Archived from “My Lil Guy” (my previous blog)
I sleep all night and I work all day…well not really. I usually stay up way too late at night. :)
Hopefully there are some other Monty Python fans out there or I may be the only one who finds my title funny…
Oh and the whole “just a mom” thing, isn’t really true either. I don’t think there are many moms out there who could be described as just a mom regardless of whether or not they stay at home or work. I have struggled with the idea of society seeing me that way and the “so what do you do?” type questions always make me a little nervous. Probably because at one time in my life, I didn’t think I wanted to be a mom at all. I was one of those people who thought that to be somebody, you had to be what everyone else thought was important and at the time kids just didn’t seem to fit in with my plans. My plans for my life included me going to college, getting a degree and then getting a good job where I could make my mark on the world. I figured I would probably have several critters to keep me company. A successful, hopefully not crazy, cat lady if you will.
And then I met my husband. :)
Its amazing how finding the right person can take all the things you thought you wanted and throw them right out the window. My life today is filled with many things I never knew I always wanted. I’ve found out along the way, that I wanted to be a wife, a mommy and a stay at home one to boot. But then I started to feel pressure from the world around me. A feeling that everyone thought I should want and be more than that. I read articles on the web from ladies who weren’t satisfied with being just a mom and thought that maybe I shouldn’t be either. They talked about how they felt like they were losing their identity among the diaper changes and feedings and I could relate on some level to their stories. Motherhood was the first “job” that I wasn’t sure if I was any good at. I had been a good student in school. My bosses always seemed to be happy with my work, but in this “job” I was not sure if I was doing it right and I had no really way of knowing.
A family member made a comment to me about another woman who had been a stay at home mom and now that all of her kids were grown, she didn’t really know what to do with herself. It was a kind of a poor lady, too bad she didn’t do more with her life type comment. While I knew that raising children was just as important as any other job, if not more so, the comment still stung. I wondered if she was trying to tell me not to forget to be more than just a mom, so that I wouldn’t end up without purpose once my kids were grown. I took way too many of these thoughts and comments to heart and I became determined to do something with my life that wasn’t mom or wife related.
This was a few years ago, before the birth of my second child, and I decided that I would start my own business. I was willing to do anything I felt I was somewhat good at and I jumped around between ideas. Actually I flopped, and floundered, and pretty much ran in circles chasing everything I thought might be my thing…All the while insisting that I was doing this for my own good and that I needed this so that I could be somebody. Somebody to who, I’m really not sure.
Finally I realized that I was only making myself feel like a failure. I never chased any of these “things” with everything I had and therefore didn’t achieve any real success. Trying to ignore that fact that I felt I was called to be a mother more than anything else was only adding to the stress. I finally gave myself permission to stop trying to be more than just a mom and then a funny thing happened. I realized that I was now ok with being who I was and that I still wanted to pursue things that weren’t vital to my mom role. The desire to market what I was good at didn’t go away, but I was no longer trying to separate myself into different parts. If I wanted to do digital design and my inspiration came from my days being filled with children’s toys, books and movies, it was ok. I could be both mom and (dare I say) an artist. I could create with all of me and if other people didn’t get it or value what I was doing that was ok because I knew that it worked for me and my family.
I’m now slowly building my business and I’m determined to do it in a way that adds to my role as a mother and wife. I’ve still got a lot to figure out but if I ever start to feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions, I’ll take that as a sign that I need to do something different. One thing I have figured out is that if the first thing people see when they look at me is “just a mom”, I’m ok with that. :)