Passionate. Career driven. Successful. Intelligent. Hardworking. Dedicated.
These are just a few of the words that I would use to describe myself. It may have taken me 30 years but I finally feel like I know myself pretty well.
I know what I am good at. I know how I thrive. I know who I am.
As I embark further into this journey, I am frustrated beyond belief that people are trying to change my definition. Unrequested, uninvited. People are trying to redefine who I am now that I am pregnant.
Since when does my ability to procreate impact my ability to do those things that I have managed to do successfully for many years now.
Does adding “mum” to my definition render the other words now useless?
Call me a dreamer but I want it all. I want to balance my new role of mum with the roles that I currently play in society. I am under no illusions that my life is going to change dramatically when I become a mother. I know that my priorities will change and my focus will shift. I have no issue with that. The issue I have is the assumption that one must replace the other. That mother is the new definition of who I am and all those other words will describe who I used to be.
So many people have asked me questions about what I plan to do with my work when baby comes. Take some time off of course is my response. Take time to readjust my life to the new role I am taking on.
Then, when the time is right, come back and tackle the working world as the same person I was before I had my son. The only difference being, I’ve pushed a watermelon out of my vagina. I wont be any less capable. I wont be any less driven. I wont be any LESS full stop. I will just be a mother as well.
The same passionate, intelligent, hardworking woman I am now, just with some stretch marks and no doubt some wobbly bits.
I am sick and tired of being told that the primary things that make up who I am will change. They might. I know that. This baby might turn me into someone I don’t recognize. Someone I haven’t been in my 30 years. But the point is this. If the fundamentals of who I am change, it will be because I want them to, not because society tells me they have to.
I’ve suddenly become painfully aware of a set of societal rules that I didn’t know existed until I began to show my bump. Apparently I must step quietly away from those nasty non-maternal defining words like “career driven” and “intelligent” and spend some time with more appropriate definitions such as “mothers group attendee” (no offence intended to those who love a good mothers group) and “play dater”. Those words don’t fit me very well. And I think I know myself well enough to know that they probably never will.
So my request to the world is this…. Please don’t redefine me. Please don’t tell me I cant be the same person then as I am now. Please don’t tell me that the role of mother must replace my current definition.
Will it be added to my list? Most definitely. And I will embrace it. Just like I do those other words. But my uterus does not define me and my being a mother will not change the fundamentals of who I am.
Even if you tell me it has to.