I identify with parts of all mom work types. I get you, SAHM. I feel you, Working Mom. I am a WAHM, sort of. However, I personally feel limited by these three definitions. Based on personal experience and observations, I’d like to propose an additional category for mom work: the DIASOM.
The Do-It-All Sort Of Mom (DIASOM) is the mom who borrows from other mom work identities. Many DIASOMs, like myself, practice parts of all mom work types while not being able to really get behind one identity, sort of like the shopper who perpetually purchases and returns.
My DIASOMhood looks like this:
I have two kids and work three jobs that together do not total full-time work. I teach writing classes online and on the weekends. I was a teacher in my first career, I love being in the classroom, and I want to keep the door open should I decide to go back to teaching again someday. I teach yoga classes, because I enjoy yoga. I did a teacher training in 2008, and I don’t want to let it go. I work a part-time job in communications to stay current and connected and because it pays a tiny portion of the bills at our house. I also try to write sometimes. When I’m not working, I want to feel like I’m a part of my community, so I do two area boards and volunteer at the temple (oh wait, I haven’t actually done that yet).
I’m really home most of the time, though, so I volunteer at the kids’ school, clean the house and cook (or heat up) dinner.
I’m with the kids when I should be working; I’m typing emails with my kids hanging from each leg. I do most of this in yoga pants with a greasy ponytail.
DIASOMhood is awesome sometimes. I’m never bored, and it’s great to be able to contribute a nugget at dinner parties with the knowledge I’ve gained by having multiple toes dipped in different waters.
Like all mom work types before me, though, I wonder who is getting short-changed as I contribute in drips and drops to various causes but lack the commitment to dive into one pool and make a splash.
Here is my brain all the time:
– Should I teach again and use all I have learned as a parent and person to passionately mold the minds of the next generation?
– Should I become a spiritual leader and teach yoga, write about the philosophy and really live as who I want to be in that way?
– Should I go for that novel and commit to the hours of daily writing it takes to get it done?
– Should I give my all to my day job and make a career of it?
– Should I have a sparkling home with freshly cooked dinners and thoughtful conversation each night? If I were to choose this path, I’d never wield an electronic device around my kids again!
By being a DIASOM, I sure can check a lot of boxes. But I am a woman in perpetual limbo, unwilling or unable to put all of my eggs in one basket but always wondering if I’m missing the big win by not doubling down.
So like the working moms who feel like they’re torn in two, or the SAHMs who feel they have to defend their choice to use their college educations to shape the minds of their offspring, we DIASOMs struggle too.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll take a jump into one of my realms and see what happens. Or maybe I’ll just keep the plates spinning and hope they don’t crash down.