Labeled. Part one.

Something that fascinates me and always has is where I fit into things. How would I label myself and how would others label me? Who am I? Who am I compared to them? Who am I in relation to who I think I should be?

What got me started thinking about all this was a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago. She is a former counselor, now staying at home with her children. We were talking about the answer we give to the “What do you do” question.  When I am asked “What do you do?”  I find myself answering, “I just had a baby and stay at home with her, butIusedtobeateacher.” I find myself using my old label and tagging it onto the end of my new label. I feel like a cicada that has shed its skin and is standing looking at the leftover shell. Am I this new person or am I the old? Am I both or neither?

Another part of the difficulty I have with this transition into my new label is that I have these picture in my head of what a stay at home mom does and is. The first picture I carry around in my mind is equal parts 1950s housewife and crunchy granola mom. Clean house with laundry always done, dinner finished and dished washed, shower taken and hair done, baby toys picked up, carpet vacuumed; organic homemade baby food, cloth diapering, babywearing, attentive to baby’s brain development… The second picture is much simpler. Stay at home mom: two parts. One is staying at home. The second is mom. Both parts sound boring and stifling. I ask myself, who am I compared to others that have chosen to stay at home? Am I a balanced mix of stay at home amazingness, or am I boring?

Another reason is that I have attributed very little value to my new label and that’s why I feel such a need to explain what I used to do. Raising my daughter has tremendous value, yet it’s not enough yet for me to define myself by it. I desire it to be. I want to be fully accepting of my new “what I do.”

What about you? What are your labels? This week, take a look at how you’ve labeled yourself. Which should you keep? Which should you let go? Are there any you should add? I will be thinking as well. I think there’s a lot I want to add.


  1. great post! so true, and something i've thought about and struggled with too. i think i need to let go a bit of what i "was" and maybe just live in the day...and enjoy my kids...cause time flies so fast. Good thoughts to ponder.

  2. Had to answer this question at the tax man's office, and I sat there thinking about it. It is strange because what you have done is intricately weaved with part of who you are---but it doesn't define you. I had to choke out the word 'homemaker' because it is a role I have, even while I taught, but unfortunately, not really one that some consider a 'job'. I will always be a teacher of some sorts, even though I may not always get paid for it. The tags don't define me...but the world expects them.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Carrie. I think a lot of times I take a response looking toward the future of what I want to be...or I justify that I'm not who I really am. Such like "I'm an engineer, but I'm not a typical engineer" or "I'm an engineer and I'm looking for a career change and what I want to be when I grow up" Why is it so hard to accept and keep it simple that "I am an engineer" and you are a "Stay at home mom". Sounds like we each have some soul searching to do to find our identity is deeper than the simple responses we give. Anyway. Hugs to you, Carrie. You're a great "stay at home mom!" Zoe is lucky to have you.


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