Your identity

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Your identity
14
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 12:26pm
Maybe it's just me...maybe I'm too sensitive...but does it annoy anyone else when a woman identifies herself as "happily married" with no other description attached? For example, if you ever watch Wheel of Fortune, they always have the contestants introduce themselves at the beginning of the show. The women almost always say they are happily married to a wonderful man named so-and-so and live in xyz. If they have children, that comes next. Does that really tell us anything about a person? In contrast, I've noticed the single people might start with their job and include a hobby or interest.

Maybe it's just me, but I never want to get to the point where my marital status and mommy status is how I'd define myself. I do think my job defines me, but that's because it's such a huge part of my life. I'd include things like my interests, things I love, how I spend my free time (which, at the moment is being lazy).

Does it bug anyone else? Do you think we've learned to define ourselves better since we don't have that "married" title?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 11:44am

 

'.... I just don't think I woman's life should be ALL about her man and children. There's gotta be something else. I know you disagree with me on that, but that's okay'

I don't completely disagree! I couldn't ever just sit home and cook meals for bf and do his laundry etc etc. I'd go insane in a month. I NEED to have a job, a structure to life, people who need me to be somewhere at a certain time because they can't do without my help.. conversation that has nothing to do with my home life,  not to mention financial independence! I'm just saying that with my kind of a job, you'd have to be an odd kind of  person for it to mean a lot to you or be a big part of your life. And so of course, to me, my priority is my home life..

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
In reply to: shywon
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 11:38am
I understand that. If I had that kind of job, I wouldn't identify with it either. Since I'm a teacher, it has to be a big part of my life, though. If it weren't, I wouldn't be doing it very well. There are just too many requirements these days. I do have a couple nights a week when I get out with non-teacher friends, though, and that's very important to me. I just don't think I woman's life should be ALL about her man and children. There's gotta be something else. I know you disagree with me on that, but that's okay.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 9:43am

 

I've got to be honest with you Shywon and say that my job means absolutely nothing to me. I paper-shuffle in an office of a (huge, important, multinational blah blah) company from 9 to 5 every day in order to pay my bills and enjoy my weekends and holidays. The one most important thing in my life is my r-ship with my partner, and, sad as it may sound, being his gf is indeed my identity. I am also a twin so that's a huge part of who I am too. But work - ha, don't think so.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 5:31pm

I take no offense at all.   If you read my post you will see that I can understand exactly how you feel.   

When I was in FULL ON MOM mode, I didn't realize how boring(or whatever adjective) my life may have seemed to others that were not in the same phase as myself.   

Now that my kids are older, I am in a different phase of life, I have grandkids....I can see it more clearly.

Maybe if I had done more for myself, I would be more fulfilled now that I have changed gears from Full On Mom to single, working woman.   Or I would have a better idea of what to do to make myself happy.

Some people that I have worked with for a few years are shocked to find out I have 4 kids.   I just don't talke about it like I did when they were younger and around other Moms.  (soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, concerts, football games - the list goes onandonandon!)

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
In reply to: shywon
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 10:23am
It might also bug me because sometimes it seems like certain people say it as a way to show a status they believe they have. As in they think they're better because they are married and not single. I know that's not everyone, but I've encountered enough people who believe that way that I'm aware of it. I teach with someone who is 47 and desperate to find her second husband. She has a specific idea in mind of who he needs to be, and won't accept anyone who can't elevate her to "wife with a catch of a husband" status. She's negatively influenced my self-esteem a lot over the last 11 years, so I hear her influences a lot even though I try to ignore them. There is also the societal pressure that says being married is better. It's easier to ignore, though, and I think that's slowly changing.

That's why I like it here. I don't ever feel that pressure, except when someone married shows up and tries to bless us with their superior knowledge of dating. That kinda ticks me off, but I've got the rest of you so I can handle it!

Cfk- I'd maybe introduce myself the same way, but I'd really try to slip in something about me to describe myself that is unique and not exactly what everyone else is saying. I hate being just like everyone else!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
In reply to: shywon
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 9:40am
Yes, it bugs me for all of the very same reasons it bugs you. It's as if they're listing off an accomplishment of some sort . . . Although, to look at it from their point of view, if I were married I might say the same thing. It's like a nod to the hubby that they're "happily" married and not just existing inside of a marriage. If I were married, I guess I could also phrase it as "I'm X from X, X and I have a wonderful husband and X number of kids. I do X for a living."

It's like when actors or actresses accept their awards, and the press gives them a hard time if they forget to thank their spouses. If I was married and went on WOF, I would want to give a shout out to him in some form or fashion as well as, my kids, if I had any.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
In reply to: shywon
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 9:36pm

I think you just answered your own question.

Your job defines you. Likewise being married and having children is their job. And, if she also has a career, that would be all part of it too.

I imagine if some miraculous day, I am married and have a kid in tow. I would start out with 'I'm happily married' and then the kid, and then my career, hobies, etc...Many times you don't want to hog the time talking about yourself. Realistically though since I've never been married I talk aabout other things but it has always been my desire to be married and have at least one child. BUT, I'm at a place in my career where I'm reasonably established and satisfied, I don't know if I would compromise my career for a man since I've never had a man that stuck around too long.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
In reply to: shywon
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 8:03pm
Heather- I'm not saying kids aren't great. I want them myself very badly. But I guarantee you your kids aren't nearly as interesting to someone else as they are to you. I'm not saying that to be mean or telling you your kids aren't fantastic. When you're talking to other mothers about them, they really are probably just waiting to talk about their own. Just like you tire of hearing about the toddlers, they probably think they are the most interesting children ever created. I have to really filter myself when talking about my niece and nephew because I know they aren't as important to everyone else as they are to me. I hope that doesn't come across wrong because I really don't mean for it to. Even if I had kids, I wouldn't want to see my friend's daughter do a cartwheel for the fourteenth time. And I can tell she isn't interested in my niece because she always changed the subject to her daughter.

I have read before many times that the happiest moms are the ones who spend time doing things for themselves. From what I've seen, that is absolutely true.
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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
In reply to: shywon
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 7:05pm

IMO it is because of the tremendous cultural pressure put upon women to get married and have kids.  A male is supposed to gain identity by his occupation.  Cultural conditionants have a very powerful influence on values and behavior.

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
In reply to: shywon
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 5:45pm

I can say that when you have kids, they really are the essence of your life.   Sure, the man is around but kids are just amazing.  

It does get tedious for those who don't have/don't want/BTDT but I was the happiest when my kids were around me and doing silly things that just made me so happy.   

Don't judge.   When you do have kids, there are so many times that you are just so proud, amazed and awed by who they are becoming. 

I do understand what you are saying.   I have friends who have toddlers (and my youngest is 12)   and I do oooh and aaaah over some stuff but in the back of my mind I just think...dear lord, save me!

Honestly?  For me the best thing I ever accomplished was raising 3 pretty good kiddos.  Still raising one  and sometimes she astoundes me because she is so different than the rest.

I was never ashamed that my identity was Mom.   And the ladies you speak of would say the same.  Yes,  I have many other sides.   But Mom was the best.   

I can't say sh*t about happily married, although I have been....but Mom...well that I am proud of.  Always have been, always will.

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