I vividly remember entering my teen years and wanting so badly to fit in. To be normal. To wear the same clothes as the ‘popular girls,’ for boys to like me and to belong. It was really stressful and honestly, my junior high years were full of mean girls and a few bright spots. You could not pay me to go back. Literally, no amount of money would make me want to. Thankfully, by the time I hit the backside of my high school freshman year, surrounded by a solid group of girlfriends and band geeks I cut off most of my hair, tried out a variety of boxed red dye, adorned myself with safety pin jewelry and thrift store kids’ tees and found my groove. I was me and with my friends I fit in.
With those years well, well, behind me now I still feel a solid sense of belonging with my crew. C and I, my fellow #hustlemomhustle mommas, my friends with kids (and without), we have our normal. It’s so natural to me that when someone tries to push their version of ‘normal’ in my direction it hits me like a ton of bricks.
Recently someone close to us made an off-hand comment about C being ‘full time’ and me being ‘part time’ in reference to parenting. Devastated that someone would have that perception I hung onto it for a day and stewed. Is this how C sees it? Am I not pulling my weight? Am I gone too much?
In the traditional sense of ‘normal,’ we have a bit of a role reversal in our house. C is a teacher, traditionally a more female dominated profession that gives him summers off to spend with J and our future kiddos, whereas I’m on an executive team and routinely put in 50-60 hour weeks. Neither job more important than the other, but different from the perceived norm.
When I could take it no longer I brought this to C. He too was shocked at the commentary and reassured me that this was not in anyway how he felt. We are partners, 100%. That was just what I needed, and I was back in the comfort zone.
The lesson and ultimately reminder here for me, and to any moms/parents that are feeling like they don’t ‘belong’ is that everyone has their way. Everyone is different. You just need to surround yourself with people that give you comfort. No one should feel judged. We’re all working our asses off to bring good humans into this world and no two people are going to do it the same way. Cut each other some slack, open your mind to what normal looks like for other people and for goodness sake – raise up instead of pushing down.