More than a mother

Here I am, barely two months into my second parental leave and I already miss going to work. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying my time home with the kids, and I put all of myself into learning how to hide veggies into smoothies and teaching handcrafts to toddlers. However, I feel a large part of my personal identity is put on hold. Being a good parent is definitely my top priority in life, but there's a constant voice within me whispering "You've studied and worked hard for too long to be just a mother". Does it make any sense?
I belong to some small communities of mothers, more or less the same faces showing up every day. During my first maternity leave, I noticed that no matter how long you stay in such groups, no one - no one - ever asks someone else, "What do you do for a living?" or "What do you, beside looking after the kids?". Yes, I know first-hand that being a stay-at-home parent absorbs 99% of your time and energy, and probably that's all we do while at home, but wouldn't it be flattering to engage in a conversation which is further from how to win over a diaper rush or what to cook for dinner, once in a while?
I made a vow to myself to always ask mothers I talk to about their job/studies. Sometime I find out they're head of sales or studying to become a vet. Every time I start the conversation, I feel I'm adding a new dimension to the person I am talking to.
I wonder if fathers behave differently when they are on leave and meet with some other dad. Has someone else ever felt like that? I'd love to hear other stories and thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Paola Elefante

Digital Scaling Project Manager at Plan International. Proud mother & wife. Shameless nerd&geek. Feminist. Undercover gourmet.

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