Saturday, March 30, 2013

In which Mommy Loses an Adjective

If you've spent any time with online "motherhood" communities, you may have noticed that we love our adjectives. Forums, especially, are a great place to advertise how many adjectives we have. You may see a short response to someone else's topic (i.e. "me too!"), followed by what's known as a "signature." This signature includes things you want everyone to know about you. We love our signatures to be longer than our "me too" replies, so we make them something like this. Bonus points if there is a graphic "blinky" associated with each adjective:

I am a...


Cloth diapering, home-birthing, exclusively breast-feeding, organically clothed, local grass-fed beef eating, non-circing, non-vaxing, home-schooling, vegetable growing, stay-at-home mom.

This is just a sampling of the adjectives that seem to be popular around where I've read, and no, this is not my "signature." After all of the adjectives, it's hard not to compare ourselves as moms against the adjectives preceding it. Does this person think I'm inadequate for choosing differently from her in these areas? Am I still accepted if some of these adjectives apply to me, but not all? Or we take pride in these labels, saying to ourselves, that we are good moms because of them.

So, among the adjectives I could use to build my signature, it is time to admit that one of them will no longer apply. You can take "stay-at-home" off the list. I got a job, and am starting Monday. This has been a big decision, though not as difficult as I would have thought. I am lucky, because I am a nurse, and can work 3 nights a week and call it full time. We have a private sitter whom we know and trust to watch Hannah on the mornings after I work so that I can get some sleep. She is mostly weaned, and is sleeping all night long in her own room now, so she may not even miss me much while I'm at work.

Now, I think I've done an exemplary job of being a stay-at-home mom. I have kept my baby clothed and fed just fine, like here for example:

I do such a good job that she never has to beg for more:


Joking aside, we have taken a hard look at our goals for the future and decided that it will be best if I work and save my salary for a while, at the end of which time, hopefully, we will be ready to welcome home another one of Hannah's siblings (no! This is NOT an announcement!). I am looking forward to the professional development personally, and have started to get out my equipment and uniforms. Hannah has joined in the fun, playing doctor for the first time:

In all of this, I have had to take stock of my adjective comparisons. I used to be very adamant that I would *never* work outside the home with children in the house. Now, I can look at our situation with peace, because "stay at home" or not, I am a mom. I love that title most.

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