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Multiple Personalities

I picked up my business cards earlier today for this website.  There, big as life, is the 1Mother2Another logo and web address.  I was looking at it and thinking: Is that who I am now?  The go-to girlfriend?  Is this how I will be defined for the foreseeable future?  It’s kind of a relief to find a label to hang my hat on that doesn’t start and end with mommy (though since it’s a mommy website, it’s a bit debatable!), but is this really who I am?

It made me think about a product I saw through Daily Stroll a few months ago- Mama Calling Cards.  Event Bliss makes business cards geared towards those mommy moments when you’re on the playground making a play date, and no one has a pen to exchange info.  They’re extremely cute, and would read something like “Madeleine’s Mommy” and then, in smaller print, my name, with the contact details listed below.  Totally cute and clearly practical, right?
I remember, though, that when I first read about them I instinctively recoiled.  The thought of having business cards labeling me “Madeleine’s Mommy” made me a little queasy and I was angry and afraid owning them would bring me one step closer to a complete loss of what remained of my tiny bit of personality and identity that wasn’t wrapped up in Madeleine.  I’m guessing all new mommies go through an identity crisis, even if they think they’re ready for it and have been aching their whole lives to be a mommy; I clearly remember the first time I thought of me and Madeleine – the two of us – as Madeleine and her mommy rather than Jennifer and her daughter (see previous post).  There’s this shock that a large group of people will meet you and, for the rest of your life, think of you as baby’s Mommy rather than that cool chick they met the other night at the party who works in that big law firm, for example.  You start to flail around, afraid the cool chick will be buried under mounds of dirty diapers and sleepless nights, never to reappear again.  You are afraid part of you is dying.  The thought of someone knowing me just as “Madeleine’s Mommy” stressed me out, like people would be missing out on the best part of me.
But as I went to tuck my new business cards in my card holder, I found there wasn’t a lot of room.  See, I had to fit the 1M2A cards in next to my Pilates trainer cards, which were crammed up against my musical theatre cards.  And as I was looking at them, I realized it’s only the mommy aspect of my life that I found inadequate as an explanation of who I am.  Certainly my Pilates cards don’t also mention the fact  that I can do a triple pirouette, just as my performing cards don’t boast that I’ve cross-trained Olympic athletes.  I’m proud to be known as a trainer, a dancer, and now a blogger, but not as a mother?  I’m content to hand out only one piece of my identity in most situations; why would I be embarrassed to acknowledge myself to be the mother of the sweetest girl in the world?  To know me as Madeleine’s Mommy is to know the best part of me.  If she is the reflection by which most people in this world view me, I will count myself fortunate to have such a beautiful mirror in which to be seen.
I’ve been shyly coveting those cards since I saw them, but not letting myself really want them.  I think, though, that when we get to play date stage – which isn’t that far away – I’ll be adding them to my birthday list.  After all, it’s part of who I am, and I am content with that.


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