My motherhood, my self


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about motherhood and identity, and can’t help but wonder if I’ve been trying too hard to hold on to Kelly, the woman.

So the other night I was relaxing, watching an old episode of Sex and the City with a glass of wine, getting delightfully lost in the ultra-glam fictional world of four beautiful professional women living it up in New York City

In this episode, the main character, Carrie Bradshaw, realized her period was late and pondered the idea of pregnancy and what it would mean for her to become a parent.

I was struck by a particularly funny piece of dialogue from one scene:

Carrie: “You don’t have to lose yourself to have a kid. I know plenty of cool, hip mothers who live in the City and who still have great careers and stuff.”

Samantha and Miranda: (at the same time) “Who?”

I spoke to a woman with
a master’s in finance.
All she wanted to talk
about was her Diaper Genie.
– Sex and the City, “The Baby Shower”

Exactly. For ages, women have been fighting to strike a balance between their role as a dutiful, responsible mom and retaining their identity as a person, and their passions, interests, quirks, thoughts, opinions, and beliefs that make them who they are.

We’ve made many steps forward. Because it’s so often vital, the working mom has come to be largely accepted (not always accommodated, and there’s still work to be done in many ways) in our society.

But I know at least for me, the ability to hold on to my identity as an interesting, independent woman and to have people see me for who I am, not just a mom of three or a working mom, has weighed on me heavily over the years. It’s something I constantly work to cultivate, and sometimes I wonder if I’m trying too hard.

If you look at my social media accounts, you’ll see a wide mix of content. Yes, I post about my kids, yes, I post about topics related to my profession, but there are also many posts about music, fashion and TV that I like. Some of them can come off as though written by a teen Oh yeah, and I use emoji – a LOT.

I still like to go out with friends for drinks – even sometimes hit the clubs. The other night, acting on impulse, I decided to go out for drinks and dancing, even though I had to work at 6 a.m. the next day. Boy, did I feel my age the next morning.

BUT I also had a great time blowing off steam and for a few hours, felt like a vibrant, free, sexy 35-year-old woman who happens to be a mom (and a hardworking, super-responsible one, 95 per cent of the time. And that is pretty cool. More than cool, it’s perfectly fine.

And at the end of that memorable episode, Carrie sits at a park bench, watching children play, a voiceover articulating the worries and questions racing through her head – the same questions I asked myself in that crucial time between suspicion and confirmation of pregnancy:

If I had to, could I do this?
Would I be any good?
Would I somehow manage to stay me?

And the answer to all, I’m happy to say, is “yes.” article-end-jj15-30px

Photo: © Syda_Productions