A while back, I was at a play date with several other local moms. Between gulps of coffee, breaking up squabbles and trips to the potty, one mom casually remarked something or other about her engineering degree from Columbia University. I looked at her in surprise. I only knew her as my mom friend who made awesome baked goods and was a fellow 'foodie'. I'd never had the occasion to ask her what her major was. This led to a discussion with the other moms about what they went to school for. I said we should write down our past jobs and education on slips of paper and guess who belonged to each one. Suddenly we saw a whole new dimension in each other as the professionals we used to be.
This led me to ponder how we, as mothers and women, have had to reinvent our identities, sometimes several times since having children. Certainly there are lots of men who are the primary caregivers after their children are born, but from what I see, the vast majority are still women. My friend with the engineering degree was, at that time, doing home parties for a line of cosmetics and personal care products. Another friend with a sociology degree was cleaning houses. A lot of moms I know stopped working completely and a couple started taking classes to change their career path altogether.
We need to rearrange our schedules to fit those of our children and others that we may care for. We need to revise our finances to accommodate child care and/or lack of income. Reinvent. Rearrange. Revise. In other words, there's a lot of 'doing over'. For some of us it means taking a step back or in a different direction while still moving forward with our families. What have you had to do in order to reinvent yourself? How did your priorities change? And how have you sustained yourself during the transitions?
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