On having an identity crisis

unnamedThe other day I found myself in a sticky situation. I was at a party, trying to have a conversation and also trying to prevent my toddler from destroying the host’s home, when the question came up “So, what do you do?”

After a beat, I said “I’m a writer.”

Because I am. Well, kind of. I used to be a journalist. I used to listen to police scanners, track down sources and scribble through those tiny spiral notebooks. Now, I write a freelance article here and there. Sometimes. I blog a little, as you might have noticed.

What I should have said is “I keep this human alive” and pointed to my son, who at that moment was entangled in electrical wires and had a raspberry smeared across his cheek.

Being a stay-at-home parent is far more demanding, exhausting and creative than any job I’ve ever had, yet I’m too embarrassed to say “I’m a mom” when asked the inevitable cocktail party question. Maybe I’m embarrassed because it doesn’t require a college degree or maybe I’m embarrassed because women have been doing it for centuries (which is why we’re always quick to applaud stay-at-home fathers). Maybe I’m feeling resistant because Switzerland is a country so in favor of a “traditional home.” Bottom line: I’m having an identity crisis, and it has nothing to do with being an expat.

(Maybe you can help?)

I need to snap out of it, because today I’m doing the most incredible of feats for someone with my job title: I’m flying internationally with a toddler. Just the two of us and a iPad full of Peppa Pig. I’ll report back when I make it to the other side.

Meanwhile, I hope you are having a nice week. Here are a few, fun links for Tuesday:

The coolest hotel in each state

How many Aperol Spritzs can you drink in 24 hours in Naples?

If you send this to the State Department, you can get a back-up passport!

The shoes I always wear on flights

Anthony Bourdain’s legacy: Seeing the world with Cerebral Palsy

Where you’ll find me over the Fourth of July


Above photo from A Village in Paris


7 thoughts on “On having an identity crisis

  1. I love your blog. I stumbled on it recently. I am also from the west coast (though further north in Canada) and moved to Switzerland last year for my husband’s work. I feel you on the identity shift, I left my job as a teacher. I wanted to comment as I am actually reading this post as I sit in the Zurich airport waiting with my 18 month old daughter to board our international flight. Have a good flight and I look forward to future posts!
    PS Our iPad is full of Peppa Pig and Dora 🙂

    1. Thank you! I love making new expat friends through the comments section! We survived the flight, although he only slept 15 minutes during all nine hours of the flight! I hope you two survived yours as well! Oh and I can highly recommend the app “Peekaboo Barn” for your flight home. Toddlers are crazy about it 🙂

  2. Dear Paige,

    Your job as Mom is one of the most important in the world. To raise happy, well-balanced children in a challenging environment is not easy, and you are doing a fabulous job. Bravo! Good parents help to create a better future for all of us!

    Thank you and do not shy away from the credit you so richly deserve!


    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Dear Maryanne,

      You always say just the right thing. Thank you for these kind words — they mean so much coming from a superwoman and wonderful mother, life yourself. Sending you big hugs!

  3. Paige, there is no greater calling than being a mother. Don’t ever be ashamed of that profession. ​Giving a child a secure emotional base is so very important. And you only get one chance to do that. No, you have chosen well and I would advise you stick with your choice as long as possible. In the long run, you will not regret it.

    Barry Lillie

    On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 11:49 PM, Bakersfield Blonde wrote:

    > Bakersfield Blonde posted: “The other day I found myself in a sticky > situation. I was at a party, trying to have a conversation and also trying > to prevent my toddler from destroying the host’s home, when the question > came up “So, what do you do?” After a beat, I said “I’m a writer.” >

  4. Being a mom is an incredible job! I agree that I sometimes yearn for the degrees that are currently gathering dust somewhere, but I feel so lucky that I get to be with my kids full time. And now that they are changing at an ever-quickening pace and time seems to be moving so quickly, I am confident that I am right where I need to be. You are a whole person, well-rounded with lots of facets! Being a mom is one of them, as is being a writer. You are doing a fantastic job and I can’t even being to imagine how much Grant loves having his mama around all the time : ) Big hugs to you xoxo

    1. Thank you Kristina! I’m always in awe of how you’re doing it (times two) and keeping up your “practice” 🙂 I need to find some outlet like yours, so I feel valued somewhere outside of our apartment as well. Maybe something that leaves me with toned arms too! But yes, I love being Grant’s mama and wouldn’t give up this time for anything in the world. This is a profoundly precious time in his life! xoxo

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