This is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately, as I’ve looked to refresh and revamp this blog. When I first started writing here back in 2007, I was a 36-year-old, full-time working mom with 3 preschoolers and toddlers.
Wow, a lot has changed in almost 12 years.
I haven’t worked full-time outside the house since getting laid off in 2008.
I’m no longer 30-something, but knocking on the door of 50 in a couple of years.
And one of the biggest changes, is that I have 3 teenagers. Back when the kids were small, it was so hard to imagine what they would be like in their teens. Nowadays, it’s difficult to remember back to what they were like as preschoolers and toddlers. In many ways, those days were much, much easier – although I would never have thought so at the time.
As a parent of small kids, you don’t really have a lot of time for much else. Most of your time and energy is put into parenting, and when you do have free moments, they’re spent simply enjoying the fact that you have a free moment or two.
With our oldest accepted to and heading off to college in the fall, our nest is going to start to empty. In 5 years, our youngest will be 18 and heading out as well.
So although I will always BE a mom, of course, I’m trying to figure out what else I am. There are other things that I do, but I don’t really use them to define myself.
I run, but I’m more than a ‘runner’.
I knit and sew, but I’m more than a ‘crafter’.
And I have children, but yes – I’m more than a mom.
Over the almost two decades that I’ve been a parent, most of my social activities have revolved around the kids. Other than my two closest friends, the only people I generally see on a regular basis are other parents at my kids’ activities. And much of my time and energy has been spent volunteering – first in the kids’ classrooms, then with our local AYSO soccer program for the past 8 years. And with our marching band program for the past 4 years.
After 4 years of having first one and then two kids in marching band, for the next school year, we won’t have anyone marching. Our oldest is graduating, and our 16-year-old is leaving band, for multiple reasons. Our youngest will be in 8th grade, so not quite at the high school level yet.
And I was so disappointed. Yes, disappointed that Hannah was leaving band. I know she’ll miss it in many ways. But I was almost more disappointed that it meant that I would be leaving band, since I wouldn’t have a kid to support there.
Until I realized how silly that really was. I love working with the marching band. I help with uniform fittings during pre band camp. For the past 2 years, I’ve chaperoned the week away at band camp. I love attending the competitions and go early to watch other bands, then rush back to help check in uniforms afterward. It’s a huge part of my life every fall.
Why do I have to give that up, just because my kid is?
The answer is, I don’t. If it’s something I like and enjoy, then there’s no reason that I can’t continue to help out and participate. The program doesn’t need less help, after all. And hopefully Becca will be in marching band the year after anyway. She’s still in the middle school band program.
I don’t have to define myself as a ‘band mom’ to help out with the band. In fact, I don’t have to define myself as a mom to participate in any kind of activity or event that I want to enjoy. I may BE a mom, but I’m not JUST a mom.
That’s the biggest reason for the name change on this site. Even though I’m not technically a Mom of “3 Girls” anymore, it’s not enough to simply update the title to something like ‘Mom of 3 Kids’ or ‘Mom of 3’. Or even going back to the name I used on my former product review site, “Just a mom’s take on things…” It’s time I put my name on the site, since really it’s ME writing here. About parenting, yes – but about more than just that.
Because I’m more than JUST a mom.