July 20, 2005

I'm a Mom

It’s funny, but I was just at work today thinking, “What am I?” I am working part time now and my hours are going to ramp up temporarily as we have some deadlines to meet. I will be working evenings in August after my husband gets home or on weekends until we push past this hurdle. I’m OK with that. I like my job and the cash is good for hurricane season.

So as I was sitting there at my desk, temporarily lost in thought today, I was staring at my schematics, my data, my computer, my photos of the end product thinking, “I’m not really what I say I am anymore. I tell people I'm a stay at home Mom. What am I? ”

When people asked me what I did after the birth of my first son, I’d say, “I’m a Mom and part time engineer in the aerospace industry”. I said that for four years following. Then our plant closed, I had three kids under the age of 4, and I found myself staying home full time… thankfully. People would say, “What do you do?” and considering how society views stay at home Moms (not so good… it is not a truly valued profession in our materialistic society) I would say half heartedly, “I’m a Mom.”

That lasted… about 6 months. After about 6 months, I had no issues with it. None at all. I became proud of it. And for the last couple years, people would ask me and I’d say whole heartedly, “I’m a Mom. I have three boys!”

I’ve worked full time for pay. I’ve worked full time as a Mom. I know what the hardest job is. Full time at home as a Mom. (Actually, the hardest job is single parent with full time job, but I'm not including that as I have not lived that life.) If you do it right, the full time Mom job is hard. Damn hard. And very rarely do you get any kudos. Your kids never say, “Thanks for the great meal, Mom!” Your spouse never says, “Wow! Look at these great clean floors!”

The payback is in other ways… people stopping you in restaurants telling you that your children were the most well behaved children they have had the pleasure of dining next to.

Or in someone you met briefly telling you they think you must be a good Mom because your kids seemed so well behaved.

Or… more importantly, when your kids snuggle up to you on the couch and tell you they love you.

Or… you’re having a bad day in every way, you feel fat, gross, haven’t had time to shower, and it’s a definite ‘no make up day’ and one of your kids bends your neck down and whispers in your ear, “I think you’re so pretty and I love you”.

In a child’s eyes… there are no expectations except to be loved. In my boys eyes… I am always beautiful. In their eyes I am smart and witty. I am their world. I know that will change.

So as I sat there today and thought, “What am I?” I realized, that even though I am working a few days a week back in my chosen field, a paying job that does make me mentally happy, if someone came up to me today and said, “What do you do?” I’d still say, “I’m a Mom! I have three boys!”… and… I’d probably not mention my paying job.

It seems irrelevant to me in the big scheme.

Posted by Boudicca at July 20, 2005 11:00 PM | TrackBack

Uh, dang! The more you tell stories like this, the more likely I think it is I'll have kids one day.

Shush, don't tell my mom!

Posted by: Sissy at July 20, 2005 11:21 PM

Love this post!

Posted by: vw bug at July 21, 2005 07:31 AM

When hubby and I are out and end up sitting next to kids the first thing we think is "ugh". But every once in a while we are surprised and have no problems with the kids.

I don't know why but we always get stuck next to the climb over the seats, screaming, have to touch the people next to me kids every.single.time.

We don't don't get that we always mention to the parents what wonderful kids they have and it was a pleasure to sit next to them.

I don't know if the parents appreciate it or not, but it makes us feel better.

Posted by: Machelle at July 21, 2005 08:59 AM

You're like most women with children: an intelligent, multifaceted person with the apellation "mom" covering only a single part of a diverse personality.

But "mom" ends up dominating for a long time... even after they leave home.

Don't lose the other parts.

Posted by: Jack at July 21, 2005 12:31 PM

I've lived the worst case scenario, and it sucks. Thank you for mentioning it.

I run into ex-colleagues all the time who ask me where I am teaching now, and why aren't I. I just give it to them straight: "My family need me to be sane and available, much more than they need the extra income."

Posted by: Sally at July 21, 2005 04:33 PM

ok ok...first, when will someone compliment the childrens behavior? About what age?

second....when will they say I am pretty, when I am looking ultra funky?

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at July 21, 2005 05:02 PM

Amen! It amazes me how difficult staying home with one child is... do I dare think of adding to it? Great post!

Posted by: Jody Halsted at July 21, 2005 05:51 PM

Great post, Bou!

I'm with you on the I'm a Mom thing... I work part-time for pay, but that's just because we need the health benefits & my meager income... I enjoy my work, but I am a Mom.

Posted by: Marie at July 21, 2005 06:06 PM

I think you're so pretty and I love you.

Now tell people you're a blogger :-)

Posted by: Harvey at July 21, 2005 10:25 PM