“Just a Mom.”

(I have tried to write this post many times. I write. I delete. I write. I save as draft. I delete. I write again. Delete. I don’t know why this is so hard for me, but it is and it’s time I write it write it write it and then hit publish. For reasons I do not understand, I cried about this all day. I knew it was time to write it, publish and never look back. I will not edit. I will post it exactly as it type it the first time.)
“What do you want to do after you graduate?” He asked me, during one of our late night phone calls.
“I don’t know.” I replied, as I giggled.
But I knew.
I wanted to get married.
I didn’t need college. In fact, it wasn’t even an option. My parents never told me the important of an education. You don’t need an education when you have Jesus! You just need to love God, find a Godly man. Marry him. Have his babies.
One year and 5 months after I graduated high school, I married the man that asked me that question.
It’s what I wanted to do. It’s what God wanted for me to do.
The full time job I had at a Christian School ended just after graduation. But I quickly found a part time one, working in a public school– after school program. It was perfect. Only 4.5 hours a day, but I’d get insurance, which my husband’s job didn’t offer.
Three years later, we had our first baby.
The baby I always wanted to have. The baby I wanted to take care of and love and nurture. I could take care of my baby all morning long, go to work in the afternoons, come back home and take care of my baby again.
I was a Mom. Such a good Mom. Because I loved being a Mom. I loved it with every fiber of my being.
My life was beautiful and felt perfect for us. We didn’t have extra money, we didn’t have fancy furniture. We couldn’t afford to take vacations. But I had my husband. I had my son. That was all I needed.
4 years later, I was a Mom again.
I couldn’t have been happier.
In 2002, I started a blog. Through that blog, I started to meet new women. Oh, how I loved these women I was meeting in the virtual world.
They were doctors, lawyers, writers. They were comedians, reporters, psychotherapists. They were lesbian, bisexual. They were single moms.
They were kick ass women.
I had lived a sheltered life. One in which I spent almost every waking hour in the House of God. And not your typical House of God. This was a House of God that preached “a woman’s place is in the home!” One that forced women to wear headcoverings when they entered the church to show their submission to God and to their husbands. One that said women can’t wear pants- pants are for MEN! And no make up, wimmins! Make up is for whores! “MONKEY LIPS!” one preacher once shouted at a woman who had come to church with lipstick on.
Swear to God.
So, to meet all of these incredibly diverse, successful women online opened up an entire new world to me.
I no longer could believe for one minute that a woman who had made a career for herself didn’t love her children with the same passion that I, a stay at home mom, did.
I grew to love these women, admire them. Their words inspired me. They taught me. They made me cry. They made me laugh.
They changed me. For the better.
But then, something happened.
I started to feel shame.
Deep, horrific shame.
I didn’t measure up to these women who were now my friends.
I didn’t go to college.
I didn’t have a career.
“Just a mom.” I was just a mom.*
That had always been enough for me and then suddenly, it wasn’t.
But it was.
But, it wasn’t.
The thing that I loved about blogging when I first started was that I could write these stories of my life and people responded. I was embraced by these woman I was in awe of.
But, the shame.
The shame that I could never measure up. The shame that while they were writing “pieces” on feminism, I was writing about my ass eating my thong in aerobic dance class.
That’s all I had to offer.
I started to feel like I need to keep my mouth shut, because, what do I know? I’m just a mom.
The question I fear the most when meeting new people is “where did you go to college?”
I feel so small. I feel so stupid.
I could have went to college after I had the kids, after I realized the errors of my way. But there was always a reason not to. How could I spend money on an education when there was barely enough to pay the bills? But let me be really honest here: It was fear that stopped me. It was shame that stopped me. That fear that I feel in the pit of my stomach as I type this. Fear that I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t smart enough, that it was too late for me.
Recently, I received an email that said I had been chosen to be a speaker for Mom 2.0. I was thrilled, but I also thought it was a mistake. What did I have to offer? Have you seen the speakers list? Accomplished, intelligent, professional women. It HAD to be a mistake.
It wasn’t a mistake. But I ask myself every day. “How can you sit up there with those incredible women? You don’t belong there.”
Last year I was lucky enough to have been hired for a full time/work from home job with BlogHer. I am surrounded by influential, powerful, intelligent, professional women. I feel so unworthy– like, how did I end up here with this fantastic job and these incredible women? I don’t belong here.
I am proud of the mother I’ve been and continue to be to my children. I never regret being their mother. How blessed I am to have them. So very blessed.
I just wish I could say I was proud of the person, the woman, that I am as a whole.
(Now that I wrote this for all to see, I shall never speak of it again.)
*this isn’t how I feel, this is something I heard another woman say. “we’re not JUST moms. We have careers.” she said. “But… I am.” I thought. “Oh, but *I* am.”

