Friday, April 29, 2011

friday forte: who am i?

gothic warhol set
the many faces of me

Continuing on from yesterday's question, now that I have a full size keyboard and save drafts to review I'll jot down some of my musings (no, I'm still not having a personality crisis, or amnesia).

If you've been following my friday forte scribblings since the beginning you'll know that the very nebulous theme to them all has been my quest for personal identity in this new, confusing role as a mature mother (I'm talking mature as in age, not necessarily in mental age or outlook). It's been a long, occasionally tortuous, confusing ride and I've been posing myself some tough questions as I inch (and sometimes the progress isn't even that far) my way to my goal of a meaningful existence in, around and in spite of my family.

One of my pet peeves has been what to label myself. It's not so much 'who am I?' but more 'what am I?' which is directing my 'what/who do you want to be/do?' quest these days.

.... and i always get this dressed up to craft!
occasional glamour model

I am -
  • a mother
  • an older mother
  • middle aged (and proudly so)
  • the owner of a small business which I run from the home
  • unemployed and non-working i.e. I don't receive a salary or work outside the home
  • a stay-at-home mother (though I used to joke that the Wee Guy and I were never home enough to qualify for this description)
  • a part-time student
  • a volunteer in the community
  • a mixed media artist
  • a housekeeper
  • married and dependent on my husband for living expenses, etc.
So, what does this make me in terms of what kind of mother I am? Am I a stay-at-home mother even if I run my own business or go to college part time?  Am I work-from-home or work-at-home? or is my business too small financially to qualify for these tags? Likewise, am I a mumpreneur, or does the fact that my business isn't generating an income or into six figures, leverageable or employing others, bar me from that title? Am I a working mother if the income I generate is only covering a couple of days per week childcare and not contributing to the household budget? Does being a stay-at-home mum classify me as non-working? Is income generation essential for classifying whether work is really work? Since I am designated at home should I assume total responsibility for childcare and housekeeping even though I'm also attending college and running a business? Does this mean that I am non-working? And while we're on it, what's a working dad for that matter?

What exactly is it that I'm doing?

Grouse Mountain 4th January 003
occasional snow bum

Confusion reigns, and not just here but out in the wider blogdom. Wherever I see the description 'working mother' I challenge it (with rabid ferocity as, in reality, all mothers work IMO). My challenge was answered by this thoughtful blog post by Mama Renew ... and it confirms that the issue is still cloudy. There are apparently not enough words to describe a mother these days, just as there's a deficiency of words to describe 'snow'.

What about you? How do you describe yourself and your 'activities' as a mother? Is there an accurate description or over-arching phrase which won't offend? Where do you stand on the term 'working mother' - an accurate description or a patronising term used to raise a glass to an apparently uberclass of fertile females thus damning the rest? Would you just rather be a mum?

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