My Job and How to Explain it to Other Parents
My job is such an intrinsic part of my life that I don’t typically hesitate to say I am a sexuality educator at Babeland when asked what I do for a living. However, J has recently come home laughing about how his teacher thought I worked in a store that sells baby stuff. I asked what he told her I do and he responded by saying, “I told her you work at Babeland and sell sex stuff!”
I was very proud but also realized that the two of us had not really discussed that my job may be considered taboo by his Japanese immersion teacher. I know that he understands that what I do for a living is talk about sex and help people feel good. However, I realized this can translate very differently to teachers and fellow parents than it does to my son, and my childless peers.
I have always felt a little out of place in a “traditional” parent environment. I am young (so young that on multiple occasions I have been asked who I nanny for), I am tattooed, I am single, I work full time and up until a year ago I was a full time student as well. All of these factors made me feel like an outsider at my son’s affluent, married, hetero, school functions. So, needless to say outing myself as a sex educator and allowing for another stereotype to be placed on me seemed like a bad idea…
I did however, manage to befriend a few of the parents and slowly reveal who I am to them. The conversation was typically me saying, “I work at Babeland” and getting the, “is that a children’s store I don’t know about?” response…or the, “I love that place!” response. I will take the latter any day of the week. I would follow up the first response by explaining that Babeland is a female owned and run sex shop that stresses education, outreach, and pleasure for all. I only once had someone shut down at this point in the conversation. Everyone else would ask questions about my role in the company and what led me to this calling.
My true moment of clarity happened at a play date with one of J’s friends. The fellow mom told me that many of the parents have expressed not knowing how to approach me because I am the young, hip, mom who doesn’t want to spend my time hanging out with someone who is a stay at home, soccer mom. I am not the outcast because I am not worthy. It’s a matter of everyone feeling like they are being judged by the other person. At this point I decided to try and converse with as many parents as I could and to stop being self-conscious. I have found that this approach has allowed me to feel more successful and more confident in my interactions. Taking the shame out of what I do for a living has in turn not allowed that shame to come from other people.
- What My Mom Does For a Living
- What My Child Knows About My Babeland Job
- Don’t Forget to Explain What an Orgasm Is
- Why Kids Should Know Their Parents Have Good Sex
- Talking With My Kid About Sex pt. 1