Motherhood and/or/vs. Personhood

13 October 2010 at 6:01 pm 1 comment

Having a baby irrevocably changed my identity.

I thought I’d come to terms with that fact until the past few weeks, as I experienced one more way this change plays out.

My son started a new daycare/preschool very close to my office, so whereas previously, my husband would drop him at daycare on his way to work, leaving me to head into work on my own, now I bring my son on the bus to work with me in the morning and drop him off myself. The center is actually right on my university campus, and the bus is actually a university shuttle bus. It happens to be particularly convenient: picks us up two blocks from our home, drops us off right at the center, and reverses at the end of the day.

This means that whereas I used to have two distinct spheres of life–Work, where I was Professor/Colleague/Person/Adult, and Everything Else, where I was Mom/Mommy/Mama/Mother/Food Source/Comfort Source–my life is no longer that simply divided.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having my son so close to me, and knowing that he’s getting quality care at the university center. But it’s strange, nursing on the bus surrounded by undergrads, wondering which of them are my students now or might be my students next semester. My worlds are colliding, in short–I didn’t know I kept things so compartmentalized until I couldn’t anymore!

Have others experienced this? How do you deal with the identity confusion?



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Happy Babywearing Week! Nursing: it’s not just for eating!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. reproductiverites  |  17 October 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I definitely have nursed or even just strolled with my baby on a campus where I teach and wondered who was spotting me there and how their perceptions of me might be changing because of it.

    I blog about being a professor and being a mommy, which is helping me to better integrate those two sides of myself.


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