Mom – Primary Identity

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

“Third grade dance group”, “Bus xx group” are few of the active WhatsApp groups on my phone. I scroll through the list and barring a couple of groups that serve as a neighborhood water cooler, the rest are tangentially or directly related to my identity as mom. The messages that get traded here have to do with pick up, drops, coordination of activities and sometimes, chatter about life as a multitasking mother.

Out of curiosity, I pick my husband’s phone. There is a whole slew of tennis related conversations, the same community cooler groups I am in and, his school and college groups. I suspect none of these groups exist to validate his identity as a dad and children certainly are not the primary focus of conversations. This, despite him being the one who does most of the chauffeuring. I coordinate and he does.

As I fold the second round of laundry, I realize this phase in life is all about mom being my primary identity. The rest of the labels are an afterthought. The exhausting physical drudgery of parenting younger kids is on its way out leaving in place a heavy mental load of executive functioning tasks. Keeping as many balls in the air without letting any slip. And, slip they do as is evident from emails from teachers and frantic texts from my kids.

Just when I think I am ready to retire this identity for a sparkling new one, comes along a rare unicorn of connection, an unspoken eye contact that contains a whole conversation, a smile that reaches across the room, the giggles that come from mom acting juvenile, the wistful ache I feel watching my children inch their way into young adulthood.

The rush of friendship, the pain of heartbreak, the miracle of watching them physically morph, the infrequent conversation while on a walk in which my child nurture counts as much as nature. These highs keep me going, grudgingly holding on to this identity for a little while longer.

Life Mom Mom's life Motherhood Reflections

Laksh View All →

Author. Parent.

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