By: Lauren Fuhrer
Should motherhood define you as a person? YES. But it’s not all of you. Is it most likely the largest defining thing that’s happened in your life? ABSOLUTELY! So, if someone asked you the question, “Tell me about yourself,” how would you answer?
If the setting is a PTA meeting or a “new mums club” does it sound something like this, “I’m originally from (enter location). I’m a mom of (enter number here) and I’m (enter relationship status).”
If you’re asked the question during an interview for a job, does it usually sound something like this, “I have (enter number of experience) at this (title). My previous employment was with (name of company).” And as soon as that employer asks if you have any kids (P.S. they aren’t allowed to ask this) you cringe. Then, you feel guilty for trying to “hide” the thing that you love more than anything and you feel uncomfortable with the whole situation you’ve found yourself in.
These answers may be contributing pieces of our life puzzle, but are they truly the description of who we are?
So, who are you? Are you a mum? Yes… but that doesn’t really tell me anything about you, other than you probably are lacking sleep.
How do you describe yourself once you become a mum? Funny to think about, right? You probably didn’t realize the specific moment you started telling people your “STATS,” as I call them, and stopped telling them your unique adjectives.
Almost like a broken record, I hear myself say, “I’m… 32 and I have a 10-month-old. I’m married, I work, and am originally from Ohio.” Don’t you feel you know everything about me now?!? NOPE! Not even close.
I realized the other day how little people truly know about me. From now on, when people ask me about myself, I’m going to start using adjectives again, except... I realised, I have used them so little in the past, that I don’t even know what adjectives describe me anymore...
To give it a try, I’m…
Outgoing.... I can usually make new friends easily and love trying new things... but, then, when was the last time I had a night out?
Athletic… I love volleyball and was a college athlete. But that was 10 years ago and now I don’t have time to work out, so could I really call myself athletic anymore?
Musically inclined… I played the piano and even taught it... but who has time for that anymore between work and the baby?
It’s easy to question every adjective you’ve ever used to describe yourself before becoming a mum because you’re out of practice. It’s easy to lose your self-esteem, your self-image, and just consider yourself whatever status you’ve become. Trust me, I’ve been there: “I’m… 32 and I have a 10-month-old. I’m married, I work, and am originally from Ohio.” It’s like we’ve filled out too many doctor forms or something?!?!
But, my message for you and I is that we’re so much more! I challenge you to start working on your adjectives.
How did you describe yourself and how do you now describe yourself? It’s not a bad thing if it has changed, but don’t lose sight of the fact you are more than your “stats”. I bet you’re courageous, creative, an amazing cook or you love art and music. Maybe you’re a singer, a wine enthusiast, a dancer, you’re funny, smart, love hiking or bike riding.
Me… I love dogs. I love my job and teaching younger people how to do things. I am empathetic (something I would never have thought I could describe myself as before becoming a mom). I’m sarcastic and funny. I sing way too loud when I’m in the car. I work my arse off at everything I do. I can’t sit still and love a challenge. I miss my husband who’s deployed and I love my son. I want to paddle board more and worry less whether I’m doing the right thing.
I want mums to know that they are amazing women and that although you are an amazing mum and wear the title well, you still deserve to be considered your own person. You deserve so many adjectives and less focus on the stats, because those stats are only part of the complete package of YOU.
What are your 5 adjectives?