Personally, I hate that term. I am Just a Mom. To me it takes away the total value of a woman.
I was watching a talk show the other day and on it was an actor discussing the birth of his child. Thinking they had all the time in the world as it was their first child, the baby crowned and came as he was on the phone to the midwife. His elegant and entertaining description of catching his child as his wife crouched to have him was so entertaining that I stopped what I was doing to watch and to laugh out loud. He was so animated and so passionate about it that I could not help but be drawn in.
Many weeks later I still remember almost every detail of the story. It still makes me smile and I can picture the event as if I were there as well. In my thoughts I have wondered if I could ever be a storyteller like that. Could I take an event in my life that seems so general and probably happens to millions of people a year and make it so interesting and entertaining that people would think it only my story? In my, seemingly, boring and basic life, it seems hard to do. But I bet, if I could tell my story as if it were being published, I could.
One of my greatest hold backs to telling a story, to making as important and interesting as I think it could be is that I discount a lot of my experiences as being part of being ‘Just a Mom‘. I hear it from women around me too. Oh, I am just a mom, no one cares about that… except maybe another mom. Then a nervous, I wish someone else did care, laugh escapes, wafting through the air with a yearning to be heard.
Personally, I hate that term. I am Just a Mom. To me it takes away the total value of a woman. We are mothers and that job is the most important one. We are, after all, raising our future generations. So I get it. But I feel that when we corner ourselves into just that aspect of our lives we have a way of losing everything else that is amazing about us.
I did it a lot when I was married. My ex-husband was the one who worked, made the decisions that affected the family most. I was able to add my input, mainly because I had bought houses and cars before and he had not. But any major decisions came down to his wants because he was paying for me to stay home. At least, that is how it was explained to me.
In those years, I lost so much of who I was. I was… just a mom. I was having kids or breastfeeding, cleaning up after them, changing diapers, bathing them, feeding them, teaching them, watching endless hours of mindless television that is only on the air because it has pretty colors. I didn’t do a lot with friends outside of play dates and even lost all of the ones I had before I had kids. Especially those who were not married with children.
It was… lonely.
It was not until the divorce when I realized I had lost so much of who I was. That entrepreneur, passionate for travel, love to read, football fanatic, pet loving, trying new recipes woman who got lost along the way.
I had let myself become “Just a Mom‘.
Now that I have spent the years since the divorce rebuilding and reminding myself of ALL of the amazing things about me, I tell my stories with more energy, more passion and with more importance. Are they all good? No. Am I always in front of the proper audience? No. Does everyone I know want to hear them? No way. But I tell them. The ones about my bad dates. The ones about my kids. The ones about my dogs. The ones about my work. The ones about my life. How I feel. Who I am. What I like and what I don’t.
So when I hear woman say they are ‘just a mom’ I try to remind them that they are so much more than that. They are more than the laundry monitor, the family chef, the boo boo fixer and the problem solver of little ones. They are women with lives that are rich and wonderful. Women with hopes and dreams. Women with the power to engage and entertain anyone with their stories. Their experiences. Their opinions.
So if you have ever muttered the sentence, I went to college for this?, or held your tongue at a dinner because surely no one wants to hear about what your kid did at 2am, or have used taking care of the kids as an excuse to avoid mingling at a get-together because you are not sure your life is as interesting as everyone else’s, let’s take “Just a Mom‘ out of your vocabulary.
Tell the story of your life events with as much energy and pride as you want to. Tell it loud and tell it with your own personality. It may just be a story about childbirth but it is your story. And it matters.
Plus, let’s be honest, the stories our moms tell are the ones that follow us our whole lives anyway. So make them great. Because someone is listening.