151 thoughts on ““Just a Mom.”

  1. Connie

    Oh honey– you aren’t “just a mom” you are “A MOM”. If the choice works for you, don’t feel ashamed. You are not any less.

  2. Dad Gone Mad

    There are some things college can’t teach, Yvonne. Like how to be a warm person. How to be respectable and kind and worthy of people’s love. I’d rather have you as a friend than 10,000 stuffy, stupid, finger-up-their-asses college graduates.

  3. Cecily

    Oh, girl. I hear ya. I’ve always used my history of alcoholism and addiction to make me seem tougher, more interesting, and more cool than I really am.
    I never finished college. My shame? My mother has a PhD. My grandfather did as well. My grandmother had her Master’s degree by the time she was 20, in the 1940s, and spoke six languages. Me? I dropped out of college. Like at least three times. When people say, “I love your writing! You should write a book!” I always think to myself how no one is going to publish a book by a woman without a college degree.
    Sigh.
    No one judges us as harshly as we judge ourselves. No one. Personally, I find you fascinating, and funny, and engaging, and I love your writing. I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You’d see how kick ass you really are.

  4. mouthy_broad

    Don’t be ashamed. You are a product of your upbringing that doesn’t value education. ESP for women.
    That said-go sign up for a college class. Get out there. it isn’t too late. You aren’t even 40!

  5. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    I’ve met you in person several times, I’ve had conversations with you. You are not “just” anything. I know plenty of people with college degrees who can’t write the way you do, who will never write the way you do. Having a degree doesn’t make a person smarter, or better or any other superlative except maybe more in debt.
    You are a mom. You are a writer. You are a photographer. You are an inspiration.
    You are “just” you. And that is more amazing than you know.

  6. Fairly Odd Mother

    Oh, my heart.
    I’m willing to bet that to the people who love you the most, you being “just a mom” is about the greatest gift you could have given them. How lucky are your children to have a parent who loves them so much, to be so happy to have had them?
    If you decide to go back to school for you, great, but don’t do it for anyone else. Don’t be intimidated by it. You are obviously smart, a great writer and have proven yourself many times over by raising three children.
    I’m so sorry you feel like you don’t measure up in some ways—I have a feeling many, many people are going to tell you that you do.

  7. sam {temptingmama}

    I’ve never ever once thought of you as “Just a Mom”. In fact, I look up to you. I always have. I think you’re a very talented writer, very personable and a great friend.
    I love you and think you’re amazing.
    I totally understand where you’re coming from and do not all all negate your feelings because they are definitely valid. But I assure you, you are MUCH more than “just a mom”
    XO

  8. Beth

    You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
    The best writers and the best thinkers are not usually the best educated. What you learn in life is as important as what you learn in school.
    The greatest thing about the internet is that we all get the chance to tell our stories, no matter who we are, and we find audiences and people who will cheer for us when we need it and tell us when we’re off course in some way.
    I think you’re an amazing mom and what you’re doing with your weight loss is awesome. You’re a strong woman in your own right; don’t let the education stuff fool you. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

  9. Nina

    I feel the same way. And I never wanted to get married or have kids, I had totally planned on going to college (and did, but dropped out) and becoming…something. But here I am. Married with children. And while I sometimes feel embarrassed that I don’t have a degree and that I work retail, I’m happy with my life the way it is.
    And you are a WONDERFUL mother (WAY better than I could ever be), so don’t feel ashamed! Plus, it’s Mom 2.0, not College Graduate 2.0. You’ll kick ass!!

