Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Family Manager?

I use the title of family manager. That's what I do. I'm not a housewife or a stay at home mom; I'm not married to my house nor do I stay at home very often, but those are frequently the titles used by our society. Although I don't get a paycheck I do have a more than full time job. (In fact I'm on call around the clock.) I've been paid to be a manager before and I do a lot of the same things for my family- I hire contractors (lawn care, tree trimmers, repairmen, housekeepers, etc.), pay the bills, keep track of expenses, handle purchasing, plan our activities, maintain a calendar, schedule appointments, handle documentation of our events, and so forth. I also do quite a bit of volunteer work and take college classes every 5 years to maintain my teaching certificate. We homeschool our children as well. It's work as much as anyone who draws a paycheck. I do have a number of perks. I can set my own schedule to a certain extent, picking and choosing which activities we will participate in. I have fibromyalgia so when I have a flare up I can rest as I need to without getting fired or having to answer to anyone. I have a heck of a great relationship with my fellow manager (my husband, who happens to be the one to bring home the bacon). It's a good gig, I have to say; best job I've ever had even if the monetary compensation is the pits. ;)

I first heard the term family manager on Oprah when she had Kathy Peel on as a guest and I thought it was great. I'm so surprised it hasn't caught on more fully since it is so much more accurate than the current stay at home mom. I am the manager of our family and I hope more women AND men will stand up and make the same declaration. Titles can mean a lot in this world, so taking on one that more accurately conveys what we do can be a step towards earning the respect we deserve for our work. Plus it's gender neutral, and now that more men are leaving the paid workforce to raise their kids it's also more accurate in that respect. We lived next door to a couple for 11 years where the mom earned the paycheck and the dad stayed with the kids, which I think is great. There are daddy bloggers all over the internet who are also going the family manager route. My husband has a larger earning potential and found a job he likes so in our family he's the one to work at a company, but I think it's up to the individual couple to make that determination. It should never be something forced on anyone due to societal expectations. That's the true meaning of gender equality to me- either member of the couple could be the one to give up the paycheck, or they could both work for pay if they choose, and would be equally respected no matter what their work status.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I'm a fellow manager? Ha! When the kids turn out all screwed up, you are taking the fall not me. I'm just a lackey around here and I'm bringing in a union too. :)