“When are you going to get a real job?”

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I’m struggling with how to go about being authentic and true to myself while also finding a way to have more human interaction in my life in a meaningful way. I may be an introvert but I still really like being around people. For the most part, hopefully, people who aren’t judging me. I have considered joining the junior league and technically I am a provisional member right now but I’m not sure it’s the right place for me. It feels strange. I love the work they do for young girls but I don’t feel I fit in.

I love my job but I don’t feel I’m on the same level as the other women there. They’ve done so much and are involved in so much and are so accomplished and busy and I look at my life and see I haven’t accomplished anything at all. They are engineers, and bankers, and health care workers, and educators and I just do the thing that is the only expected “job” of the environment I grew up in, the job of a fundamentalist good little Christian girl, the job of caring for children.

Being out in the real world, when people say things like “when are you going to get a real job?”, I don’t even know how to respond because it hurts. It’s a hurtful thing to say. As if I’m just biding my time until I go and do something “real.” Some people don’t say it right out in those words, but they find little ways to make it sound nicer while still making it very clear that they don’t think anyone could possibly want to do what I do as a career, if you can call it that.

While I do believe that there are noble professions such as a doctor, I really kind of hate the sort of obsession we seem to have with knowing what people do for work and making a judgement on that as if what you do in order to live makes you a good or bad or successful or unsuccessful person. Honestly who cares what you think about someone else’s job.

Sometimes I don’t care much, and sometimes I have a good argument to come back with, but a lot of the time it feels like a knife to the heart. Many, many people have said it to me many, many times. People I’ve dated have been especially judgmental of what I do assuming that I must be planning to do something else more acceptable(?). God I hate dating.

I think this is one of the reasons I’ve been so adamant about thinking I wanted an accredited degree. People look at me and wonder when I’m going to do something that matters or something that follows an assumed desired corporate office job life track. I can’t tell you the number of fights I’ve gotten into and the number of tearful nights I’ve spent agreeing with these people who try to make me feel like nannying isn’t a real job and that I need to eventually find something else to do. I resent them for that. It’s probably why I’m still single.

I’m not an office job kind of person. And I’m not a people person. But I do love getting hugs every day from baby arms. And I love having conversations with a toddler about how they see the world. I also love my life and that I get to go home at night to no children that I have to be responsible for. For me, it’s the best way to have it. I get to get paid to have my kid fix and don’t have to actually have kids myself.

But however much that means to me, it still doesn’t seem to be acceptable to a lot of people. If I’m making enough money and supporting myself, I don’t understand why it matters so much. My ex boyfriend used to make comments all the time about me finding a “stable job”. My job wasn’t good enough. Except when I did go and get a “stable job” I made much less money. He even yelled at me for not asking him exactly what words I should have said at an interview for a teaching job, which I didn’t get and didn’t want anyway. All because my job was unacceptable. I don’t need people like that.

I would love to see a shift in society where people don’t judge you based on what you do for work. It’s really no one else’s business. You do what you have to do to live. Some people love their jobs and others not so much. Some people don’t love their job but also don’t really have the option of choosing to do whatever they want. They have to earn a living. Either way it isn’t something that we should praise or condescend to people about.

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5 thoughts on ““When are you going to get a real job?”

  1. Wow, childcare isn’t a “real job”? What the fuck? Society devalues the stupidest things. If it fulfills you, go for it. You have a real job. People who want to criticize you for it need to get a “real life”.

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  2. LS

    Funny how people are. So many people want women to work but they condemn those who work by providing the childcare necessary for other women to work.

    Granted, nannying isn’t a “glam” job like being a fashion model but glam jobs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

    Everyone looks down on Walmart employees but everyone shops there. You can’t have Walmart without the employees, and Walmart wouldn’t exist if people didn’t shop there. Takes two to tango.

    Frankly, I think it’s a tough job and it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s definitely undervalued.

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  3. Gina

    If you were “successful” by other peoples standards and spent your life doing something that other people think is worth while but you hate then what is the point? You’ll live miserably then die. You only have one life. success is living it the way that is fulfilling to YOU and only you can know what that is. People should mind their own business. What does it really matter to them anyway? So long as you are ok , needs are met and enjoying what you are doing, there is nothing wrong with any job. I’m a maid and nanny and get that too but it is what I really do enjoy doing! Don’t let others discourage you.

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  4. Susan Capodanno

    Feeding a 5 week old at 3:am while I read this and thinking how truly HAPPY I am to be doing this. I too work in the childcare field as a Newborn Care Specialist. Years ago I did Nanny work and turned myself into a Household Manager but never gave up on the childcare part. I also love being with babies and toddlers it’s just amazing and I don’t ever want to do anything else. It takes special people like yourself to work with children and if others can’t see that about you then you don’t need them. Stop worrying what others think about you and your chosen career, yes being a nanny is a career! For the reasons you stated about “office life” who needs it? Most people you’d work with would still be judgemental anyway, basically people suck and children are awesome and non judgemental which is why I choose to be around them! Keep doing what makes you happy and those that can’t accept what you do, to hell with them!! Feel free to contact me anytime!!

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    • larissaann

      Thank you! That is so sweet. Newborn Care Specialist is actually something I am really interested in transitioning into some day. I’d rather deal with babies and toddlers over adults any day of the week.

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