With the new year I find myself going through a perceptive shift on how I define myself. Ever since the birth of my son I have proudly worn the badge of a mom. When my maternity leave ended I upgraded myself to Supermom (I think once you wear spit-up on your shoulder and oatmeal in your hair to work you earn the title). I later declared myself SUPERMOM with the birth of my daughter. I go so far as to say that when I define and describe myself to others, “working mom” are the first words I say and some days it’s hard to think past that. I am also the first to admit that I could not do what I do without the help of my husband. We have successfully balanced being full-time employees with being full-time parents to two great kids. My hubby is my dream husband in that he embodies the new (and long-time coming) trend of being a hands-on dad versus being the “career man”. I couldn’t have asked for more.
For 2014 we’ve been given the news that my husband’s job is being eliminated later this winter (total bummer in the fact that it wasn’t our choice). My hubby has made the courageous choice to become a SAHD (stay-at-home dad) and I couldn’t be prouder of him. This gives him the opportunity to pursue his own dream job of photography while taking care of our home and children. Losing a job is a blow to the ego for any person, (perhaps sometimes felt more by men if you subscribe to gender stereotypes). And it has not been easy to work through this change, especially when the transition out of the job is more than a 6 month process. Surprisingly it’s also been a blow to my ego- I liked my badge of SUPERMOM, worn with pride for 6 years now. My badge meant that I could organize and run a household of four people and a team at work and never miss a beat. I am a self-declared pro at scheduling calendars, aligning activities, pre-packing bags, balancing work and family and never missing a meeting, deadline or soccer game. My badge meant I was a provider, nurturer, lover, manager, co-worker, lunch-packer, head chef, laundress, event planner, household VP and I was SUPER!
I find I need to shift my perspective because I don’t have to be SUPERMOM anymore. In some ways this change is very freeing-it will be easier when I need to travel for business, I don’t need to mentally create the dinner menu in my head every night on my drive home, laundry and dishes will be done more often and when I take a vacation day it will truly be a vacation day, not a last-minute need because of a sick child or daycare being closed. It also means I may not go to every doctor appointment, be the first parent to hear that day’s stories from school and I won’t be the parent the kids see in the morning before going to school.
So here’s to 2014, the year of embracing shifting roles and perspectives!! Luckily not everything is changing, as my hubby already does more laundry and dishes than me (thank you!!). But now he may have more time in the summer to wash cars and clean the garage in between swim lessons, play dates, bike rides and snapping those great pictures of our kids. I have the freedom to concentrate more on my job while at work with less “mommy-guilt”. While I may not be SUPERMOM, I will continue to be a super mom. And most importantly, my children will be fortunate to be able to see that their dad was a strong enough man to put his children and his personal dream before his ego’s need to be a stereo-typical “career man”.