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More Than A Mom

I was tempted to title this post: More Than JUST A Mom but I know there is no JUST anything when it comes to being a Mom. Being a Mom is all consuming. Being a Mom is the most important job in the world. Nurturing and growing babies into adults. Being a mom is feeling someones pain as if it was your own. Being someones mom is loving and valuing their life, their well being and their safety, above your own.

And yet, society sees us as JUST a Mom.

People’s reactions to my changing jobs have both stunned and infuriated me in the past two weeks. Peoples reactions screamed….. JUST a mom! Yes, I am aware I am going to work for a company that distributes baby goods but the number one comment I received was: That’s FANTASTIC! It ties in exactly with who you are and your blog.

I’m also more than JUST A Mommy Blogger

What has astounded me is that these comments haven’t just come from men, they have come from women and mothers too. Women and mothers who know the struggle for identity, who know how hard it is to juggle all their roles and the fight to be seen as more than JUST a mom. The fight to maintain their identity. 

My career choice has very little to do with the fact that I am a Mom and Mommy Blogger. My career choice has everything to do with climbing the corporate ladder and furthering my career path. The fact that this includes baby goods is really kind of irrelevant. Except to say that for a few years of my life, as a new mother, I used these items. And yet somehow everyone thinks that this is the sole purpose of my identity.

So Who Am I?

At my core, I am still the same person I have always been. I am Sharon. An individual, with my own ideas and opinions. ONLY some of which relate to motherhood or being someones Mom. I am Mom. But I am also a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a cousin. I am a freelance writer for various publications. I am a content creator who loves playing in the digital space and very little of the content I create actually pertains to being a Mother (ironic given the theme of this post).  I am also a runner. A health enthusiast. A horse rider. A Pit Bull champion. A book reader. A wine consumer. I am passionate about Animal Rights and work a a volunteer for a charity of my choice. I am a makeup addict. I am a shopaholic and a chocoholic. I am a complex individual that can’t and won’t be pigeon holed. 

It’s not the same for fathers.

I can’t help wondering why it is that men don’t seem to lose their identity when they become fathers and yet, no matter how hard a woman fights for her identity, she will still be seen as JUST a mom when she becomes a mother. I look at my husband and very little of his identity is defined by the fact that he is a father and yet my entire identity seems to be defined by my motherhood and it was not ever how I wanted it to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a MOM

I just don’t want to be seen as JUST a mom. I actually blogged about this theme many times in early motherhood. I wanted to teach my daughters, who will grow up and potentially be JUST Mom’s themselves one day, that they didn’t need to lose their identity when they became mothers. That they could still be ALL the things they were pre motherhood. 

I actually thought I was doing a pretty good job of maintaining my identity as a woman and an individual until now. Realising that no matter how I see myself, society will still continue to see me as JUST a mom was a little astounding for me actually.  

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4 Comments

  • Reply Belinda Mountain

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this too lately, during my travels. At first I had guilt because people acted surprised that I was leaving my kids “so often”, but that’s because I’m not “just a mom”. I’m a wife who wants quality time with her husband (Bali trip!) as well as a sibling who wants to support her sister and new baby (my trip to England), or the director of a business who needs to travel to Joburg. I’m not abandoning them, I’m fulfilling the other roles in my life and they know that they are deeply loved. It’s interesting (annoying) how society is so quick to pigeon-hole women.

    July 27, 2017 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      The double standard is extremely annoying.

      July 28, 2017 at 7:01 am
  • Reply Natalie

    I lost my identity when I became a mother. Not necessary in the eyes of society but internally, I just forgot who I was. I just couldn’t remember who I was before motherhood, what I used to enjoy, how I used to unwind. I would sit down with a journal and try to re-discover my own identity beyond motherhood and nothing would come up. It really worried me. I was in a new country, I had no friends and couldn’t remember who I was.

    Only years later did a sense of being my own person return. I have a theory that in the early years of adjusting to motherhood, I didn’t have the bandwidth. I was so consumed by trying to get my head around my new role, I simply didn’t have the headspace for anything else.

    I wish I hadn’t spend so much time worrying about losing my identity and had just gone with it. I don’t regret a thing about those years and wouldn’t have wanted to spend them any other way that focusing on the family.

    For the external label of being Just a Mother, I completely agree with you. What non-sense! Women are power-houses and bring such a beautiful, diverse bouquet of skills and traits to the table that it is silly to limit them to their care-giving or mommying capabilities. I particularly hate when women are labeled “the office mum” or similar. Grow up, get your own shit together, you don’t need a mum in the office. This sort of thinking helps neither that woman nor her colleagues, it’s demeaning to all sides. As you said, we would never dream of bringing a man’s family up when taking about his career…

    July 27, 2017 at 11:14 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      Exactly this.
      My husband completed his masters degree in engineering after becoming a father, but that was never once brought up as a stumbling block for him.

      July 28, 2017 at 7:04 am

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