Just a Mom

I read a piece today in a newly discovered magazine – Get Born – that really spoke to where I am right now. The author was writing about how embarrassed she was to admit that she is “just a mom.” Knowing full well that under that embarrassment was indignation at forcing herself to add the “just” in there. And I am so there.

I started my own business when The Boy was born so I could work from home. A year ago I decided to go back to work full-time (i.e. steady paycheck instead of unsteady contract work) in the face of our disintegrating financial situation and I’ve thoroughly documented my journey towards that end. It’s just become abundantly clear to me that the universe wants me right where I am for some reason or another. Here, present, with my children and family as my first priority. Out of nonprofit and away from fundraising. And for the first time since becoming a mother I have to now say that I am a stay at home mom. And there is a large part of me that feels utterly defeated in that statement.

I vividly remember wishing that I could just take the time to focus on my kids when I was working. I remember wishing for the client juggling to stop and the deadlines to ease. I just wanted the time to paint and frolic and be with these children who were growing so fast. And now I have it. And for that I’m completely grateful.

But that over-achiever in me that lurks just under the surface has its hackles raised at the idea of “just” being a stay at home mom. And even though the number of stay at home moms that I have in my life far outweigh the number of working mothers, I still feel like I’m letting my friends down. From what no one knows, but the feeling is there nonetheless.

I can rattle off hundreds of things that I do in a day or week or month. Important, necessary, even vital things that I do to keep my family humming along. How much longer can I justify devaluing my work in this family?

No comments: