Out of all of the changes I've experienced since becoming a mother, I think the biggest and arguably hardest one for me has been the change in my identity. Especially the way others now see me.
And so to the nice man at the post office, to my friendly co-worker, to my old friend from college... I know you are well-intentioned and so I say this with absolute kindness. But for the love of God, please stop calling me mom.
Unless I birthed you, you can call me Jenny.
See, when you greet me with "hey mama" or tell me it's acceptable to be late or say no to something "because I'm a mom" I feel like you are reducing me to this one part of my identity. Albeit a very big part, but not the only part.
You see, I am so much more than a mom. I am a woman, I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter and a friend. I am a student and a hard working employee and a devoted financial contributor to my family. I am a business owner, a team mate, a mentor. And up until four years ago, I spent 31 years developing into a person without the word mom in it.
And so when you call me mom, it feels like you discredit all that other stuff. That stuff that I have worked my tail off to accomplish, and the roles and relationships that I get so much pleasure out of.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful for my role as mom. But I don't need a reminder, in fact that role often feels all-consuming. Despite wearing many hats, my role as mom usually takes priority and it lies in the forefront of my brain during most of my waking hours. Did you know I can sit in a board meeting and actively talk about my department's five year strategy while simultaneously making a grocery list in my head?
Well that's not because I'm a mom. That's because I'm a savvy, smart, motivated person who likes to get shit done efficiently.
But if you slip up and call me mama, it's okay too.
Because to be perfectly honest, this role of mom is huge and heavy and wonderful and hard and I sometimes forget that I'm more than just a mom too.