  10. Sarah

    All of us moms have the privelege of having you in our midst. You are a shining example of what we all strive to be. There is no such thing as “just a mom”. You are a Mom, a very important role that not everyone is blessed to be chosen for.

  11. Norma

    It’s all about perspective. I wasn’t blessed with children, I’d give anything to be “just a mom” at least I think I would. But besides that, you’re awesome! You have wit, charm, an incredible sense of humor and the love you show your kids is incredible ( l love the photos you take of your kids on their birthdays!), and your photography! That’s a profession, you know, you do have it all.

  12. Chibi Jeebs

    Oh, Y. :( Like Connie said, you aren’t “just” a mom. But even if you were, what an amazingly important “job” to have! YOU are amazing – you make me think, you make me laugh, you make me cry, you inspire me. That being said, I know how damaging and demoralizing comparing yourself to others can be.

  13. WhyMommy

    How brave, how brave.
    Y, you’re not “just” anything. You are an incredible writer and an incredible woman, and I only wish I were going to Mom 2.0 to hear you speak.
    This is brave, and wonderful, and opened my eyes a little tonight.
    P.S. I think the wonderful thing about feminism is that it means that you can choose the life that is right for YOU.

  14. Julie

    Yes, you are a mom. A mom who is also a great writer. Lord, have I gone to college. For years. Almost a decade. Can I write like you? No. Never have, never will. It is a gift. You can’t learn it. Refine it, maybe. But if it doesn’t exist in the first place, then no amount of college will give it to you. Appreciate the gift. And if you want to go to college, then go. There are lots of programs that will help with the financial part. There are also lots of “non-traditional” students. I work at a university and see them every day. They are the best, because they really want to be there. No because they think they should, or don’t know what else to do, or because their parents want them to. Hugs honey. I think you are one of “those women”. College doesn’t make you one, your humanity does.

  15. ree

    OMG – I have been reading your blog for years and probably never commented (sorry, I’m just a really good lurker) but, can I just say now that I love you! I mean, really. LOVE you! I hope the tears were because you finally realized your super-awesomeness. Love and hugs from a woman with multiple degrees who looks up to you.

  16. Bronwen

    Dude. Y.
    You are a Mom. You don’t need a piece of paper to be a Mom. You don’t get a degree in Mom Studies. There’s no Masters in Momonomics available today. No degree is going to make you any better a mom, or any better a person. You are exactly who your children need you to be.
    I’m a teacher, and I have two degrees, and I still think that being a mother is my highest calling. I wish I could do it full-time, but hey, the economy sucks. And if I could do it full-time, I’d still find myself reading your blog for advice, as I have been since Gabby was in diapers.
    So, when you’re surrounded by those women on stage, please remember that these women are your peers. They are your equals. You represent Team Mom on the Olympic Level, pal. I think you might even have one up on them, because you went into the mom game knowing that *that* was what you wanted to do best. Some women just aren’t that sure. So, represent, girlfriend. I’ll sit here with my bean dip and cheer you on from the sidelines.

  17. daniel

    Throughout all the various “jobs” that I have had, I have always described myself as a dad. During school events, I walk up to the table with sticky name tags and put ____’s Dad on there. being a parent is all-encompasing, and you know it. Being “just a mom” (or “just a dad”) is the best. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Congratulations on being selected as a speaker.

