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No, I'm not you

July 20, 2007 | Category: In My Life

I got asked in the park yesterday how long I've been out of the corporate world.

I got asked because I brought it up.

A bunch of stay-at-home moms hanging in the park as our kids play, but I had to bring it up.

I had to say "This - over here - judge me by THIS."

Because I feel so damn incompetent otherwise.

Don't look in my house. It's not me. Don't look at my kid's room. Don't eat the food I make, I can't cook without this kitchen, really. Don't hunt my nails for polish or seek pink streaks in my hair - faded away, gone. Don't....

IT'S NOT ME!!!!!!!

The person I am inside, besides being much thinner and taller, lives in a simple, tidy home with pictures on the wall and tea ready to brew in the kitchen. The person I am inside? Is wearing a CLEAN BRA.

I brought it up, because there is nothing right now of me that feels like is is really ME. No yardstick I can point to and say - THIS, judge me by THIS.

I was so very good at my job. Quantified, with a simple to understand title.

I am a woman trying to seek a way to affirm myself and my choices in a life that is rolling too fast to breathe.

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Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life
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Your son is happy, who cares about what's on your walls?

Posted by: Beth on July 22, 2007 06:29 PM

This entry really struck a chord in me. I have been feeling the exact same way lately. My husband is up for this really great promotion, and I have been wondering when is it my turn? As a SAHM we rarely get told how valuable the work we do is, and we rarely are told what a great job we're doing. Oh, no. Instead of that, we have dirty diapers to change, food to prepare and tantrums to get through. I really wish that I could be THAT mom who can say every day how glad I am that I am home, but I can't. I do, however, know how important it is for me to be with my boys. How they are only young once, and even though they don't say it, they are glad that I am home with them. The most important jobs out there are often the hardest ones, and being a mom is certainly hard! But like the woman above said, when you or someone in your family is facing a life-threatening illness, you learn what's truly important. My mom had breast cancer and because I was a SAHM at the time, my oldest and I got to spend more time with her, and that was a gift as are both of my children.

Posted by: formerteacher on July 21, 2007 07:13 PM

When I left the working world, I left a lot behind -- multimillion dollar accounts, national impact, and most of my identity.

But when I came home, I gained so much. I forged a new identity. My new identity - mom - has nothing to do with my house or my cooking (thank goodness). It has everything to do with raising my boys and letting them know every day that I love them, and just how much.

And now, three weeks after a diagnosis of a rare, aggressive cancer that may claim my life, do I miss the office? Not one bit. Leaving my job a year ago was the best decision I ever made. My boys need me. My boys love me. And I love them.

The office? Doesn't love me. Even the people barely miss me. They know of the diagnosis, but know what? THEY aren't calling. THEY aren't sending cards and letters of support. The moms down the street are. And they're cooking. And they're taking my kids for the morning. And they're keeping my spirits up.

And I wouldn't trade one minute with my kids for ten at my job.

Posted by: Whymommy on July 21, 2007 02:11 PM

I had over 80 people reporting to me last month, and today I just have one. She's a bossy little almost 3-year-old, but at least I can put her in the corner when she's being bad. I haven't looked back (much) because I don't miss how cruel the corporate world can be.

Don't dwell on the past, the only thing in your control now is the future. If you want another job like you had, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to get it again. You need to decide which path you are choosing, at least for today.

Posted by: UCM on July 21, 2007 01:37 PM

So as I sit on the precipice of turning 50...(yes, in my heart I am still 25) I have come to realize that you dont need to be measured by what you do or how much money you make.
Remember that you are what is in your heart, mind and soul!!!!
And by transferring your beliefs, knowledge and love to those aroung you...that is what you should be measured by.
That should be the yardstick you should go by.
And that yardstick is mighty long...as one who knows and loves you...I can honestly state that!!!

Posted by: amy on July 20, 2007 11:59 AM

I just had lunch with my 2 daughters, ages 22 and 25. The older one described in amazingly specific detail a birthday cake I made when she was probably about 8. She spoke of it so lovingly. I had forgotten completely about it. I was amazed that it STILL means so much to her. When they say you're making memories, they aren't kidding!
In my mind, the yardstick is - is Bear thriving? That's it. Everything else fades away. Try to remember that.

Posted by: Amy on July 20, 2007 11:40 AM

You are not alone in your struggle to define yourself as a stay-at-home mom. I see many corporate moms come home to feel so very lost.

Take pride in who you are, what you believe, what you know, who you love and be passionate about it.

Invest in things that bring you happiness -- and own them. For when you do, they will make you glow inside with pride.

Posted by: Eyes for Lies on July 20, 2007 11:35 AM

When an ex of mine recently got in contact with me he kept remarking on how I was wasting my life away raising kids. How his own mother didn't become someone in his eyes until after she got a job. I tried to explain that having a job in the corporate world isn't how I measure a person. When I die, I am going to have 2 kids who remember how I would run through the sprinklers with them or make play-doh on rainy days. When he dies, he's going to be forgotten by people who move on very quickly because there's work to be done. He was angered by that - as he should've been. The truth sucks. He then accused me of trying to defend my stay at home mom status too much. I had to explain that it's because he thinks that I am no longer an equal human being in his eyes, that I am worth something.

And then I realized, I don't care what he thinks of me. What he thinks doesn't matter. What my kids think (and when they grow up they'll still look back and think I didn't do a great job, I'm sure) and what my husband thinks ... most important, what I think.

It's hard to affirm yourself and who you are when what you do often goes by unnoticed. I've tried to explain this to my husband when I feel as if I am unappreciated. He gets to bring home a paycheck and had a yearly review to tell him how he is doing at his job. I get screaming and dirty diapers - the words "thank you" rarely spoken. He tells me to go out and get another job and I explain that I need to be here. I need to be here with these kids while they are growing up because their lives move faster than the speed of sound.

Your title is Mom. What Mom really means and what her job duties are would take an entire book to write out. There isn't enough money or enough praise in the world to compensate Mom. When your kids look at you and say they love you or give you a hug or come to you to kiss their owies - that's the paycheck there.

I've been struggling with the same thing a lot lately. Every so often what I am doing and how it's going is good enough, but sometimes, it feels like I should be doing something more. That I am expected to be something more.

I guess what I'm saying is, I hear ya and I totally understand - especially the thinner part inside. ;)

Posted by: Michele on July 20, 2007 09:43 AM