Monday, March 29, 2010

I Used to Be

If you have children, then you are familiar with this phenomenon.
For some reason we moms describe ourselves as what we "used" to be. It's like we need validation that we did used to have some sort of contribution to society before we wiped boogers and hineys. Here's how this sounds in a sentence: "I am a stay at home mom now, but I used to make major decisions with a big time company. They trusted me with things like reports and presentations- not coupon lists and Nick Jr. theme songs."
Have you said that?

This isn't just for full time moms, either. I work part time and am still familiar with it. (And I when I worked full time as a mom and employee, I would come up with lists of how I really did spend a LOT of time with my kids (I DID) and how someone else wasn't really raising them. This is a horrible game to play with ourselves, folks.)
Here's my plan: we all are working our spanx off, so lets just give each other a break. I think we give ourselves enough guilt about our own situations and we don't need to pass out that goofy guilt to others. Everybody is doing the very best that they can. Period. So let's support each other instead of tearing each other down. (There's a Michael Jackson song in there somewhere.)
Off my soapbox, now.

Back to the topic, I used to be a public speaker. I knew how to drop my Southern accent (so people didn't think I was stupid), question the audience to keep their attention and provide humor through jokes/ top ten lists/ audience participation, etc. I traveled the country, was on TV shows and shot a few kids movies. I was skinny, in my 20s and had more energy than that silly rabbit with the drum.

Because of this past experience, this weekend at Spring Market, I was the go-to girl as the emcee for our speakers. And for some reason, they put big ole preggers me on the TV (sorry I can't embed the lovely video here, you have to click on that link). I hadn't slept in days, I have no idea what my hair was doing or why my blinks were that long and pronounced. And the interview itself was about 5 minutes- but they showed 9 seconds- if that gives you an idea of my speaking abilities at this point.

I have lost it. If I ever had it, that is.
But I think I'm okay with it. 

I do know more about reverse phychology, cleaning up songs and trains than I ever thought possible. I pride myself now on great book reading renditions vs. great marketing presentations and I conduct my morning meetings with Froot Loops and reports on pre-school friends. I race for the good spot on the school party sign up lists instead of the good parking spot at the office.

I am still working on figuring out how to get it all done with style and grace, but it's much better than figuring out office politcs (birthday party invite list politics is just as bad, though).
And since I don't have to wear pantyhose, I think this is a pretty fair trade.

Did you "used" to be something?


Suz said...

I used to be a teacher. I taught high school, which is strangely SIMILAR to managing a toddler. It was good preparation, but this is WAY more fun.

Nice job on the TV! :)

Jessica said...

I used to be a Registered Nurse in a Neuro/Trauma ICU. I had a Bachelors Degree and was applying to grad school for nurse anesthesia before I got married. I wiped boogers and hineys then too but none were as cute as the hiney I am responsible for now! What bothers me is that there are plenty of people, even those in my own family who think I am wasting my mind/education or losing my specialized skills by not working (I haven't worked as a nurse in three years). Do they really think I would be better off at work taking care of some drunk driver who would like to kick me in the head at the first opportunity? This is not an exaggeration, my job was physically and emotionally exhausting and I don't know how I did it some days. I'll take my husband and sweet little baby girl over that any day...and I'm not going to feel guilty about it any more!

Anonymous said...

I used to be a social worker, but it was so stressful I got out of it two years before I ever got pregnant. For those two years, I worked as a nanny and loved it. No stress and good training!

You used to do TV shows and kids movies? You've got me curious!

The Gunter Family said...

I used to be a teacher! :) And I say that allll the time! Being a stay at home mom has been and always will be my dream job! I should just leave it at that....

LizzieV. said...

I used to knit & crochet a bit, but now I put together shopping/coupon lists & help my son tie up his homework. (That yarn ain't walking anywhere. ) I used to do community theater, but now I entertain my daughter (those people remember me & know I'll be back once the kids are old enough to nuke their own hot-dogs.) And I used to be an Administrative Assistant-- the real power behind the throne! But now I'm Mommy & Wife-- and still the real power!!! (In fact, I think being a mom & wife has done more to develop my management skills than anything else; I wonder if my kids will write me a good rec letter?)

Lydia said...

First of all, I think you did great on the video clip! I wish I lived close enough to attend...looks like fun!
I used to be a Project Manager in the commercial furniture industry. Oddly enough, it truly prepared me for motherhood! I'm about to go back to work (if I can ever land a job after being out of the corporate world for over 2 years!) so I guess I will soon be saying, "I used to be a stay-at-home-mom"...good thing I'll ALWAYS be a mommy! ;-)

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I won't believe for a second that you've lost IT. So there.

I used to plan fundraising events that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight cancer. I used to teach speech to college kids at a major university. I used to participate in brainstorming and planning sessions at an ad agency. I used to do important things.