  18. 22

    You know, Y… I grew up for part of my life in a church similar to yours. BUT- my father didn’t attend, and so was disgusted when I’d say, I want to graduate and get married right off.
    What’d I need marriage for? Why spend the money on an education if I was going to ‘waste’ it on babies and a man, right off?
    Lo, 10 years later, give or take, and I have the education, and the ‘career’, and all I still want is the husband and the kids.
    What’s really in question here, and in society, when we compare our paths and don’t go for it all, is the true definition for greatness.
    If all you want to be is a mom, and you do that and kick ass at it, then you are a phenomenal expert, who will be listened-to, and loved. No matter how much education you get.
    Plus? You can always apply to school. “Applying” to be a mother and wife isn’t that simple.
    Do what you do. You shine, as we all do when we are true to who we are and who we want to be.
    peace.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  19. MFA Mama

    Sweetie if you’re happy being you and we love ya, why do you care what the rest of us are? You do the mom gig like Hilary does politics, and personally I think that’s all kinds of awesome. I have a terminal degree, teach at the college level, and am a single mom but I feel like I’m half-assing at everything I do most of the time because it’s like spinning plates on top of dowels, and am always lamenting that I just want it to be BORING for a while, GAWD… I can practically guarantee you that everyone you think is fabulous feels like a failure or a fraud at least some of the time; some just cover it better than others. If you want to pursue a degree, go for it. Hell, I’ll help you if you get stuck on a paper. But only do it if YOU really want to, and not because you feel like anyone thinks less of you for not having done it. Because ten people who judge like that aren’t worth one of someone with a heart like yours.

  20. Kristen

    Hey listen, I have a degree, and I have the same feelings. I truly feel blessed that I can do what I do, but until our society appreciates it too, we will feel this way.
    Plus, part of being a mother is filling yourself with unconditional love for others- and sometimes? There just isn’t enough of that leftover for you. Sad, but true. Degree or no degree.
    I can’t wait to hear more about 2.0- they are lucky to have you.

  21. Nette

    Funny how much I relate. I’m a mom and a teacher…but I often tell myself I’m *just* a teacher. And I feel shame. :-) I hear you. My head says different. But my core whispers that disappointment. Thanks for sharing.

  22. am

    You know, it’s funny to me because I carry the same burdens you do, but just slightly askew.
    I’m a mom, and I love my son with all of the fire and passion that I know. He is my son, my moon and my stars.
    With that said – I’m not very good at this mom thing. oh sure, everyone else says I am, and I’m consistently proud of how many people compliment his behavior and how kind he is and really just a nice kid (I must be doing something right…)
    But I’m ashamed that I don’t truly enjoy it like a lot of moms I’ve met online.
    It’s hard fucking work, to be honest.
    I went to college. I worked up until I went into labor. I went back to work 2.5 months after he was born. I like working. I feel good working. And that kind of work (school, career) was never as hard as this. I got laid off in July and now I’m a “stay at home mom.”
    I cry more than I ever have, and I’m ashamed of it.
    I tell myself every day that women around the world do this ten times over with 4 times as many children… But that’s cold comfort when I meet my other “stay at home” mom friends, and they’re all “Oh i cooked a ten course meal, took all my kids to all of their amazing after school activities, ran 15 miles this morning at 5am, had craft time with the kids, cleaned my house so we could eat off of the basement floor if we wanted to…what’d you do?” I say “oh, I got dressed and Jude and I played with legos and we ate peanut butter and jelly, shit I’m tired.”
    And I know I’m doing it wrong, and I feel embarrassed that I’m not at the gym every morning and that my house has more toys on the floor than there should be…and I don’t know what to talk about with my other friends who “stay at home…”
    So I say all of this to you in comfort and love, to let you know that from the other side of your fence (the college, the career) it’s just as hard. I admire you because your children are so, so good, and you work SO, so hard at working out and having fun and making life just full of joy. You inspire me to just start trying to love myself for what I am a little bit more, and love the people that inspire me to do that.

  23. pgoodness

    Delete that word JUST from your mind and heart. There is no such thing as “just” a mom.
    And who care where anyone went to college?! I went because it was expected of me; it took me 8 yrs to finish a 4yr degree going part time. Not once has anyone I’ve met online asked where or if I went to school. The more important things are who we are, how we treat one another, how we interact and connect.
    You are a mom; it was what you were meant to do, what makes you happy and fulfilled- there is NO shame in that. None.

