“Mom” Doesn’t Define Me

If you are a female and have a child, you have probably noticed that society has placed a huge ball and chain upon you, labeled MOM. For each child you have, add another ball and chain to one of your limbs. The ball and chain symbolizes thousands of contradicting expectations. If you haven’t noticed this, well, ponder upon the idea.

Most of the time, I am introduced as “so-&-so’s” mom. Or if I am introduced by my name, “She’s ‘so-&so’s’ or a mom” is quickly followed. It doesn’t help that my occupation is a stay-at-home mom either. The point is, the fact that I am a mom is the first thing people find out about me. People make Mom my definition. Then, the expectations come about. The expectation that the child-less person you once were died; and a new child-focused person is born. YOUR LIFE IS YOUR CHILD(REN)’S LIFE! That is all that matters now. No more fun, hobbies, or spontaneity for you, Mom.

Ponder on this: Are males that have a child placed with the same ball and chain of expectations labeled DAD? No! They are not! Uh, double standard there much?! Men do not have the same definition or expectations placed on them.

Years ago in a graduate class, I was partnered with two guys to do a research project. I spent quite a bit of time with these guys researching, writing, and presenting on the project. At the end of the semester, I found out that one of the guys was a father of three. The professor asked him how one of the kids was doing. I was shocked! I even turned to the other guy and asked him if he knew that. He didn’t and was just as shocked. No one else seemed to know either. We knew he was married, that was evident from the ring he wore. What led me to assume he wasn’t a father was the fact he never mentioned his three kids. He did spend a lot of time talking about a book he wrote, video games he spent hours playing, all of the bars he frequented, and stuff he did with friends. The guy simply replied, “Oh, she’s better.” No one asked another question. On the flip side, first day of class, one of the women in the class was introduced as a new mom by the professor. Her first directed inquiry was: “What do you do with the kid while you’re here?” Then: “Do you miss him?” “How do you just leave him like that?” “Wow, you must not have a life.” “How do you juggle school and a kid?” “I guess you don’t have fun.” “Are you going to bring your baby to our meetings?”

Do you see the difference there? No one knew or cared that the man had children. However, the woman was introduced as a mom; then bombarded with insensitive questions and comments. Her definition was instantly changed from “carefree grad student” to “dull, tied down Mom”.

My husband is rarely introduced as a Dad or “so-&-so’s” Dad. He also isn’t expected to stay home with our child, at any time. He isn’t thought of as selfish or a “bad Dad” for having hobbies, going out with friends, or leaving town for a few days. In fact, society expects him to have as little of responsibility for our child as possible. {My husband is completely opposite of what society thinks. He is super involved and loves to have Daddy-Daughter days. I’m positive if given the opportunity, he would be a stay-at-home Dad.}

Yes, I am a Mom. I love being a Mom. Yet, I am more than a Mom. I am a person with interests outside of motherhood. I have dreams, goals, and hobbies! I ride horses. I workout. I decorate cakes. I like to study psychology and mental health issues. I like to hang out with friends, without kids. I like to go to weekend long horse fairs in other states. Guess what?! I leave my kid with my husband, so I can grocery shop in peace and get my hair done. My child is in pre-school, so I can have “me” time. AND I DON’T FEEL GUILTY! I deserve time for myself. I deserve friends. I deserve a life separate from my child. Being a Mom does not define me. It shouldn’t define any woman, if she doesn’t want it too. I’m sure there are people that think I am selfish, that I should feel guilty, and I am a horrible mom.

I don’t care. You can take your societal expectations and shove them up your butt. Also, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  I am Mom to my child only. For anyone else, I am Kayleigh, without definitions or expectations. When you are talking to a woman that obviously is a mom, ask her about things other than her “mom” life. I’m sure she has so much more to her than her child(ren).

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3 thoughts on ““Mom” Doesn’t Define Me

  1. Omg i love this post. Its so true i feel exactly like that. I feel like all i am is a mom and i have no other life. My husband works alot during the week days. So its just me alot of the time with my 2 boys one in kindergarten and a 10 month old. So right now i feel like ive lost my identity. I hope to find a way to find myself again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love your post. Between being a stay at home mom with my 2 boys and trying to keep my husband happy the two days he doesn’t work. Its hard to find time for myself. I have two boys ones in kindergarten and ones 10 months. Im trying to find myself outside of motherhood but its been hard latly. Its nice to see that someone else knows what its like. Thank you for posting this

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for reading my post and commenting! It is easy to lose your identity after marriage, especially children. Us moms are really depended upon! Although, personally, I think some of that responsibility should be released to the spouse. 🙂 My interests have matured and grown since that “child free” me. Other than riding horses, I had to find new interests. I am introverted, so many of my hobbies are alone. I like to go to a local coffee shop and read a book/people watch. I found a young mothers’ bible study to join; contrary to belief, you do not have to be a church member, regular goer, or within the same denomination. You could see if there are “Mommy Groups” near you to join with the 10 month old. Anything to give you some time to be more than “Mom” or be “Mom” in a group setting. Haha!

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