Moms Are So Much More Than Just 'Moms'

A strange thing happened after I had my first child. When I went out with her, I was suddenly invisible. No longer was I "Sasha: Writer, editor, runner, friend." I was now "Mom" (with a capital M). Being a mom has been the most profoundly life-changing event of my entire life, but it does not define me.

In addition to being a "mom," I am a writer, friend, and wife. I am a runner and news junkie. I am a reader and politics-lover and I like to talk about many (many) things besides diapers and preschools. But when I am with my kids (and sometimes even without them), I am simply "mom."

The "Mom" title usurps the female identity in a way nothing that came before or after it ever will. And it doesn't do the same to men. Amy Reiter wrote about it on The Daily Beast. She said:

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Just as they [her kids] are people in their own rights, with interests as diverse as baseball and baking, I consider myself a person separate and apart from them: a woman with a career, a born-again bike rider, a just-learning cook, a closet karaoke singer, an occasional watcher of crappy TV.

Exactly. We are all many, many things to many, many people, but in the public eye, we are often just "mom." Now, yes, there are some things I take issue with in the piece. I don't think being a "mom" automatically means we become frumpy and don "mom jeans," though I have certainly seen my fair share of frazzled mamas walking around the park.

It's possible to be both glamorous and successful AND be a mom. I am a mom and I am proud of that fact. My children are everything in this world to me, but they don't define me. I define me and I always have.

We need to get away from the idea we seem to have that a woman can't be all things at the same time. Why can't she be both mom and banker? Why does one thing have to define her?

We have a plethora of stereotypes about "moms" in our culture and most of them are neither kind nor accurate. One can be a mom and be all those other things at the same time. You can call me "mom" so long as you also call me Sasha. I have worked hard in my life for all of my accomplishments and I am not defined by any single one of them.

This is true of every person one sees, parent or not. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can move past the idea of "Mom" as a lifestyle choice.

Do you like being called "Mom"?


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