Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MOMDentity Crisis - The Mommytrade or the NEW MOM's Movement

Hey MOMs... listen up ... Are you having a MomDentity Crisis?

Here's the thing... we have come from generations of Betty Friedan Followers... We were told .. Women are capable of anything and have equal value to our fellow men.

So, we traded our peasant dresses in for long flowing pants!  We studied hard, rolled our sleeves up and pursued bachelor degrees and suppressed our natural instincts of bearing children in early twenties until WE were satisfied to have reached beyond the glass ceiling.  MANY fellow mommies and housewives took it a step further and received advanced degrees, climbed the corporate ladder and began saving their eggs for THAT time when She SAID... I am NOW ready to have a baby.  Am I right????

All great in theory!!  But the flip side has created a MOMDentity Crisis for women who traded in their briefcases for a diaper bag.

I will say .... I am one of those moms WHO went to a Big Ten school graduated with a bachelors degree,  wasn't satisfied ... completed a Masters Degree program, worked for a very large corporation, ran business meetings that dealt with millions of dollars in capital and SWORE... that Marriage was a distant goal in my twenties and possibly well into my thirties.  I came from a very strong ... MOM ran household.

I remember my mother telling me as a young adult ... "You need to be able to take care of yourself.  There is no alternative to NOT going to school.  A degree is in your future and pursuing a top notch job will secure your future."

Who wouldn't want their daughter to have financial security or a feeling of complete self worth and position in the world???

However, I will say ... my twenties was a time when I discovered my true potential and knew how far I could go financially as well as competitively in the world.  I knew I could do the job of my fellow Business men.  I knew that I could create my own path in this world.   So ..

When I got married in my late twenties... and tried to balance married life, a stressful job and the excitement of being pregnant with my first child... something had to give.  I began bleeding during my first trimester ... my doctor explained... "Your stress levels are too high... you need to decide whether you want to keep up at this pace and risk the baby's life OR slow down and begin life as a new Mom."

SO the choice was made.... My baby became priority and the life that I once had as a working professional person was a thing of the past.  A new chapter was formed.  I will say ... I struggled with slowing down.  I wasn't one who could just STOP.  As a new expectant mom... I didn't know what to expect.   It was exciting... very scary and something that I didn't have complete control over.   I had a rough pregnancy and gained a substantial amount of weight due to toxemia.  Things felt a little chaotic and very much out of my control.  See picture below... my face and arms tell it all!!!  I thought I would burn all these pictures but WHO cares... I sat  in a hospital bed for several weeks cooking like a fat turkey.  I spent majority of my pregnancy on bedrest .... however... my little man came out as healthy as can be and is one of the biggest joys in my life.  (My husband jokes.. and posted this picture on our refrigerator and reminds me that HE STILL LOVED me despite my head looking like it was ready to explode)  What a sweet guy, Am I right???

Sorry the pic is flipped... but you can get a little chuckle at my perfectly puffed pout!

With my job... I had a certain amount of control.  I knew what I was doing... where I was going everyday.... I knew the "right" people to call to get things done.  I had credibility!

As a new mom... all of that goes out the door!  I am the person who runs everything... it's all on me... the successful night feedings, the anticipation of going to the doctor to see if he has gained weight was like a personal win, the managing of the household and the race everyday to see how much I can clean and fold before little man wakes up or my husband walks through the door.

So ... now as the years have gone by .... the further I get away from the Twenty Something Working Advanced Degree Professional .. the more I start to wonder... what is my identity?

I was discussing this with my husband.  Who has supported my decision on being a stay at home mom from the get go.  He has always said ... You are doing the most important job in the world... and I understand if you would rather work and I will support you in whatever you decide to do.  However, I know he knows that I see way more fulfillment and value in my job as a stay at home mom then I did as a working professional.  My children want me!  They want to see me at their school... so they can say... "There's my mom!" with pride.  They want to know that I made them their sandwiches .. the way they like... no crust... just the right amount of butter and honey for their lunches.  They want me to smooch on their head when they bump it under the table used to make a massive fort.  The little details that make up the total value of my job!

The pendulum is swinging in the other direction.  Women are finding value in being a stay at home mom.  They choose to be home and they choose to be on the PTO versus The Six Sigma Design Project Team.

We as women need to support one another and reemphasize the importance of our roles in our children's lives.  Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mother, the value of our presence in our children's lives are equal.  NOT measurable!!!

We need to redefine our trade!!!  I will throw out a few ideas.

The Mommytrade
Eve's Army

There are some great sites out there that are supporting the new Mom's Movement.  

Photo Courtesy of Mom's Inc. Movement -Website Below

Whether you are having a moment of MomDentity... or your little ducklings are getting sucked into the vortex of school and you need to find something to do ... here are some suggestions to pacify your time..

VOLUNTEER at your local hospital or schools


Offer your help in the classrooms

Partner with another Mom and create a Mom to Mom Care Service for those Mommies that need daytime help - I would love to have an experienced mom come and sit with my kiddos for an hour while I get some grocery shopping done

Take some classes on organization or cooking during the day

Offer Your Services with Elderly Moms who need an additional hand with the dishes or getting Groceries.  

Pick up some hours at a local consignment shop or antique store


If you have a specialized degree... offer daytime services that will give you some extra cash for your COOKIE Jar.

All great ideas for those Mommies ... that don't want to plunge themselves back into the working world .. but need a focus for their everyday while their kiddos are in school.  

Remember, for those stay at home mommies that come from the Betty Freidan School of thinking (Like myself)... you have the rest of your life to work... our kids are little for a fleeting moment.. Pat yourself on the back and recognize your worth!!!

1 comment:

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