  24. Sandra

    Long time lurker here….the reason you can sit with these incredible women is because you are one. There is nothing wrong with being JUST a mom. I admire women who are able to JUST be moms – it’s something I so wished I would have been able to do but being at home with my kids 24/7 drove me nuts so I chose to return to work and school. Twenty-some years later, I now have the degrees and an accomplished corporate career. Does this make me better than you? Absolutely not! Don’t allow anyone to make you feel inferior because of the choices you made or had to make. ’nuff said…. (BTW, love your blog!!!)

  25. Maggie

    Your writing has meant much more to me than many MANY of the “pieces” written by women with college degrees and fancy jobs.

  26. Lesley @Avalea

    You are one of the most “school’ed” people, I “know”.
    You have a PhD in Love
    Masters in Life
    Degrees in Friendships
    &
    Certifications in Writing, Sharing, Giving, Knowledge and Wisdom.
    Print that, Y. There’s your paper.

  27. Thumper

    Some of the stupidest people have college educations. Those are the ones who look down on others and proclaim them “just” anything.
    But, I’ll tell you what…I went to college, I got the education and the degree, and then I stayed home with my kid. To be “just” a mom, because there was NOTHING more important that I could do. When he was in school I resumed my writing, but I was always “just” a mom.
    You’re pretty freaking awesome as is…anyone who thinks you’re less because they have a degree/career/botox/whatever is showing their true nature, and it’s not pretty…

  28. Jessica

    I would so much rather read about things you do as a mom than posts written about “educated” topics. It’s a gift to entertain people with a story!

  29. A'Dell

    This is so humiliating but, uh, long time reader, thrice time comment? Maybe?
    I’ve been reading since 2006 and, Y? You are not JUST A MOM.
    You are glue You are fabric. You are mesh. You are trust, love and security and you are awesome. I often wonder how I can be more like you, when I’m having a moment of weakness.
    “What would Y do?” so to speak. She would kick ass is what she would do! KICK ASS AT ANYTHING!
    JUST A MOM is not stupid. JUST A MOM is worthy of the National Medal of Honor.

  30. Jenn

    When I read this, Y, I thought of all the subjects you are qualified to teach a college class in …
    - Loving yourself.
    - Dancing like nobody’s watching.
    - Living life out loud.
    - PHOTOGRAPHY.
    - Raising strong and loving young men.
    - Raising a strong and loving daughter.
    - Bean dip. (Just kidding :))
    - Nacho Parties.
    - CHEESEBURGER PARTIES.
    - Blogging.
    - Being heard.
    - Getting healthy.
    You are an amazing woman and I wish that you could spend one day seeing yourself as others see you because it would absolutely knock your socks off. Imagine how your kids see you: with pride. Because you’re smart and you’re kind and you’re ferocious and you’re sensitive and you’re successful in so so so many things.
    And you know what? If you ever decided that you wanted to go to college and learn something new, you would totally rock the hell out of that too. Community college classes are cheap in California. (I know because that’s how I got started, after being a high school drop-out.)

  31. Jessica

    When I was little, there was a song I learned somewhere…I guess church, I have no idea…it says, “When I grow up I want to be a mother and have a family…”
    It is what was drilled into my head from the time I was young. I did happen to get to go to college (I am super cheap and love free things and that was given to me free, I know that is a blessing…so I took it b/c I knew I’d never have the $ to pay for it on my own) and then teach for a year, but now that I am JUST a mom, I love it and hope I can always JUST be a mom and never have to work and climb a corporate latter and all that jazz. Nope, give me a box of legos and a PG&J sandwich anyway…go rock the convention. Be PROUD to JUST be a mom…cause some of those women who you think are so put together just might not be as confident and secure as you think. They might be a little insecure, too.

  32. Lise

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I was “just a mom” for fifteen years. I quit college after two years to get married and have babies, and never managed to go back. I often felt inferior because of that, even though I would never have thought less of another woman who made the same choices. We’re always so much harder on ourselves than we are on other people.
    The thing is, though, very rarely is a mom “just a mom.” She almost always has interests and passions outside of her children. In your case, you’re a mom and a writer and a photographer. You don’t happen to be making a living at those things right now but I’d bet that in a few years, when your children are older, you will be.
    Not everyone is meant to follow the same path. Some people graduate college at 22 and spend their twenties building a career. Some people spend their twenties and thirties raising children, and go back to school. If that’s what you want to do, then I hope you find the money and time to do that. Or if you want to forgo school, and just build a career writing and taking photos, then do that. I know of at least one free-lance photography job I’d bet you could get if you wanted it.

