DH and I went to the dentist for our 6-month cleaning. He hates the dentist, so the hygenist who knows him and has worked on him takes care of him. I get the new hygenist. She is trying to make small talk, which always bugs me at the dentist, because you can't respond. Anyway, she asks about what I do (teacher), how long I've lived in the area (my whole life), etc. She then proceeds to tell me about their move here from Idaho for her husband's job, about her teenagers, etc. Then she says, "So are you a mom?" When I replied with, "No, I'm not," she goes on and on about how I can be a mom to my students and influence them.
Teaching is my career, and one that I love! While it is true that I am an influence on many students each year and have been for the past 22 years, it is not the same as being a mom. I assign homework, but I don't get to help with homework. I help students handle the bully on the playground, but I don't see how they use those skills as they go on in life. I watch kids grow for a year, but I rarely see the adults they become. I have stayed in touch with a few students over the years as they have matured in life, but their children are not my grandchildren.
I wish people would not see my career in teaching as the consolation prize for not being a mom.