Mom hair. Mom jeans. As much as everyone loves their mom, moms are also—let’s be honest—a joke.
I don’t know why this happened, or when, or what moms did to deserve becoming the object/subject of derision, but now that I am unequivocally a mom, and one that’s deep in her #momsohard years, I’m making peace with this.
I came to this place reluctantly. I’m first generation Canadian, so getting a great education, having a great career, these were things my parents could be proud of. Being a mom, in their generation and culture, was the default.
But being a mom today is serious business. You could even say it’s a blood sport, where we’re ranked by the house we keep, the money we manage and the kids we raise. It’s not for the casual or faint of heart.
My hubby and I joke about being 1970s parents—with four kids we’re too busy to be precious. But there’s nothing casual about the way we raise our kids. We are all in, 100%, in a way my ’70s-era parents—God bless them—never were.
Which leaves little room for the woman they imagined me to be. Or the person I thought I’d become. I’m learning to be okay with this. I’m learning to be okay with being “mom.” Not the vixen at the bar. Or the corporate ladder climber. Or the world traveller. More like “hockey mom,” “soccer mom” and “Zach/Zane/Zephyr/Scout’s mom.”
I remember when I told my dad I was pregnant, for the first time. Even though I’d already been married for four years, and my husband and I owned a house together, the disappointment was palpable, like everything he did and sacrificed for was for naught.
He’s come around, and so have I. In fact, becoming a mom has made me a better and more successful person. It solidified my values, made me strive harder and helped me become assertive.
My dad and I were a good match. I love work. I can’t help it; I’m constantly aspiring and scheming. I looked forward to my mat leaves not as a chance to get away from work and spend time with my kids but in hopes that maybe now I would finally write that book, or start that business!
I’ve gone back and forth over the years—now kids are my priority, now work and back again. Never quite fulfilled with my half life.
For the first time, I’m proud to say that work and family, family and work, fuel each other. They’re two sides of a coin—and that coin is me.
So yeah, I’m “just a mom.” And that’s just fine with me.