I hate saying “I’m a mom.”

I also don’t like saying “My husband is in Law School.”

I feel that both descriptions give a stereotypical image to whoever is hearing them.

When someone says “I’m a mom/dad,” the childless will most likely picture lazy afternoons spent on the couch with children playing about your feet. Those with children will picture grocery store trips with cranky children, late nights soothing nightmares and OH THE ENDLESS MESSES YOU TOO MUST HAVE TO CLEAN UP. Rarely will either group picture you following your hobbies and dreams or being a friend, sister, brother or mother to whomever may need one.

Truth is I am a mom, but I also love to bake, I love to go out on evenings by myself and take pictures of stuff. I love to hang out in bookstores and look at photography books. I like to give myself pedicures. I thrive on bringing people who are hurting a meal or a treat of some sort. I love to play card games with my husband. I like to color in coloring books. I go to church every Sunday. I drive in a carpool. I use reusable shopping bags. I plan elaborate vacations in my head. I cry at old movies and sitting around a table with my friends is as close to perfect as life can get.

While it’s true that Cody spends an awful lot of time pouring over law books in a sterile law library, he also loves to golf. He knows football better than I know my own toes. He plays basketball with his friends every Tuesday night. He takes the moosh out on Daddy/Daughter dates to get ice cream. He writes me love notes on the bathroom mirror. He likes to go to electronics stores and stare at TV’s. He listens to books on tape. He can make the moosh giggle and laugh harder than anyone else in this world.

While many of us can claim some sort of title in this world, be it parent, executive, farmer, dancer, dentist or truck driver, it doesn’t mean that we are the same as every other parent, executive, farmer, dancer, dentist or truck driver.

Maybe motherhood came easy to you and you find yourself wondering “what the heck is her problem and why is she crying all the time?” towards a new mom. Just because two women can become moms doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same journey for both of them. It’s not our job as humans to judge or analyze. It’s our job to step in and take over whatever hurt, pain or responsibility that we can. Or to share in whatever small victories, joys or celebrations we can.

A stay at home dad in California, while sharing the same “title” as a stay at home dad in Texas are going to have lives and personalities worlds apart from each other. A working mom in Washington has many of the same struggles as a working mom in LA. While they each have their own unique struggles it doesn’t mean that one or the other is doing any better of a job, they are both doing the best they can.

Next time you see a frazzled parent who has just soothed a colicky baby, try not to offer your advice on what you did with your kids, or what your friend’s friend did (unless they ask.) During those moments of silence when the baby is asleep let them talk about what made them them before the baby came along, and how they hope to share their passions with their kids. Ask them what they like to do, what they are passionate about. (Not what they liked to do or were passionate about) What dreams do they have past 8 hours of sleep at night? As bad as new beginnings can suck, it will end.

As a new mom I was always so bothered that no one looked past the baby in my arms. No one asked how I was outside parenthood, despite the haze of new motherhood I still had passions and interests that didn’t involve Huggies or sleep schedules. Same goes for someone in school. Or in a new career. Or in the hospital with cancer. There is so much more that defines a person beyond parent, cancer patient, student or professional. Rarely ever is it what we see on the outside that makes a person phenomenal. Often it’s what they do when no one’s looking. What they choose to do with their free time instead of what they need to or are supposed to be doing with their time.

Let’s start paying attention to it.

Comments

  1. Incredibly well said( but I never expect any less from you.) A little understanding goes a long way !

    WMs last blog post..A little linky love is all you need

  2. Beautifully written, it’s like you snuck into my head stole my emotions and then wrote about much better than I could ever express because lets face it, I’m awkward and have a hard time dealing with emotions…

    Thanks!

    Loving Dangers last blog post..Domestic Bliss

  3. Bossy is already paying so much attention her eyes are popping out of their sockets.

    But: true, what you say.

    BOSSYs last blog post..Blog Kindergarten: A Bossy Tutorial. Facebook FaceCrack.

  4. Such (SUCH) a fantastic post.

    She Likes Purples last blog post..Faith

  5. A wise person once said, “There are two times when it is OK to give advice:

    1. When someone asks

    and

    2. When it is life-threatening.”

    Caseys last blog post..Drugs, Huh?

  6. man, you never cease to amaze me – you rock

    feeners last blog post..I am not sure I have written my experience

  7. Alisha in Ohio says:

    What a wonderful post! I’ll be honest and say that I never really thought about things that way but you have opened my eyes.

    PS Your hair looks fabulous!

  8. Preach it, sister!

    Amy C.s last blog post..I’m Two

  9. This is a really lovely, great post, and one of the things I worry most about having kids.

    Janssens last blog post..A Post about My Hair

  10. Very well said, my friend.

    (Wait, that’s a title too. Shoot.)

    Very well said, person who likes to look at photography books in stores.

    SciFi Dads last blog post..Equal

  11. I have run into a lot of people in public places of late with colicky or misbehaving kids. Honestly, I know I had it easy as a Mom. My kids are pretty easy compared to some of my sister’s and friends. (I am knocking on wood here that that statement doesn’t come back to bite me on the butt in their teenage years. ) Anyhoo, there were still times of embarrassment where the kids acted up and I remember being horrified. So now, when I see kids with tantrums, I don’t offer advice. I simply offer the most heart felt, hang in there smile I can. I got some of those that helped support me when I was going through the same thing, and they helped. Now the pointed ignoring eye contact–that I think is worse than getting eye rolls or looks of disgust.

  12. Everytime I read you, you say something profound!

    Well said.

  13. This is the exact reason why I get prickly about anyone referring to me as a mommy blogger. Technically, I am – but at least 50% of what I write has nothing to do with my children. Labels will always apply to everything and I just try to infer good intent into it all. But this is a great reminder that while a label is convenient – it shouldn’t be the end of the line. If you’re going to take the time to recognize someone for their label, take a few extra minutes to see what else they have going for themselves.

