It seems like eons ago, but once upon a time, I had an identity all my own. One that didn’t come with a toddler clinging to my leg or a baby on my hip.
I find it so interesting to hear about the education and jobs that women had before becoming stay-at-home or work-from-home moms. Most of the time, we are the ones to take the hit when it comes to setting aside a career track to raise a family. It’s not true in every case, of course, but many times it is. And while changing priorities to raise a family a great thing, it also can mean that part of us is lost, or even just hidden for a time.
One woman I knew years ago was the picture of a graceful homemaker. She baked, she cleaned, she mentored and she was always there to help the older women out with driving, cooking, shopping or anything else. Oh yes, and she cared for her own 5 children too. Her husband often worked late hours, so she was on her own for the most part. She did it all with grace and like this was what she had planned her life around.
One day though, her husband let me in on a little known fact about her. She had worked in marketing before having children, and she knew her stuff. I had been doing some event planning and knew absolutely nothing about promoting or advertising. He suggested that I ask her for some advice. I did, and I continue to follow her advice with any event or advertising I do now. I would never have had her as a resource in that area if her husband hadn’t filled me in.
Before I became a mom, I went to school for Archaeology, and then got a second degree in teaching. I learned so much, but to look at me, you would never know that I spent 6 weeks in a tent on a dig site along with 15 guys (in their own tents!), or that I’ve studied 5 languages or that I prefer touching freshly found ancient bone to my tongue rather than my wet finger because it’s quicker (and then I don’t have to lick my finger, because who knows what’s on it?).
I’ve also worked several jobs that taught me even more. I’ve been a photographer, I’ve flipped burgers, I’ve cleaned rooms. I’ve never really been a career-oriented person, but I’ve always found something to do.
I think it’s important for our kids to see those other sides of us too, and not just the “mom” side all of the time.
So what’s your alter ego?
What is it that you spend your time doing
(or are hoping to one day spend your time doing) other than parenting?