“Working mom” doesn’t have to define youApr 15, 2020
Being a mom and career-driven woman are important roles you play, but they aren’t your entire identity
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This post will benefit you if you feel like a robot just going through the motions, trying to tackle work and motherhood, with no time for yourself.
Several years ago, when I was kidless and working my tail off in a sales job, my boss set up a team-building event. Each of us had to do a 5-minute presentation on a hobby (or something we love to do outside of work). At the time I was very into refinishing old furniture, so my presentation was centered around that.
One of my co-workers was a mom of two. When she stood up to present, she started talking about her kids. Her hobby was being a mom. I remember thinking at the time how sad it was that she didn’t have anything else for herself. She went to work and came home to take care of her kids. There was nothing else in between.
Today, as a mom, I get it. But thinking back on that story makes me even more emotional than it did when it happened. Now, I completely understand how easy it is to get swallowed up into motherhood and lose your sense of self—to be asked about who you are and not be able to think beyond more than just being a working mom.
If you stop and ask a woman without kids to tell you about herself, she may say:
“I love to travel and grab drinks for happy hour with my friends on Thursday evenings. I play in a sand volleyball league on Tuesdays and go to yoga a few times a week. I work at a design studio and have a sweet dog that I love. About once a month I volunteer at the animal shelter by my house. I’m a kind, heart-centered woman who cares deeply about my friends and family. I know I only have one life to live and adventure awaits.”
Fast-forward a few years. If you ask that same woman, now with two kids, to tell you about herself, she will likely say one of two things:
“I’m a stay-at-home mom.”
“I’m a working mom.”
Forget about all of those other fun facts she pointed out a few years ago. Her identity is now, “Mom”.
Let me set the record straight—I love being a mom. Having the “working mom” title makes me proud. But that’s not where my story stops.
Along with being a mom, I’ve started my own business. I began a new gardening hobby last year. I love to learn and have a bookshelf full of books waiting to be read. I go to Cincinnati Reds and Bengals games with my husband. I’m a gymnastics coach to high school girls and I’m attempting to play the ukulele. I see my girlfriends for brunch (less than before, but we still make it happen). I help other working moms find their purpose and jobs they love. I believe in the power of a growth mindset and am a loyal friend. I listen well and have a way with words.
I’m not an anomaly here. Believe it or not, YOU are more than just a “Mom”, too. And while I do believe we should be damn proud to be called, “Mom”—and it may just be the most important job we’ll ever have—we have to lose every other part of ourselves in the process.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if many different things defined you, including mom?
This list could go on forever, but to give you an idea, here are a few ways women can be defined:
- Animal lover
- Amazing friend
- Caring daughter
- Incredible mom
- Account Manager
- Coffee shop goer
Now, make your own list. Grab your journal and write a page all about who YOU are as a person. Start honoring that woman. And if you’re really struggling with this, write out who you WANT to be, and then start living like her.
You are many things—being Mom is a really special part of you. But you deserve to get some of YOU back. And it’s totally possible to thrive as a woman and still be a fantastic mom.
I would love to hear your take on this topic and see your list! Send me a note directly.
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