  33. Rebecca (Bearca)

    It’s Mom 2.0… Not Ph.D 2.0… so who is more qualified than you? One of the things that has always impressed me about you is how obvious it is that you love your kids beyond words. And if it’s obvious to me, a virtual stranger, how adored must the three of them feel, who have the great fortune to have you as their mom?
    It’s easy to compare ourselves to others. Having a degree doesn’t change that. But it’s never too late! You could take classes now, and be an example for your kids of how important it is to follow your heart at any stage of your life. Because it sure seems like you’ve been a great example so far.

  34. Cindy

    I didn’t stop to read everyone’s comments so what I am about to write may be a repeat. There’s 2 things I want to say.
    1) I am “just a mom”. I have felt this way, too. I love reading you because I relate. It’s ok. It would be really boring if we were all the same. That’s why God made us so different. Not everyone can be “just a mom”.
    2) My 1 week old niece just lost her 34 year old “just a mom”. I’m pretty sure she would have loved her anyway. Just like our kids love us.

  35. Anyabeth

    Oh Y, you are not JUST anything. You are obviously an amazing mom and a great wife and, I hope that you already know, a moving writer.
    I think that we all feel this way sometimes. I just gave up a fairly fancy career and am trying to rebuild something and I find myself defensive about not being “just” a mom. And yet I never ever have those thoughts about other women. You belong at Mom 2.0 and anywhere else you want to be.

  36. Nina

    Hand on my heart, I admire people who love being with their children and are happy to look after them in the home. I cannot do that. God knows I’ve tried, but the 10 months I spent on maternity leave with my son were some of the worst I’ve ever lived. The boredom, the anger. It’s just not a job I was cut out for. On the other hand, going back to work part-time so I could look after my kid part-time – heaven. I was the best mum I could be then, because I knew that our time together was limited and I would have my own outlets and my freedom.
    I don’t love my kid less. I have a spectacular kid. But I am a better parent to him when we spend time apart.
    My value is not diminished by being happy outside the home, yours is not diminished by being happy in it. Ultimately, the question I ask myself is ‘am I living well? Am I doing the best I can for those I love? Am I being authentic to my own soul?’ and if the answer to those is yes, then there is nothing to be ashamed of.
    College and education and careers are meaningless if you are not doing the things you love, that fulfill your own spirit. Whether that is being a lawyer or a mom who loves writing and taking photographs is irrelevant. You are not ‘just a mom’ anymore than I am ‘just a therapist’. Celebrate who you are, so that other women may do the same.

  37. Parker_B

    I love your honest writing, and am so glad you’re posting more often. I think we all feel a bit insecure or ashamed at times. I can’t believe I’m already 27 and STILL unmarried and without children. I, too, dread being asked where I went to college, since I just went to a state/community college. I could only afford to go part-time for a while, so I took forever to graduate. However, some of the smartest, wittiest people I know didn’t go to college, and I wish I had a tenth of the common sense and worldly knowledge they have.

  38. Laura Lohr

    Just a mom? Please. You are Super Mom.
    I went to college and now here I am “just a mom,” with a buttload of student loan debt and
    three degrees collecting dust behind frames. I wouldn’t give up being just a mom for anything.
    You have something that college cannot teach. There are woman bloggers out there that DID go to college don’t have as much to offer as you. You were chosen because you have something to teach those college educated woman out there. So, TEACH IT SISTER! :D
    I agree with the other comments, there is no such thing as “just a mom.”

