My mom and her purse

I wrote this on my mom’s birthday, but I haven’t had a chance to post it until now.

mami and me, ca. 1992
Mami and me, circa 1992

A couple of years ago, it seemed every fancy magazine and newspaper was publishing “CAN WOMEN REALLY HAVE IT ALL?!” articles, and I was feeling pretty dismayed at the possibilities available to parents with careers. At the same time, I was reading a lot of cute lifestyle blogs written by moms who didn’t work outside the home and who described motherhood as this incredible event that completely transformed them as people.

Somehow those essays scared me more than the think pieces about how impossible it is to have a successful career and a happy family. I knew I liked having a job and being financially independent, and more than that, I liked being myself. The thought of a big transformation was scary.  What if you liked yourself better pre-baby? And does that mean your babies never get to know the real you? What does that mean anyway?

Luckily, my mom was in town when I was grappling with these ideas, and I was able to ask her, “Did you feel like a different person after having me? Did having a baby change your life completely?”

Without hesitation, she answered, “Are you kidding? Of course not! I just took you everywhere, like my purse.”

Happy birthday, Mami! Thanks for teaching me to live by my own rules.

Your favorite purse

My mom and her purse

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