Professor PhD here. I met Awkward Mom when we were both awkward technical theatre students at Creighton. My parents weren't exactly thrilled I wanted to major in theatre and encouraged me to double major in Communication Studies... One undergraduate honors paper, 7 years of graduate school and a 200-page dissertation and here I am a PhD without a school to professor at... but this post isn't about the aggravation of job hunting in your thirties. You see during all those years of school I dated occasionally but never really "dated" anybody. I am single. I have been single. There has not yet been a possible Mr. Right in my life. I am perfectly okay with this. And, while I am open to marriage and family, I am also okay with the idea of getting a great job and simply helping hundreds of young adults find their voice as they enter the wider world. Other people, however, see this as problem that needs fixing.
I love to sew. I have made complete wardrobes for 4 18inch American Girl type dolls to be sold at the school fundraising auction for my Church. I make PJ's for all 5 of my nieces and nephews for Christmas every year. I have made clothing for myself and for others. I made costumes for Super P. This year I even made Advent Calendars for my nieces and nephews.
It's true that I hate cleaning, especially the putting away step (seriously, I would consider marrying a man who enjoyed folding the laundry and putting it back in the drawers.) but most people are spared that characteristic. They just see a young woman who loves to cook and sew, the perfect skills for a homemaker. I had a co-worker go so far as to tell me how lucky my future husband was going to be and say if he weren't gay he'd consider marrying me just to be so well taken care of. (Just what every girl wants to hear).
This infuriates me. I hate the idea the idea that good cooking skills and crafting are necessarily related to motherhood and homemaking. I feel like it both cheapens my hobbies and talents and insults stay-at-home moms.
It cheapens my cooking and crafting by suggesting they are really only valuable in so far as they will help me catch a man and raise children (and post things on Pintrest to make other moms feel inferior.) It also is insulting to stay-at-home moms whose talents lie in the cuddling, vanquishing dragons, and other less Pinnable realms.
These people don't get that I spend a year making the doll for my Church, not because it takes a year, but because I make it one outfit at a time when I'm feeling crafty, or really want to avoid grading a pile of essays. And, despite the fact I can and have made Beef Burgundy, I'm just as likely to microwave a Hot Pocket for dinner because I don't feel like cooking. And, as a single gal, I get away with it. I don't relish the idea of making gourmet meals every night, and if I were married and had kids I probably wouldn't. I do these hobbies when I am in the mood to do them and put them away when I am not in the mood. I love that I can put them away, and I do, sometimes for months at a time.
Right now, I am happy with just me and my 20 lb bundle of white fur (also known as my American Eskimo dog 'Milkdud'.) I am happy for all my friends and family who have started families of their own. Please be happy for me even if I never chose that path.Professor PhD, we are totally happy for you, whatever path you chose. Of course, we like the path that makes you friends with Awkward Mom, and we would like a closer path so that we can enjoy the side effects of that friendship more; i.e. souffles and other yummies. And of course, Super P. wants to hang out so he can get some more fashions. I wouldn't let him though, he is likely to steal the dolls.