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Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

Today is Mother’s Day, so let’s start with a salute to all Moms (and Dads who do the job) everywhere.  Hats off to all who tirelessly tend the garden of the next generation.

As if motherhood isn’t a full time job in itself, most Moms of today also work outside the home.  Parenting has a way of shedding light on the fact that career or job choices are often packaged with a lifestyle that isn’t always family-friendly.
As a former stay-at-home Mom (I’ll have more to say about that misnomer in a future post…) I join the ranks of many mothers who end up re-inventing their professional selves post-motherhood.  If you’re a Mom at a career cross-road, you may find motivation in one of my Jill magazine articles.  If you can’t tell, I am passionate about this topic and would love your feedback. 
Moms, enjoy your day.  As for me, I am proudly wearing a handmade, beaded plastic “MOM” bracelet and cherishing the card I received that read, “If I had a million dollars, I would buy my mom a toaster.”  These are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

~Michelle St. Onge

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Some years ago I came across this book edited by Cathi Hanauer, comprised of a series of essays written by 26 different women.  I was intrigued by the title, partly because I felt (and still feel at times) that I have to constantly struggle to keep my own Inner B*tch in check.  Some days I do a much better job than others.

The best thing about reading the book was the honesty of the women writers.  They said things I had been feeling inside (and fighting to keep in) for years.  It made me feel instantly validated.  Women in my mom’s generation rarely talked about their frustrations, anger, and stress out loud, they mostly silently suffered their place in life.  This book changed all that for me.  I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t the only one walking around like a ticking time bomb, waiting for some small thing to tick me off and send me to the point of no return.   

As I’ve grown into motherhood I have realized how important it is to air my stress and frustration out in the open, which is one of the reasons why I love writing this blog.  I have come to terms with the fact that the stresses of working and parenting often leave me teetering on the edge of irritability.  I have always known and admitted I am not perfect; the difference is that I no longer make apologies for my shortcomings.  Instead, I strive to be proactive, nourishing myself and becoming my own best friend and staunchest advocate.

When I realize I have brought the dark cloud of irritability over my house I treat it like the “check engine” light on my dashboard.  It is a sign that something isn’t quite right, and that I am headed for much bigger issues if I don’t stop and take a good look at what is going wrong.

Read the book review, then do yourself a favor and get the book.  If nothing else, prominent display of that book on your shelf will let other people in your house know exactly where you stand.  If you’ve ever felt like the B*tch in your own house, I invite you to join me in taking ownership of how you feel and let some of it out in the comments below. 

~Michelle

When I became a Mom I realized that you don’t have to collect a paycheck to have a job.  In fact, Motherhood often means having to pay others to help you with your own growing workload (pun intended).

I’ve spent time in both camps – The Stay-At-Home (what a misnomer that is!) and the Go-To-Work – and I have equal respect for both.  The truth is that stay at home Moms have work to do that often conflicts with caring for the children home with them.  Toddler-chasing can be a sport of Olympic proportions and is simply incompatible with adult productivity of any kind.

On the other hand, adding the responsibility of work outside of the home doesn’t change what is waiting for you when you come home after a long day at the office.  And the recent Snowpocalypse-driven unplanned day off from school is the perfect example of the fact that kids don’t care what you have going on at work.

Bottom line – love your role, whatever it is.  Whether your boss sits behind a desk or in a Johnny jump-up, whether your work wardrobe comes from Fruit of the Loom or Macy’s, your work is important and worthy of your very best.

~Michelle


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Michelle St. Onge

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