Almost sixteen years ago I left the workforce for undivided motherhood. Although I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom more than anything, I was surprised to feel a little naked when one of my labels was suddenly sheered away from my identity. How would I answer the question that always comes, "So, what do you do?" Let's face it, the answer helps people know where to catalog us, as if what we do equals who we are.
In a way it's true. We do what we do because of who we are, at least a little. The former does lead to the latter in a one-way path. The thing is, the reverse is not true. Who we are is not because of what we do.
Or perhaps it is. And maybe that's why I find myself on the brink of another identity crisis, because I'm going back to work full-time, and it feels odd. This time, letting go of my stay-at-home mom status is the same thing all over again -- just in reverse -- sixteen years later. I've wanted to go back to work for some time, and now that it's happening, I realize change isn't always easy.
Why am I letting what I do define who I am? Because I know that's what others will do.
Maybe it just takes time to get used to a new pigeonhole.