So a slightly disturbing thing happened yesterday at dinner. We were all sitting around talking about our days, and I mentioned something about work. Then my eight-year-old asked, "Mom, you go to work?"
Now, in his defense, I work part-time for our own business, so I am at home when he leaves for school in the morning and when he returns from school in the afternoon. I also don't wear special "work clothes" for my job, so he doesn't see me dressed up, or in a uniform, or looking any different than I do when I'm hanging out at home on the weekend.
HOWEVER, he has seen me working from home on my computer, and he has heard me and his dad talking about work. So WTF?
I think part of the issue is that kids have no conception we exist outside of their experience of us. So very little children think the world disappears when they close their eyes, and my 3rd grader thinks I am at home all day because that's where I am when he both leaves for and returns from school. But part of his perception has got to come from the contrast between the way I work (invisible to him) and his father does (highly visible to him).
I gotta say I'm kind of bothered by the fact that my kid thinks I sit around home eating bonbons all day while Dad goes out and brings home the bacon. I really do struggle with what kind of model for womanhood I am presenting to my kids. I mean, on one hand, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to afford to be home with them in the afternoon. On the other hand, I wonder if I am teaching them that women exist to serve them.