02/06/2013 12:59 pm ET

Yes, I'm A Homemaker

“What's your line of work?” It's a common conversation opener, especially toward someone like me who just six months ago moved from the other side of the country. The person asking has usually already heard about my wife and her great new job that brought us to town, so naturally it’s time to find out what I’m doing here. ... “I used to do architectural design,” I say, “but now, since the move, I'm the homemaker of the household.”

What a sweet picture this conjures: the stay-at-home dad nurturing his children, looking after the house and helping support his wife in her budding career and shelving his own big ambitions for later. Now it gets a little awkward. There is no adorable kid, nor plans to have one. No starter home that needs knocking into shape. I'm not just doing this temporarily until I find something meaningful to do. I’m actually a full-time homemaker ... not stay-at-home dad but stay-at-home dude. A conversational pause. Where do you mentally file this guy? Usually I just change the subject.

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