Everyone’s a Critic, But I’m a Mom.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom. For just as long, though, I’ve known that I wanted to work in a creative field. I wanted to be an Artist with a capital A.

As early as elementary school, we were pressured to know what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. And when people ask what you “do,” they mean for a career — not personal interests or hobbies. I felt like I should live and breath art. It was my identity. But being a mom? That was somewhere in the background.

After the Bubble of School

I worked a lot of customer service jobs after college. I often envied my mom co-workers.  Our mom clients would ask for them by name. They were 90% there to vent about motherhood, 10% to drop-off or pick-up work.  

“Should I have a kid just so someone will want to work with me?,” I would sarcastically think to myself. Then I would continue to surround myself with my child-free friends. All of my free time was filled with making art and seeking validation from other artists.  

Be Careful What You Wish For

Being treated differently, as a mom starts at pregnancy. I took my last university job with daydreams of having deep academic discussions with my peers. While we had some fun conversations within the department, we were mostly hidden away from the faculty and graduate students. Three years later, I was eight months pregnant, and finally getting attention. But the attention was on my belly – not my brain.  

Someone important was visiting our department, and job title introductions were going around. I was eagerly awaiting being introduced as my new, important title.  

“This is Katie. She’s due in June!!”

My heart dropped to the floor. I have been reduced to a “mom”.

Why am I so Embarrassed by the “M” Word?

It’s been over a year, and I still haven’t listed “stay-at-home mom” as my profession on Facebook. It’s true, other than a few freelance jobs a year, that’s what I am. What could possibly be more important than raising a decent little human? I just can’t shake this idea that it’s not my whole identity.  

And aside from {too real} privacy concerns, it took me a little while to warm up to sharing my daughter’s photos on social media. There was that little voice inside saying, “Find something important to Instagram.”  Like what – my très cultured dinner!? After awhile, I realized that I was being ridiculous. I spend every day with my child – why wouldn’t she be my main subject matter?  

Haters Gonna Hate

Yeah, I’ve noticed a handful of friends fall by the wayside {on social media, or otherwise} since I became a mom. It stings when you see someone still “liking” the artsy posts of your mutual friends – but never ones of your baby. But, I’ve had some surprisingly great interactions with my child-free friends as well. I have “Auntie” friends that I’ve known would stick around through thick and thin.  And I’ve even gotten messages from artists I look up to saying that my daughter’s smile puts them in a better mood.   

Now that I know who my unconditional friends are, I can spend less energy trying to impress the others. I’m finding the right balance. I’m proud that I’m a Mom (with a capital M), and also making time for my other passions again.

Did you experience an identity crisis after having a baby?

, , , , ,

Comments are closed.