One of the more unusual things about being an into/out of the workforce parent (sometimes called the "primary at home parent" and also the "Stay at Home Mom" but of course there's nothing particularly stay-at-homish about being the one who has the more flexible schedule, and of course it's not unique to moms, but let's just call it an into/out of the workforce parent for now) is the way we're constantly having to redefine ourselves. Refine our own personal message, our own "branding." And in the course of it, sometimes I think we lose track of important details.
Like, for instance, our extensive experience or advanced degree(s.)
I had something happen tonight that brought this to light. I have done some work at a client recently, which is also coincidentally where my husband works (not much coincidental about it, he passed my contact info along to someone in the org who needed the kind of tech consulting work I do - eLearning strategy, design and development.) They're doing a writeup, and in the course of it they're writing up my contribution to a recent project.
So, I know what my experience is. I know what I'm good at. I'm happy with my station in life. And yet I looked at this writeup and wondered who the heck that smart, awesome girl they were talking about was.
And it occurred to me that I'm so deep into the summer by now, the time with the kids, this godforsaken puppy (note to self: no more puppies!) the household priorities, that I've kind of put the "other" me on a backburner for the summer. I'm letting the writer me have second billing, right after the mommy me, but the eLearning strategist/designer? She's on summer hiatus. She's elsewhere in my brain.
And therein lies the rub, because in redefining myself for the summer, I almost lost a bit of me. And I think back to all the times in the kids' lives when I've had to refocus, change my way of thinking about myself or my approach with them when something isn't working for us (classic example: when at 3 months pregnant with our second I/we realized I. Just. Couldn't. Do. This. Anymore. And we started the thought process and transition toward me staying home with the kids for a while.) And I wonder what other parts of me have gone missing in there?
Do you ever feel like you've lost part of you while you're redefining yourself to meet your current needs and situation?