Someone I met recently described herself as “just a mum”… I was like “excuse me? Did you say just?” I have never had a job as full-time as this. No other job requires you to work 24/7, with no days off and imagine this – no pay!!
Even when I am not with my son I wonder what he’s doing and has he slept/eaten/had a bath etc – when he is older the list of worries will change (I hope) but the feelings of responsibility I have for him will never go.
On top of all that I am expected to be fun and stimulating. Oh did I say patient? And not too strict but still just enough? And loving?
I’m telling you – you are not just a mom, you are A MOM!!!!
WHO ARE YOU REALLY INSIDE?
Do you struggle at dinner parties to say what you do??? Probably not in Shanghai where I find most people don’t even bother and cut straight to the question “what does your husband do?”.
This can be tough for someone like me (and you I imagine) who used to be entirely self-sufficient and had a life of her own to tell people about at dinner parties 🙂
Not that I don’t because the truth is that I do! I’m the same person inside as I was back then even though it was easier for me to explain and to find a label that people would recognise.
A friend of mine here described herself as an “entrepreneur” to the Chinese authorities on entry only to have “housewife” stamped on her application form – ouch! Not that there’s anything wrong with being a housewife but it hurts to be called something you don’t identify with and why are we always trying to label people based on what they do??
We expat wives have a different set of choices to women back home who have more control (at least geographically!) over what it is they want to do. A lot of us have worked hard to invent alternative careers in an effort to stay mentally stimulated during our partner’s expatriation – like my friend, the ENTREPRENEUR!
Next time somebody tries to stick a label on you with which you aren’t comfortable (or worse, doesn’t even ask you what you do!) take a deep breath, look inside and see that you’re still as special (and worthy of an attentive ear at the dinner table!) as you used to be back home, no matter what it is you choose to do here with your time.