Raising Elves

As wild as nature. Myself, parenting and natural remedies blog.

Identity and At-Home Motherhood

9 Comments

As an at-home parent I have experienced an incredible process in terms of identity that no other life experience could offer.

Being at home can leave you feeling identityless in the beginning and that can tear your confidence apart. You begin to doubt your opinions or just give them up altogether because you don’t have the space left in your brain. Or you find yourself repeating the same story to the same people because you thought you told that story to someone else the other day.

The fruits of your labour are so abstract that you can’t even measure the results of your parenting choices.

Many times I have had people switch off to me when they ask me what I do and I tell them I am at home with my children. In the early days this was upsetting but no longer do I feel upset by it because I have firmly allowed myself to form an identity as a sahm. Anyway,  it says more about a person who validates people only on circumstances that they deem worthy.

Consciously choosing this route despite society telling you how unimportant you are, when ‘science’ and politicians say your children are better off away from you and to continue on this path despite all the hostility is powerful and damn fucking feminist.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer a V sign to all the opinions and ‘studies’ that do not see my children as individual people but as something herd-like to be ‘studied’.

I choose to relinquish my identity as an earner and vulnerably place my trust in my husband. That is empowering- to relinquish financial identity.

I choose to exchange my identity as a passionate current affairs debater to one that offers recommendations of tried and tested laundry detergent. I relinquish the identity of importance.

According to what I read in Irish newspapers and through political statements, there is no job more invalid than that of a sahp, so yes, I now relinquish validity.

It was only a farce anyway- society has a tragic blind-spot when it defines a person’s validity as it still lives in a system of hierarchy.

As I have said, I have found myself processing a life experience like no other. Becoming faceless, invalid, unimportant, unfeminist, lazy, incompetent-

identityless.

And it

feels

wonderful

There is nothing more empowering than having yourself and society strip you bare, beat your brow, invalidate you, make you disappear, ignore you, make war on you. It is this that has left me free to define myself.

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photo credit: shenamt Trollstigen via photopin (license)

As Mother.

The most powerful being on Earth.

And you can throw all your studies at me and judge my choice. I can beat myself. I can doubt myself. I can fail and try harder. I can be a great incredible mother and I can be a shit exhausted mother.

But I am MY mother and she raised me, a woman who does not fear her facelessness but evokes it and remains a blank space for my children to mould.

For they are the true teachers.

And just as they mould me, they will mould their society.

They will teach respect for all kinds of people because they were raised by a women whom society laid no respect upon.

They will honour effort over result because their mother will have walked through hell to be the best person she can be for them, and she will still be a flawed human being.

They will teach their society to move beyond the scope of their identity. To push themselves to the point of facelessness. For it is here that they will find their true selves and when we find that authenticity we no longer have to pin ourselves against our peers.

In that state maybe society can appreciate everyone’s uniqueness. Imagine that kind of world?

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Identity and At-Home Motherhood

  1. As a soon to be SAHM I love this. Exactly my thoughts/feelings lately regarding identity.

  2. It is not only Ireland. Germany is similar. There is an expectation from many men that you stay at home when you have children and I found that incredibly irritating. Then when I went back to work I was told, again by men, that 8 till 4 is a very long day for my children to be away from me. At the same time, there is a feeling that you have to apologise almost for being at home with the children, having it easy as many people see. You’re damned it you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

    • I absolutely agree- there is an opposite but equal pressure on working mothers. That is was is so great about all the ‘mom blogs’ because it shows how varied we are and it connects us rather than segregates us. If all the mothers of the world banded together… just wow.

  3. Pingback: One Year, One Word – Simply Homemade

    • Nicola I’m touched that you would link to my post. It always give me quite the boost to know that there are others out there who can identify with my own thoughts. I’m so glad to read that 2017 is going to be an important year for you, a year of self love. That was my year last year and it was testy. I felt it was easier said than done which was really surprising but I continued on and really did end the year feeling loved by myself. Best wishes for 2017.

  4. This hit home for me in many ways. I left high stress job 13 years ago to build a small daycare business on my home, with the added benefit of being able to stay at home with my children. Some days I curse it, I’m not gonna lie! Not being around adults very much takes a toll. And I spent many years being ashamed to tell people what I do for a living. Which is crazy!!
    Not have I gotten to be the most powerful woman for my own children, but I get to be the stand in for other kick ass moms who entrust me with the teachers of the world. And in the process, I’ve gotten to know myself better than I ever could have busying my brain with things that were tearing me down and leading me farther away from myself.

    Thank you. Thank you for voicing this so powerfully and beautifully.

    • Thanks for your comment Angela. What a journey you’ve been on and love to see the perspective of how you ‘stand in’ for moms who choose to work. That’s all I’d hope for my kids if or when I do eventually go back to work.

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