, family-time, me-time is synonymous with sewing. But basically I now have TWO jobs that aren’t really job-jobs. So what do I say?

Old approach:

Anonymous Person1: Do you work?

Me: No, I’m just a mom. <smile>

Sewww, what do you do approach:

Anonymous Person2: Do you work?

Me: Yes, I sew and opened a shop on Etsy!

S(ew)AHM approach:

Anonymous Person3: Do you work?

Me: Why yes, I am a sew-at-home-mom! By day it is all diapers, snacks, dance-parties, and block-building. At naps it is sewing, shipping, product development, blogging, marketing, copywriting, photoshoots, figuring out how to grow my business.

Something I would actually say approach:

Anonymous Person4: Do you work?

Me: Yes! I’m a mom with an Etsy shop!




Sometimes you just know when a person has a four-legged family member. A few golden hairs of a jolly Retriever cling to their pant leg. They proudly wear the telltale sign of someone who didn’t leave the house without an exuberantly celebrated goodbye.

In my house we, sadly, do not have a dog yet. But my daughter has been obsessed for a long time in her short life… Her first word was “puppy.” Yes, “puh-pee” before “mama” or “dada.” She still calls her beloved, ragged, seen-way-better-days, Elmo doll, “Momo.” She’s abbreviated the title of her third-favorite person, grandma, to “ma.” But “puppy” has always been a two-syllable word, expertly enunciated. It is important.

“I hold this puppy to my heart…unless Momo is around…”

She clearly wanted us to know that she *really* likes puppies. I had already gotten the hint when she’d grin widely and stick her chubby little baby hand in any ol’ dog’s mouth. Which was shocking because of both the danger aspect and the fact that any human nearby got a scowl at best. No scowls for dogs. No frowns for puh-pees! She loves dogs so much, she offers her own hand as a chew toy. (Stop doing that!)

“Your mouth area with the teeth seems to be riiiight…near here.”

“My hand in your mouth?”

I fully intend to support my daughter’s love of animals…and future as a lion-tamer or one of those people who put their heads inside alligators’ mouths. (Stop doing that!) But until we can get a bigger home and mama has access to all of the allergy medicine ever made, we’ve put a moratorium on adding a four-legged friend to our family.

But luckily, I sew. I’m doing my duty to get my family ready to one day add a furry friend to our fold…

When I take my daughter to our weekly music class and see the pet-hair hop-ons clinging to the sweater sleeve of another caregiver, I nod knowingly, grin, and pull a piece of thread trimmed from my latest project (or the one before that?) off of my daughter’s leggings. We have hop-ons too.