    Great thoughts – loved it!

  14. Oh, I so agree! I sometimes feel like Sybil because the person I am at work is completely different from the one I am at home.

    Mary Beths last blog post..9/11

  15. It would be nice to be recognized as something more than what is on the surface.

    gorillabunss last blog post..gloss and gleam

  16. As someone who isn’t a mom yet, I still loved this post. We’re all so much more than the obvious. And you pose the question the right way…what makes you “You” and how will you pass those passions to your kids?

    I like it and I’m hoping some day I’ll have an articulate answer.

    ToKissTheCooks last blog post..Home is where….

  17. THIS is why I read your blog. You can say what I’m thinking sometimes. I just don’t articulate it very well. Thanks.

    Kristins last blog post..Free time. Now what?

  18. Fantastic post. You are so right; thank you for reminding me of this.

    Lindss last blog post..NICIAW Post 5: Anxiety and Facing the World

  19. I am so right there with you. I have a million different ways I define myself, even if they aren’t as obvious on the outside.

    Love you.

    heather…s last blog post..Now Casting

  20. So, so true. We are all so many things. We can’t be defined by one thing because we are not robots.

    Kristabellas last blog post..You’ll Never Guess

  21. Well said, as always.

  22. Kami's Love says:

    Very well said!

  23. Casey, you are an incredible writer, photographer, blogger, personality, thinker, motivator, and friend. Oh yeah, you seem to be a pretty good mom and wife too.

    Thanks for this. Sincerely.

  24. I know what you mean. I remember when I sat down to right my “About Me” section when I first started my blog, I was practically allergic to the idea of just saying I was a mom, so I had this long list of all the roles I play in life, but even that didn’t suit me well. I have since changed it, but I just hate labels like that.

    p.s. I thought the title of your post was “Titties and Truths” when I first saw it. lol

    Jills last blog post..These are a few of my favorite things

  25. I agree. It’s so important to know who we are; there are so very many things that define us, it’s a disservice to say it is just one thing. I may be a mom, but I am so much more (and my kids would thank me for it if they only knew).

    You are awesome.

    Pgoodnesss last blog post..Then & Now

  26. beautiful post…and so true, thank you!

  27. Stopped by to see a friend of mine with terminal cancer today. Spent over three hours talking and only 5 minutes on his problems with cancer. It seemed appropriate.

  28. Very well said and I agree with you. We shouldn’t be defined merely by our roles in life but more what we choose to do with our lives.

    Rachels last blog post..Go Away Murphy!!

  29. I hated saying my husband is in law school. One time some guy responded with “well I guess we know why you married him.” Then I punched him in the face (not really but I shoulda!).

    It’s hard to deal with people’s assumptions when they really don’t fit you at all.

    Sarahs last blog post..The Market

  30. This is amazing, You’re amazing! Thanks for the reminder. It was definately something I needed today… I also lost your positive thinking challenge today. But you’re right. There is so much more to each of us than what our title is.

    Erikas last blog post..My Mom

  31. I have to second Bossy above – I was so impressed the first time I met her, that she was so curious about where people’s passions lie. It’s a sign of a truly good listener, and it makes people feel incredibly welcome in her company.

    As for you, Casey – very well put. I love when people look past the mommy in me, and it’s a great reminder to look for the person behind the title in everyone.

  32. Amen, sista!!

  33. You make me smile.
    That is all.
    :)

  34. WORD.

    To your mother.

    Mr Ladys last blog post..You Know It’s Bad When I Start In With the Bullet Point Posts

  35. What a wonderful post! We should judge people by the perceived “titles” that belong to them. Well said:-)

    Kristens last blog post..Pregnancy was the best diet ever.

  36. Thanks Casey – for clearing my head.

    Kates last blog post..Calling all cars – just hang up!

  37. Amazing post! So true.

    Rachaels last blog post..The Pregnancy Issue

  38. well said.

    Domestic Extraordinaires last blog post..French Lick sounds kinda dirty

  39. Yet again you have amazed me with your words. Bravo!

    Amandas last blog post..daniel’s birthday cake

  40. I wouldn’t have been able to answer those questions in the first few months of having my baby. I lost myself so completely in PPD that I literally didn’t have any other interests or dreams anymore, other than survival, and the hope of it getting easier to do so.

    Luckily, I’ve found treatment and some moms like you, who know that we’re all more than the baby on our hip. And we have to be, to be good at what we do.

    Thanks for your insight. I’m sure it will help some new moms out there who are struggling.

    Feather Nesters last blog post..September 11th

  41. Such wise words. Such sadness hidden in them.

    Rheas last blog post..Sunday Somethings

  42. You have so beautifully made your point here. I get so into the roll of cancer mom that I think people forget I was ever anything else.

    You remind me to dig down for the person I was before that. I liked her, she’s still in there.

    Anissa@Hope4Peytons last blog post..One day, a thousand feelings

  43. SO. VERY. TRUE.

    Tonyas last blog post..NATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS DAY

  44. What a great reminder Casey – thanks!

    Don Mills Divas last blog post..A tale of two dresses

  45. Way to make me feel guilty for spending my free time getting drunk on decent wine and forgetting to change the channel when “Becker” comes on.

    Yes. I was watching WGN. But only because I like “Corner Gas” and it’s a Canadian show that for some reason WGN (Chicago) broadcasts nationally. I wouldn’t otherwise be watching WGN.

    I would otherwise be drinking decent wine. I like wine.

    I’m a stay-at-home-dad in California who drinks decent wine and watches decent Canadian comedies on mediocre television stations out of Chicago.

    I also like to go to the movies by myself.

    Backpacking Dads last blog post..Road Trip

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