Do women define themselves by their children ?
When men meet each other after a number of years they always specify what they have been doing with their work. When women meet up they tend to lead with a) The number of children they have or b) what their children are currently doing.
So do women (generally) define themselves by their children ?
Great question, and I can only speak for myself. In the years of raising kids, that is accurate-the friendships were often based on mutual commonalities: kids. So, it stands to reason that would be a focus. But, after the kids were grown, graduated college and married, that is only part of the conversation. A good portion of it is, "So what have you been up to lately?" or something close to that. Followed by, "how are the kids? The grandkids? Your mom and dad?" So, it changes with time. I think it also changes with age and new friendships. My friendships now are not centered around those same issues. In fact, anyone who knows me well will usually inquire about my writing.
I can't speak for all women, just myself. I do not define myself by my children; however - they are my greatest accomplishment & what I am most proud of.
What a well-stated comment! I couldn't say it any better.
My kids are my "greatest accomplishment"? That makes it sound as though your kids are some sort of extension of yourself, and are great because you made them as such. I hope my parents see me as a separate human being and not an "accomplishment."
Spooner28 I hope your parents are as proud of you as I am of my children. I hope they take pride in the way they raised and nurtured you, for you would not be the individual you are today without them.
i think people tend to define themselves on those qualities and accomplishments that have made them happiest. i don't necessarily know any woman who defines herself solely as a mother, but i know plenty who call themselves that first and foremost.
That probably depends on the woman. Personally, I don't do that. I define myself by who I am as an individual, not necessarily by what I do, except when asked to describe my professional biography.
When I meet new friends I haven't seen in years, I don't mention my children unless they ask. I would be more curious to find out what they've been doing with their careers but that's me and what I find interesting in people.
Sad to say, I believe you are right. Myself included! I think quite often we see the success or failures of our children as a marker of the measure of our success as a parent. In the past a woman only had her children and home to show for her time. Today, it should be different, but all too often, even those of us with careers and professional successes still tend to have great pride in the success of their children - more than ever. I think it is somewhat in part to all the junk going on in the world today too. Anyone who has children,who are productive citizens doing well, does in fact deserve to define themselves by that measure. I speak from experience. When asked about myself, I tend to add my children, their lives and my grandchildren into the measure of myself. I, too, stand guilty of this pride in my children.
I believe that the degree to which a woman identifies herself as a mother depends on the individual and what her other priorities are. Women who become mothers after they've achieved many goals probably don't see themselves first as mothers.
However, in my opinion there is nothing else in a woman's life which can, in one fell swoop, change her life so dramtically. Her body, lifepath, self-image, and choices can all be re-routed when she commits to motherhood.
It would be strange if women didn't see this massive, life-altering event as redefining their identity to some degree. Mens' lives are changed by parenthood, but not in the same ways.
My children are a part of me. I don't think that it is necessarily that moms define themselves by their kids but more that they have a connection with them that is beyond words or feelings. I can't speak for every woman, but that has been my experience.
Really a great question - Do women define themselves by their children?
As a mother of three, I believe that I am partially defined by my children, just as I am partially defined as a wife, as a daughter, and by my career choices; But I don't believe that I am completely defined by my children. When I meet up with my friends and acquaintances who are also mothers, we discuss our children and their activities for many reasons; sometimes, it is to commiserate, sometimes it is to brag, and sometimes it is to trade tips or advice. Being a mom is a huge part of my life-experience, and I believe that we it is what we experience in life that shapes and molds us into who we are. When I get together with friends and acquaintances who are not parents, or when I meet up with business associates or clients, I seldom lead off with; "I have three children."
So yes, I am partially defined by my experience of being a mother of three, but that isn't the sum of all my parts, and I am also defined in many ways by my other roles, interests, and life-experiences.
As soon as men can have children, they will specify this information when asked about work!
Non-child related jobs are important, and we (women) need to emphasize how important men/fathers are for children.
(just like the cool men out there remember how important the mothers of the world are).
Isn't it all about identity? I have four kids who are all grown up. I have spent the last 33 years being called "mum" by four people. When you are constantly being called "mum" instead of your forename, whilst raising kids, you tend to grow into that identity first and foremost. How many mums have been out at the shops without their kids, heard the word "mum" being called out by someone else's child and turned in reaction? It's a bit like never being off duty! Whether working or not, perhaps we simply see this as our primary role. I believe good mums do get a bit lost, personal identity wise and lose a bit of who they are whilst raising kids.
Just my opinion.
I don't define myself by my children. I define myself as a woman and being a mother is a great role of a woman. A woman being a mother made me complete and the qualities of being a good mother and the experience of having children is a wonderful feeling that makes me strong, tender, loving, caring, patient, giving etc a kind of love that is unconditional. A woman is proud of having children, a good status quo.
Since I do not have children and know lots of women who don't have any, I would say generally no. But, for those women who do have children and are not career oriented, I can see that happening.
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