YES, I still do important things. When my career path hit the rocks, I happened to have my kiddo at the same time, so I obviously came out the winner even if my resume looks like C-rap. (That's sea rap, if you need to say it out loud. That's how we roll at my church! Ha!) But still. I used to do different things with my day.

Allison said...

I used to be the top graphic designer for a small agency. I do miss the creative outlet, but find myself using it for kid crafts and baking instead. Some day I'll go back, but I wouldn't miss out on this time with my kiddo.

thedettras said...

Yea, I used to be......frazzled, overwhelmed, guilt ladened, in a mood 24/7, and under the influence of career driven independence. A part of life that I do not want to return.....I still consider myself a teacher. Perhaps, not in a institutionalized classroom but in a Sunday School and from my home. Who else is going to teach my kids how to live life for Christ.

Girl, keep your eyes focused on God's plan for you.... right now, His plan is for you to be you, the wonderful mom and wife you are as well as an inspiration to so many through your blog!!

God Bless!!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

AMEN to your 2nd paragraph!! And, I used to be a lot of things, but something tells me that one day I will miss being the always late, always messy, mom with stained clothes and circles under my eyes. Cuz that will mean that my kids are all grown.

Mrs. NB

Susannah said...

Hillary, to me, what we do everyday raising children is SO MUCH MORE important than ANY job...period! You are a great mom! I feel like my life is on hold right now, but raising kiddos is so worth it!

nicole said...

Sure I used to be something. I think we talk about that to let people know that we don't only have to talk about having kids and stuff. Or that is what I tell myself. I was a degree advisor at my alma mater and I loved it.

Carrie said...

I used to be sane. At least that's what the voices in my head tell me. Haha! You did a great job this weekend. Even Ryan thought you should have your own morning show. I won't mention the "simple" comment. ;-)

Melissa said...

Well, I work full-time, so I can't really add to the "used to be" comments. However, I watched the video clip (you did great, btw!) and I want to thank you for the gesture of giving teachers free admission. I am a teacher, and it seems like everybody is really down on us lately. The vibe we get is that the general population thinks we're lazy and incapable of doing anything else, so therefore, we teach. Little gestures (like the free admission to one day of the Spring Market) that let us know we're appreciated mean the world!

Rebekah said...

I used to be a young girl who swore she didn't like children and did not ever want any of her own. Now I'm Momma to a 9 year old little boy who I wanted more than anything and a Montessori Toddler Teacher. Seems like I didn't know myself at all back then.

Debi said...

Love this - so true!
I USED to be a Feminist (people change, you know)
I found out Feminism is over rated and motherhood is a well kept secret.

Matt, Carrie, Lucy and Molly Allen said...

i used to be a PE teacher...and i used to have 60 girls (high school) in one myself. i also used to run track from 6th grade through my sophomore year in college. so that means i used to be in shape. in good shape. i used to have a six pack of rock solid abs. now it's more like a 6 pack of jello...
great post, as usual!

Kaycee said...

To quote YOU: "Here's my plan: we all are working our spanx off, so lets just give each other a break. I think we give ourselves enough guilt about our own situations and we don't need to pass out that goofy guilt to others. Everybody is doing the very best that they can. Period. So let's support each other instead of tearing each other down."


I am currently a high school teacher fulltime and a Mommy fulltime and losing my mind fulltime. :)

I used to have free time. ;-)

Melanie said...

I've heard you speak live and in person so i know you did great. And you so obviously do a great job at being mommy. I prayed for your baby today!
I used to... think I knew a lot but now I know we all need grace.. so I like what you said about we're all doing the best we can. I say that all the time!
As far as professions, I used to work in the buying offices of department store, used to teach high school English - and I loved it! But like teaching my kids and women about Jesus a lot more!

Rochelle said...

you are such a hoot!

well, i'm not a mom yet, but i "used to be" into speeches and speech-writing before i got a job in publishing. it's amazing how life just changes in unexpected ways.

hey, i finally caught up on my blog-related emails...whoops, i was wayyy behind! my bad. thanks for your emails and for your post on CHUCK! oh sigh i'm in love. :) how'd ya like last night's episode? wooweeeeee! yay, i loved it!!! my heart is happy. can't wait for next week's!

The Gunter Family said...

Ok I just looked at that video and you are sooo not "big ole preggers" and your hair is adorable! :)

Tami said...

I am so, so sad...being so late to the party the video link now says it is unavailable :( I really wanted to see it!!

as for what I used to be... A homeschooling stay at home mom. that was until the small home business I started to help me earn a little income while staying home turned into a full time business away from the home...(there's something wrong with that!). Anyway...before I was a stay at home mom...I gave up a career in the entertainment industry as a singer / dancer (emphasis on the singing...dancing was just enough to keep me employable in the staged shows that required singers that could dance :D) Favorite job was working in a show on a cruise ship.

And I too had to be trained to lose my southern accent...and to this day it is minimal...i envy that you were able to maintain that beautiful drawl!

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