identity

That’s My Name

As much as I detest trolls, sometimes I grudgingly have to admit their asinine comments make me pause and consider.

Such was the troll that left this comment on Maria’s (BOREDMommy) blog the other day:

Why is it that you call yourselves “mommies”? It’s infantile, like being called a girl instead of a woman. If giving birth (or adopting) and raising a child is so important, why don’t you insist on the dignity of the word “parent”? Or “mother” — if you insist on focusing on gender as well? I am a parent and I was “mommie” only to my children and then only when they were young. No wonder men and childfree women don’t take you seriously: You are endlessly self-absorbed, boring, juvenile, and have nothing to say for yourselves beyond your reproductive status and childrearing.

OK, I have to admit that my first thought was, ‘*snort* Wow…..bitter much?’

But then I stopped.  Do I mind being called a ‘Mommy’ or even lumped in with ‘Mommy bloggers’?

You know… I really don’t.

To me ‘mother’ or even ‘parent’ is a cold, impersonal, standoffish word.

And Vista never refers to me as ‘Mother’.  Ever.  That would just be weird.

To her I’m ‘Mama’ and ‘Mommy’.  So do I associate with that name?  You bet.  Because, as far as my 2 year old is concerned, that is my name.  I have no other identity other than Mommy.  She doesn’t know me as Jenn, same as she doesn’t know Daddy as Bil.  We are Mommy and Daddy.

And I love the simplicity of that.

To me it’s not infantile, it’s innocence at it’s very best.  It speaks to a time when your parents are not adults put on this earth for the express purpose of oppressing you.  It is that sweet time between self awareness and total independence when your child reaches for you to know they are safe, secure, loved.

In time, I’m sure my name will morph. It’ll go from Mommy, to Mom, to OMG! MoooooooooommmmmmGawdYou’reEmbarassingME!

But right now, I’m thrilled to be Mommy.  And I couldn’t possibly think of a sweeter sound than my daughter calling my name.

Are you proud to be a Mommy too?  Head over to BOREdMommy’s site and link up your own post.

Identity Crisis

How we identify ourselves (and our self worth) can be a funny thing.  I’ve found, for myself, it’s so often wrapped up in what I’m doing, rather than who I really am.

Before I became a mom, I spent 10 years working for the same company.  My life was completely wrapped up in it.  It was, in essence, my life.  And for various reasons it had to be.  It’s hard to maintain relationships when you’re traveling a lot.  And it’s hard to plan an outside life when you’re told on a Friday to book a flight for the next day and, oh, by the way, you’ll be gone for two weeks.  But that was the job.  And I enjoyed it.  It was interesting.  It was dynamic.  And it was me.

Most people knew me as ‘Jenn, who works for ***’.  It was a huge part of my identity. And it didn’t help that I was a workaholic.  Even on vacations I was expected to be available by email and phone.  But it came with the territory (and the money) and so I felt it was all worth it.

Eventually, I got noticed by some of the right people, and started on the fast track for upper management.  This is what I had worked those 10 years for.  Yay me!  Until that one morning when I woke up and realized that maybe this dream of being a VP at a major multinational wasn’t really what I wanted anymore.  I looked at my boss, and his boss.  They had no family lives.  They were so stressed it was affecting their health.  It was expected that they would be available all hours of the day and night.  And I knew that on my road to the big leagues there was going to be a lot of moving around the country and shift work involved.  If I ever wanted to have children, this was not going to work.

By this time Bil and I had been trying to start our family for a while (with little success).  He was convinced I needed to slow down, relax, and de-stress. So after many weeks of soul searching I handed in my resignation.  The plan was to take the summer off and then look for a new job in the fall.

I didn’t realize I’d spend the entire summer trying to figure out who I was.  What was my identity now that I wasn’t working?  How would people relate to me if I wasn’t that girl who worked at that company?  It was really hard. And I struggled with it.  I still do.

momcallingcardvista Identity CrisisAt the end of the summer, I found out I was finally pregnant (which came with a big dose of ‘I told you so’ courtesy of my darling husband).   So, rather than go back to work, I took the time to start my own business.  Then that became my new identity; Business Owner and Virtual Assistant.  Until, of course, I had my baby.  Then everything else was once again stripped away.  Oh, I still have my business, but now I introduce myself as ‘Jenn… Vista’s mom’.  And I like that title.  I really do.  In fact it’s one of my favorite identities so far.

But some days I’m still left wondering who I really am and whether I’m really only defined by what I do in life.

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