Saturday, 28 March 2009

Label Of Choice

Who am I again? Why am I here? What is my purpose?

These are all simple yet valid questions that have been vying for space in my brain alongside the more mundane ones, such as where did I leave my keys, why has Small Child gone so quiet and what the hell can I get for dinner tonight?

I’m beginning to realize that the very reason these questions are seeping into the old grey matter is purely down to the fact that I have recently changed labels. Knowing me as you do you could be forgiven for thinking that I was referring to an upgrade from M&S to Moschino or French Connection to Fendi. Alas no…. it’s more about the change from being a part time working mum to one who stays at home.

There’s a funny thing that happens to me when people ask me the seemingly innocuous question of “So…what are you up to these days?” It’s never asked in a way that implies I am a less worthy being than the person doing the asking, but one that nevertheless, has the ability to get me searching for a justification.

I’ve come to realize that we live in a world where there seems to be an overwhelming need to label ourselves: working mother, single, stay at home mum, yummy mummy, married, divorced, redundant, shopaholic etc. With the exception of one, at some stage I’ve been (and in some cases, am still being), all of the above and some of them more than once! The thing is, our lives and circumstances change, sometimes at an alarming rate and just when you think you’re getting comfortable in your label of choice, it all turns on it’s head again.

The way that I am getting through this current identity crisis is to think of my life as a series of hats. Trust me, this is a rare occasion for me as my head is unfortunately just shy of the one size fits all mantra, meaning I never get to do hats!

I am wondering if I can make a success of being a stay at home mum or if at some stage, I will have to admit “earth mummy” failure and find some part time work. I know the underlying cause of this is my ingrained work ethic alongside the selfish need for daily adult interaction, but I also appreciate how lucky I am to be able to give the SAH Mum thing a go, so for now, that’s where you’ll find me. Doing my bit for motherhood, keeping the house in the best order it’s been in since Small Child came into the world, trying not to talk to myself too much, pondering the possible ways of ever make a living out of writing and aiming to try and give the smarter items in my wardrobe as many airings as possible.

Yeah…. that over dressed woman in heels, coffee in hand, pushing the trolley round the supermarket is me. If you didn’t know her you might look and think “Silly Moo… look at her… who does she think she is?!”

The truth is, she’s still trying to figure it out so be nice, don't judge and just smile back if she grins inanely at you.... she's not asking you to feel sorry for her, you just might be the first adult contact she's had all day!


rosiescribble said...

I have many identity crises in my time. At the moment I'm mostly a SAHM although I work very part-time and my daughter is in full-time school, so I feel I should be in full-time work, but there is no work available that would be suitable. Thn I realised I'm worrying too much about what other people think of me and wanting them to know I work hard whatever I'm doing and using my time wisely. But it doesn't matter what other people think. I know I'm doing a good job here at home and I know many people who would love to be in the same position. Enjoy your new label!!

that girl? said...

Rosie - thanks hon! You're so right - I think it is often about perception, which at my age I really should not give a fig about! So long as I make the most of my time, I think that's what counts! It just takes time to get used to after being a worker bee for all my life!

Yummy Mummy said...

Right on! I couldn't agree with this post more. I'd prefer to keep the labels on my clothes only! As former professional I am so tired of the judgment that is passed from my former collegues. I love my life and don't need to justify it to anyone!

Can I keep my yummy mummy label tho? My blog wouldn't make much sense without it. haha.

great post!


thejulesspot said...

I went through so many struggles with staying at home my first few years! You wouldn't believe what I did! I took a course in Interior Design, started up a small internet business, volunteered for everything under the sun and tried to make gourmet meals every night! I felt like I needed to validate myself.
I can understand how you must feel but please try to enjoy being in the moment. It goes by so fast...
You're fabulous just being who you are (even if the new label takes some getting used to!);).

lunarossa said...

Don't worry about labels. Who needs them anyway?!!! Whilst your little girls grows you will get busier and busier every day and you won't have time to ask yourself who you are. Just enjoy every minute and relax. Ciao. A.

that girl? said...

YM - You'll always be the YM - wear that label with pride! x
Jules - Thanks! You hit the nail on the head about needing to feel validated. I don't know why as I do a darn good job in this house and I should take more pride in it!
Antonella - As always you sum it all up beautifully.. I am just going to relax into being me!