Clerk Asks a Mother What She Does for a Living

Pedro Marrero
Mar 12, 2019
08:12 A.M.

This clever stay-at-home mother really got this clerk thinking when she explained to her what her job obligations involved. She returned to her home and children with a renewed sense of pride.


The work a woman does as a mother and housewife is rarely acknowledged in its full dimension, often being taken for granted. But the woman in this story really has a way with words and she re-defined her own life mission.

Not only she took proud in the invaluable work she did raising her children, but she spoke for all mothers like her and the ones that came before. Let’s hear her story, brought to you via Bored Daddy.


A woman named Emily, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office, was asked by the recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.


“What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job, or are you just a…” “Of course I have a job,” snapped Emily. “I’m a mother.”

“We don’t list ‘mother’ as an occupation… ‘Housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our Town Hall.

The clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and in possession of a high-sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.” “What is your occupation?” she probed.

What made me say this next, I do not know, the words simply popped out, “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”


The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words.

Then I started with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black in on the official questionnaire.

“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what do you do in your field?”


Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn’t?) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out).”

“I’m working for my Masters (the whole darned family), and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?), and I often work 14+ hours a day (24 is more like it).

But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as the completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.


As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants – ages 13, 7 and 3.

Upstairs, I could hear our new experimental model (a 6-month-old baby), in the Child-Development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt triumphant! I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone off the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another mother.”

Good for her! That title is very fitting, indeed.

My mother used to say her name was M.O.M. (It stood for mighty outstanding mom).


And that’s just what moms are.

They are our caretakers, our healers, our best friends, and our heroes.


The children in our story are lucky to have such a proud parent. She will undoubtedly pass on this notion of self-love and acceptance to them.

To all the moms out there…we couldn’t have done it without you.


In a related story, a mother who worked as a cashier in the supermarket had to endure the humiliation of an upset customer that tried to put her down because of her job in front of her 7-year-old daughter.

You will be satisfied to read the admirable response the store’s manager had when he asked the disrespectful customer to leave the business and how he put her in her place.

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