Do you know who you are when you're not working?
Angela Chee: I recently ran into my OB/GYN at the park on her day off with her 14-month-old. She was just like any other mom at the park, chasing her toddler around, hair in a ponytail. She was just being Mom, but tomorrow she will be Doctor again. Does anyone know she's a doctor? Does it matter?
I guess it matters to me sometimes. I am a TV host/voiceover artist. Like some moms, after I had the baby, I work part-time now. Some days I'm on, work-focused, with full makeup and hair done, in the zone, and other days I'm being mom with my ponytail, casual clothes, toddler on one arm, and diaper bag on the other. I sometimes think, "Do you know who I am?" I'm not just a mom, not that being a mom is not enough. I actually do other things besides chasing my toddler around, trying to figure out what he is going to eat, and when he should nap, etc. While I wouldn't trade it for the world, I do like the feeling of starting the day off with a shower, all dressed up and ready, and being in work mode. Work used to be my identity, and when I'm not working, what am I?
Since I work part-time, I think I get the best of both worlds, but it is hard to juggle sometimes. When do you turn one mode on and the other off, or are they just both on auto pilot? For my friends who work full-time, I know it's even harder to juggle it all, but even if you don't work anymore, it's still hard sometimes to juggle our identities.
It made me think about how we as moms change roles all the time, whether we are working or not. There's mom me, work me, wife me, friend me, whatever. Some days I feel like superwoman, able to fulfill all roles, and other days I am overwhelmed, missing one or the other.
Some days I love being in mom mode, meeting up with a playgroup, having half conversations as we watch over our active kids, sharing anecdotes -- some days I'm bored, others I'm exhausted.
I remember one day as I was leaving for work, I saw a group of moms by the park with their kids gathering for stroller strides. I was all dressed up, radio pumping, focused on my work day ahead. I was thinking that looks boring, but how could I think that? I was just one of those moms a few days ago.
Now with another baby on the way, I struggle with the question, "Will 'Mom' me completely take over 'Work' me?" Hopefully not, at least not forever.
So when I think of my OB/GYN, I guess it doesn't matter that people know she's a doctor at the playground, because she is both a mom and a doctor. It reminds me that even though I may look frumpy today and have stains on my shirt, I'm still me -- today I am "Mom" me, and that's fine. So I'm embracing all my roles, even if I'm the only one who knows what they are.
|Angela Chee is a television host, voice-over artist and creator of TheZenMom.com as a resource for other moms because motherhood isn't always so zen. She is a first time mom.|