An amazing TED talk came out the other day by Lindsey Shepard, the first hire at GoldieBlox, the innovative, award winning company which makes construction toys for girls. The mother of two talks about her decision to join GoldieBlox despite not being an engineer in a professional capacity. She argues that “Who we are” shouldn’t be solely about our education or profession and that we are all multiple things in what we do and enjoy doing each day. The talk is extremely insightful and she shares her personal (and hilarious!) stories from her early motherhood and about how she ultimately discovered she was actually an engineer.
I think most moms can relate to what she’s saying.
When meeting new people in a social setting the question that always comes up is “What do you do?” The answer that is given (and usually expected) has to do with one’s profession or accomplishments.
When I became a new mother and decided to leave my profession to stay at home, being asked this question became a major source of anxiety. I felt that people became disinterested and focused back on my husband’s career when I answered that I was now a stay at home mom. I had no idea who I was anymore without my job title and went through a major identity crisis. Who was I then? Was I “just a mom?”
Over the course of a few months I went through a soul searching mission. There were lots of things I was still doing that I enjoyed like playing soccer and running a small charity. Just like Lindsey Shepard I finally realized that who I am is not defined by a title or a paycheck. No person is “just a financial consultant” or “just a mom”. We are all made up of lots of things that make us who we truly are.
So who am I?
I am an athlete, I am an advocate, I am a role model to my daughter, I am a writer, I am a supportive wife, I am a loving and encouraging mother. And you bet I updated my LinkedIn to reflect this!
If you have not seen this TED Talk, grab your favorite healthy snack (or if it’s that time of day, a glass of wine!) and sit back and enjoy.
Then answer the question: Who are you?