The email subject line read: Career Day Speakers Wanted.
And that’s where I normally would bow out of reading the rest of the email, and move back to folding the last little bit of the mountain of clothes I just tackled.
I used to have a career.
That’s what I told myself. I even went to school for it. I echoed again, to myself. There was a battle going on between my head and my heart. Do I chime up about this previous career I had before my title read: ‘stay at home mom’? Or, do I just let that be part of my past? Because, really, what group of kindergarteners wants to hear all about the exciting life of someone who runs a household. They can just watch their own mom in awe and amazement.
I decided to go for it.
I hit ‘reply’ on the email. Pep talked myself up a little bit, and responded that I would love to visit my kid’s class to tell them all about Interior Design. The sound of the swoosh from the message being sent, sent just as much anxiety to my own body. Which seems so silly, but I’ve been out of the game for a while. A little rusty on explaining what I do. I also felt proud that I was choosing to acknowledge my days pre-kids. Again, telling myself this would be fun—fake it, they won’t know that you haven’t made it yet. And then I put this out of my mind, and continued on with my daily tasks.
Career Day came…
and with a smile, my sweet little kindergartner told me how excited she was that I was coming to talk about design in her class. Apparently, her teacher spilled those beans, and now I was for sure committed. In true mom fashion, though, I had completely forgotten that it was that day. Inside, it looked like a ship going down with so many red flashing alarms going off. On the outside I just smiled back at my five year old and nodded in agreement. Calm, cool, and collected. I sent her off to school, and proceeded to dig out all my design tools, books, drawings, and samples.
Felt so good to dust off all the things that I used to use, daily.
With all the memories of my school days, I instantly knew I could pull this off. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that it had been years since I had even glanced at these things, let alone been to a workplace. I searched through my desk—that looks like it’s been neglected for as long as I’ve been a stay home mom, because well, it has been—for an index card to scribble some notes down on. Once I got my thoughts together to relate to a group of kindergartners, I gathered my bag of goodies and headed to Career Day.
And you know what happened? They all loved hearing about how things come together in their own home, schools, and doctor’s office. The excitement grew when I began passing around the samples, and them experiencing how they felt and looked up close. I let them hold the paint deck and pick out a color they would paint their rooms.
And you know what?
None of them raised their little hands and asked if I was currently working, or if I was just a stay-at-home mom. See, kids don’t see our titles. They were just excited to learn about the opportunities out in the world. My daughter didn’t comment on how for the last five years I’ve only been a stay-at-home mom, either. She just beamed with pride that her mom totally had a cool career.
And while I love being a designer, I love being mom even more. Because in motherhood, there is no school to teach us how to handle this job. We all wing it, whether we are working moms running a household or stay-at-home moms running a household. This job we have as mothers, is one of the best titles we will get. I think everyday we show up, we are showing our kids that, too.
The cherry on top of my Career Day experience? When the kiddos were asked if anyone might want to do what Mrs. Cordova does when they grow up, my daughter raised her hand. And who knows? She might even decide that being a stay-at-home mom is just as cool as being an interior designer.