Job vs. Identity

It has been a while since I graced the interwebs with my opinions and feelings. Every since becoming a primarily stay-at-home mama to the Ramlet I have struggled off and on with my identity. I was no longer employed and no longer a college student.

I do my photography work when I can but must admit I have not been marketing and seeking out new business much lately. Needing a babysitter to work can prove to be a bit daunting. Mr. Ram-a-razzi works at 9-5 job and then does high school sports coverage for the local newspaper most Fridays and some Saturdays during the school year.

My identity right now is pretty much Mom. Most days I am 100% okay with that. The hours suck and being paid in half eaten fruit snacks can wear on you. When people ask me what I “do” it is often hard to tell them I stay at home with my son. I always throw in their that I am a photographer as well.

It seems that I am not the only one struggling to find themselves lately. Both of my parents are going through similar struggles in their own way. My dad retired from private practice & surgery about 5 years ago. He enjoyed the time to do woodworking, relax and do “retired stuff.” But now he has gone back to work part-time at a group practice. His identity was his job. We had a saying in our family that, “Dad could go to Mars and see someone he knew.”

My mom has been going through this struggle for a while now too. My little brother left the nest for college in 2010. He was the youngest and only boy in our family. He is doing amazing and loving living with his friends on campus. My mom’s identity was “Mom” for 26 years! She worked for a bit when I was little but her main job was “Mom.” She packed our lunches, washed our clothes, drove us places and attended our events. My brother was more popular and more involved in school than I was and so was she. She sold enough school spiritwear to clothe everyone in Uganda. She went to all of his activities/competitions/plays and was “Mrs. B or D’s Mom” (names changed to protect the innocent).

It isn’t until you don’t have one that you realize how much of your identity is based upon your job. It is not just how you pay your bills.

It really makes sense to me now hearing about all the people that worked until they could no longer physically work, even if it was volunteer work.

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