I have 13 drafts of this blog post.
I’m determined not to make it 14. I am going to do everything I can to tune out the “Wonder Pets” singing about rubbing an egg with their bum.
WTF? Where is “Focus on the Family” when you need them?
So if it sucks, don’t read it, because I’m trying really hard to say something enlightening and brilliant that can be quoted for generations to come. I’m trying to glean some invaluable nugget of wisdom from the tediousness that is summer vacation, but it’s asking a lot for me to not only comprehend but then articulate said genius for the masses.
I mean, I don’t even get paid for this gig.
Speaking of “gigs”…
Recently, someone – a stranger who was clearly unaware of the impracticality of my life – asked me what I “did”.
I gave my standard diminutive response. “I’m just a Mommy.”
Ugh, who says that? What does that even mean? What the hell is wrong with me?
I could retort myself here by listing every skill I use in a day. But that would be redundant and pretentious and look a lot like draft 11.
It’s just that question – I dread it with every ounce of my being.
Two years ago, though, it would’ve been quite reasonable, routine…welcomed even.
Because I did define myself by my career.
Ever since leaving my job, I’ve been defining myself by who I was, affronting people preemptively with a verbal resume’, before they have time to wonder…to judge.
The truth is, I couldn’t define myself now even with 1000 words. I can’t separate the relevant from the trivial. Every single thing I do in a day is uniquely critical. Conversely, everything I do is generally unremarkable.
I don’t so much miss the prestige of having an identity outside of myself anymore. Sure, I feel a twinge of envy when I glaze the peripheral of my “old life”, just long enough to whet my appetite and remind me that I can’t stay. That I really don’t want to stay. Because staying means choosing and I’ll always choose being Mommy. For as long as he needs me, for as long as he wants me, I will happily allow him to be my everything.
I must admit that I do miss the sense of pride in accomplishment that came from knowing intrinsically that I was an expert on something. I miss the rush of fast-paced decisions and measurable results, the recognition and camaraderie that came with being part of something bigger than yourself. Not to mention the feedback of your colleagues, the brainstorming through difficult situations, and ultimately the “we’re in this together” mentality.
It’s scary to be responsible for another person. Especially when most of the time you query how you could possibly be allowed to be responsible for yourself.
I’m not one to back down from a challenge though. I’m not one to give up. I will learn to reconcile my multiple identities. I will learn to take pride in my work, even if I’m not entirely sure what it is.
Next time, when someone asks me what I do, I will dig deep and find my grown up voice. I’ll reply that I’m Mommy to an extraordinary little boy who teaches me every day that it doesn’t matter how I identify myself, but rather how those who depend on me identify me. I’ll say that this job is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,that the hours are demanding, and the position is grossly underpaid, but that the life experience is without compare.
In short, I vow never to respond that I am “just a Mommy” again.