Thursday, November 21, 2013

Just a mommy

A few months ago, something got in my husband's head, and he told BG that I was a teacher.  It's true, I suppose.  It will always be true, whether I'm in a classroom or not.

But it sounds weird.

Every time she asks me "Mommy, are you a teacher?" I twitch a little.  It feels untrue, unearned.  She takes it a step further by thinking that this means I can teach her anything.  "You can teach me baseball, mommy, because you're a teacher!"

One day, a few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen cleaning up dinner while DH played with the girls. "I have all the bears!" he said.  "But not mommy.  Is mommy a bear?"

"No!" said BG.  "She's just a mommy!"

"Yup!" I chorused, sarcastically, from the kitchen "JUST A MOMMY."

"Oh," she said.  "Are you a teacher, mommy?  I forgot."

And I sat down on the kitchen floor and cried.

When I say things like this, I always want to apologize for them.  I want to say "But that doesn't mean I want to go back to work.  That doesn't mean I want to be anywhere other than where I am right now.  That doesn't mean that being a mommy isn't enough, that I want to change something about my life right now."  I want to soften, to justify what I'm saying.

I want to be where I am.  I want to be with my girls all day.  I want to be a mommy.

But sometimes?  I'm really sad.

I miss my big kids.
I miss my colleagues.
I miss the books and even the essays sometimes.
I miss being good at something, being respected and admired.
I miss feeling like I was making a difference every day.

And you're going to want to tell me I'm still making a difference every day.  And I am.  I know I am.  I guess I know that mothering is worthy work, work worth doing.  I guess I realize that I'm doing enough.

But sometimes it doesn't feel like enough for me.

Which isn't to say I want to be anywhere else.

I did it again.

I want to be a full time mommy, but I don't want to be just a mommy.  I want to be me, to be a person, to do important work, to be smart and competent and valued.

I don't really know what that means yet.  But I'm working on it.

NaBloPoMo November 2013


  1. I feel this longing for more, for different (which also having the same), for otherness. I'm not sure what that means yet, either. But I do know that neither of us are alone in this. I think a lot of moms feel that pull, not knowing exactly where it would lead, and not wanting to leave the great thing we have going now. It is hard.

  2. Teachers are teachers. In the classroom or not, you'll always be one. I can't speak to the mom part since I'm not one and I have nothing to add there-- but I grew up in universities and schoolhouses. You don't stop being a teacher when you step out of the classroom-- whether it's for a sip of water, or a 10 year hiatus. Because ultimately, eventually, all teachers find a way to teach. :) Loved the honesty of your post. I'm so glad Robbie sent me this way...