“Um…I’m just at home, taking care of my daughter, Claire,” I said almost apologetically to a woman at a party recently...
So I filled the air with: “I used to be a teacher..What do you do?”
Why did I feel so taken off my center by a complete stranger's question? Why the “just” part? Why did I need to reference my former life at all? Why did I shift the focus off of me?
It’s not as if I don’t think I have anything to say about being a mom. Hell, I’m writing a blog about it!
Part of my unease had to do with the “do” bit. I don’t do mothering. I am a mother.
Plus, no one wants to hear what I do everyday. That’s one of the wild things about parenthood. The daily doingness of it can be banal and mindless. Yet, I do these things for this sublime creature, and will gladly do them over and over again. I don’t want to talk about them over and over again, though.
Nor does everyone at a party want to listen. I'm paranoid that people are going to hear "mom", and think I’m going to trap them into self-absorbed talk about children at any moment. Indeed, a guy at the party did get stuck in just such a conversation. Another woman at the party started talking about how long to breastfeed on each breast. This guy just happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Now, me, I was interested in this topic. I'm all about the breast. I'm also mesmerized by every little thing my daughter and other little ones do. My husband too. He actually contributed valuable insight to this conversation. But this single guy in his 30’s? I doubt he was that interested. Talking about babies is an acquired taste.
Likewise, the single woman who I rendered speechless with my latest career as a SAHM. I do understand her, completely and utterly. I used to be her, living in New York City. Manhattan is supposed to be exciting, an exotic place of adventure and surprise. Each night is supposed to hold endless possibility. When I was her, I didn’t want to hear about things like nighttime feedings either. Discussions about the night needed to be about the next party not the party in the diaper.
So there it is – I am now the woman who ruins the mystique of Manhattan for single people.
Really, I am so happy to be Claire’s mom. I don’t miss the career I left behind. Clearly, I have what's referred to as a "first-world problem" here. Still, that type of changing of the guard stings a bit.
Just you wait until Claire's old enough to find Manhattan an exotic place of adventure and surprise. I'm sure I'll be tons of fun then…
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Welcome to The Sunday Parenting Party, hosted by Dirt and Boogers, Play Activities, Crayon Freckles, Taming the Goblin, The Golden Gleam, Prickly Mom, and The Tao of Poop. The SPP is place for readers to find ideas on nurturing, educating, and caring for children, as well as honest posts about the stresses of being a parent or caregiver. Links to reviews and giveaways are welcome as long as they are relevant to the topic. All parenting philosophies are welcome with one exception: please do not link to posts promoting physical discipline, as this is something we would feel uncomfortable having on our blogs. (P.S. By linking up you agree that your post and photos are Pinterest, Sulia, G+ and FB friendly. We will be showcasing ideas on The Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board.)