Both the Scrivener and the PhotoAddict have argued that one need not be identified only as “someone’s mom”. They are worried about losing themselves in motherhood and point out that there is life beyond it. I get why they feel that way. I do not share this concern.
Everyone’s approach to motherhood is different. Many factors go into it; your personality, your child’s personality, your childhood experience, how involved your spouse is, whether you even have a spouse, how many kids you have, your age, your support system, financial circumstances, etc. There isn’t a “right way” only what’s right for you.
I had a “full life” before becoming a mom that included career, travel, hobbies and hanging at the bar with friends. I had my own office with a window that was 3 blocks from the White House and an apartment near the subway that overlooked the Pentagon. It was an exciting time. But as someone who struggled to have a child, I do not find myself wishing to be someone separate as I’ve moved on to the next phase of my life. I love being a mom. Just a mom. That is my career for now. I embrace it.
There are some who have judged me for not seeking out daycare/preschool so that I could do more for myself. I should’ve started another career or worked towards another diploma or haven’t I been wasting my degree, my time and talent? And aren’t I bored just being with a child all day? It is almost always other women asking these questions. Usually other moms. Some are just curious but others seem truly to disapprove. Why are we so hard on each other? We really should be more supportive of each other’s choices. I respect that some women need more time away from their kids to rejuvenate and get the mental breaks and adult socialization they need to be better moms. I also sympathize with women who don’t have a choice in the matter.
As for me, it has been a privilege to stay home and watch my child grow. It’s not forever, just for a few short years. I truly don’t mind being with him most of the time especially since he’s old enough to share some of my interests. My husband helps out when he’s home, he and Rocky spend time alone together and I have my classes at the YMCA; I don’t hurt for me time. My single friends are few and far between as most have followed the path of parenthood but us mothers plan an occasional get together here and there that’s just for us. Even with our children in tow, I still feel connected when spending time with other moms. It’s always a relief to know I’m not alone. And now that Rocky is starting kindergarten, I’ll have another 4 whole hours a day for whatever needs doing. Or to hide away with a good book or watch tv all morning. You know, because that’s the perception of what stay-at-home moms do with the extra time! I wish. More likely I’ll be that mom at the school doing all the volunteer work that other parents don’t have time to do.
I know who I am and I do have longer term goals for myself. It’s important for Rocky to see that. But for the time being, I don’t need to “have it all”. My role as a mom is enough for me and I don’t feel guilty that I’ve given up myself. I’m sharing myself. As my son grows and needs me less and less, there will be plenty of time for focusing on just me once again. My life is still full and I’m counting my blessings. Identity intact.