Maureen Locher photoDo you work? Three words. Simple enough question. Do you work? Words asked of me as I introduced myself to the only woman I did not know in a group of friends. Do you work?

"No." I said no! One short and sweet syllable: no. What an idiot! I sat there like a bump-on-a-log and said no. A mother of four young men still living at home while they attend a local college and work through school should have said, "I’ve worked every single second for 25 years, performing endless jobs which no one happened to pay me for!" But did I say all that? Heck no!

To my no, this woman said, "That’s great."

That’s great? What does that mean? That it is really great, or that I am being placated? Not sure. And I didn’t care to pursue the matter. I failed Everymom. I did not speak up for her; I did not speak up for me.

Next time, here’s what I’m going to say: "Yes. Yes, I do – have for 25 years, raising four sons, and now those sons, those gold stars on my mom resume, are working their ways through college while I, their mom, carve out a newer, improved life for myself. I attend daily Mass each morning, and ask God what He wants me to do, and I try to do it.

"I also happen to be copy editor and columnist for a magazine written by moms for moms. And I recently joined as a weekly columnist. I write two blogs at my own Web site, and try to give God to those who cross my path.

"I have written three books, and two of them are under consideration with a publisher right now."

Wouldn’t my imagined soliloquy have gone over like a you-know-what in a punchbowl?

But really, ladies, let’s become a little more evolved, shall we? Let’s not ask that question of other women. Don’t all of us know what a mom does – how incredibly much she does? Instead of, "Do you work?" how about, "Do you work outside the home?" And if asked the dreaded question yourself, politely reply, "I sure do!"

Make no excuses for being "just a mom." Just-a-Mom is a mythical creature anyhow; none exist on this planet. Think more along the lines of Wow-What-a-Mom! God’s multi-faceted prism of darkness-conquering light. How’s that for a job description?

Copyright 2009 Maureen Locher