Yesterday the unthinkable happened. An old friend (check out her blog) who now lives on the larger island and never has the time to come this side of the archipelago anymore (she’s mum to three adorable girls, all under the age of 5), managed to come over and we met! The last time I had seen her she was pregnant with the third child, who is now 1. It was really nice to meet her and her brood. If anything, it made me even more broody…in fact I had a weird dream about trying to get pregnant and not quite managing. But I won’t go there today, I promise! The couple of hours I spent with my long-lost friend reminded me of how life changes after kids come along…all for the better I might add. Well, all but for one important thing. I’ve written about this before but I’ll have to repeat myself. What happens to a woman’s identity when she becomes a mother? A man remains the same person, except that he adds the role of father to his life CV. It’s not that simple for women. Many times we’re ‘forced’ to give up our job or at the very least modify it and with that goes an important part of our identity, of how we see ourselves and how others see us. The friend in question has had to put her career on hold, and with that her other roles outside that of a mother. I sometimes complain that my life led me away from what I was building professionally and that I had to start over from scratch in a place I never wanted to return to, but at least I still go out of the house in the morning and can be someone else, apart from Munchkin’s mum, for at least a few hours. At the same time I punish myself for spending so much time away from her, even though she’s in school for most of that time. The question is an eternal one: are we meant to move on from one role to the next or can we have it all at the same time? Nobody seems to have the answer and you’re guaranteed to find at least one article about this dilemma each month in magazines. All I know is that what my friend is doing is an amazing job, even though she might feel that her ‘proper’ job, the one she studied and trained for, was really another one. She’s raising three beautiful, contented girls with very distinct personalities and Munchkin had a great time with them. Also, I admire her calm, wholesome approach to it all. She’s an inspiration.
On a different note, have a look at this cool little guy I saw on Garance Dore’s blog this morning. I ♥ his jacket, which looks like it’s a Stella McCartney for Gap Kids. I want to have one for myself!