  39. Katie

    Y, I think you are awesome. In fact, I am jealous. College and careers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I only ever wanted to be a mom. I did go to college (so maybe I don’t truly understand), but just to get a “back up” education. I ended up having to use it and I now work as an engineer. I feel like I am WASTING my life there at work. My kids and I are separated every day, and I HATE it. My baby has been in daycare full time for more than a year, and some days he still sobs when I leave. I support feminism because I know other women see value in careers along with or over motherhood, but I just don’t. I honestly feel that my life is mostly worthless because I’m wasting it at work. I feel like I can’t write about this at my own blog in case my employers ever found it.

  40. Fiona

    Yvonne, when I left the equivalent of high school, I couldn’t work out what to do next, didn’t really want any more studying right then. My dad let me mope around for four months then dragged me off and enrolled me in secretarial school. I was so insulted that he wanted me to be ‘just’ a secretary.
    Well, not a day goes by that I haven’t thanked him for doing that, for one thing led to the other and being ‘just’ a secretary in the early days has stood me in good stead.
    You are not ‘just’ a mom. You are THE mom to three wonderful, amazing children. You have grown your role from ‘just’ to the best possible. And guess what, these roles we play out there in the big wide world, for all they may give us in return while we are in them, they will not be there as any kind of achievement once we give them up.
    YOU will always be THE MOM, Yvonne, forever. I envy you that, I truly do. I’d give up every success in my career to be a mom to even one amazing child.

  41. Neil

    I know that this is a very serious subject for you, and we all feel insecure about something, but part of me is laughing, too. Don’t you get it? This is why writing, photography, and the arts are so amazing… it doesn’t matter!
    I have two degrees from expensive colleges. I can honestly say that I have never once cared where you went to school or if you went to college, or questioned your intelligence or knowledge. And if you told me you went to Podunk Community College, we would both laugh about it!
    You’re an amazing photographer and writer and mom and friend. You also seem incredibly smart and sophisticated, other than maybe your love for Rick Springfield.
    Yes, if we were all working in law or working on Wall Street, it would matter what school you went to. Someone from Yale might look down on you for not going to college. But as a writer and photographer, it is an open door policy. A high school drop-out sanitation worker who writes a better story will sell a book more easily than a college professor. Art needs passion, not education. Of course, education is essential. But are you going to say that your grandfather wasn’t a good storyteller? Your accomplishments are your products — your work, your family, and your friends.
    If someone is better educated or has more business savvy than you, and it bothers you, you can always go back to school. But never let that take away from who you are — or your talent.
    I read your blog every day, not because your my friend, or because of some affirmative action program where I choose to read one blog a day written by someone who didn’t go to Harvard, but because YOU ARE A GOOD WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER. Granted, I may not go to you to get my taxes done or to represent me in court, but I might come over for a home-cooked dinner or do karaoke with you. (and you’ll notice that my avatar everywhere online is the photo you took of me in NY).
    I know you will continue to feel insecure about this, because it is natural, but put yourself in the other person’s shoes, not your own. Imagine you are some PR bigwig from New York City who lives in Isabel’s building and you meet yourself for the first time. What are you going to think about this Yvonne? OK, sure, maybe for the first minute you may chuckle that she lives in the boonies and think she is a redneck or something. But seriously, after you talk to this “Yvonne” for ten minutes, aren’t you going to be wowed by her and want her to be your best friend? You know it!

  42. Mir

    Others have said it better than I can, but you are many, many things. You have much to be proud of, and — in case you hadn’t noticed — you did manage to build yourself a career even without college. Which is kind of awesome.
    You’re perfect just the way you are. But if you want college? Go to college! Do University of Phoenix one class at a time, or a local community college. Check it out and see if your feelings change. It is never too late to accept/love yourself or to pursue a long-lost dream, Y. Seriously.
    Let go of the shame. Look around at your life. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of.

  43. burnurcomputer

    I like you just the way you are. I’m 30 (31 on Sunday), I have been trained as a nurse and you know what ??? I am just a Mom. I still hace no idea what I wanto be when I “grow up”. I’m an LPN who wen to school for a year and spent a few years on the job. It was fun and fullfilling because I honestly love old people. but you know what? The type of job that I did was just another name for Mothering. I gave meds, helped people go to the bathroom, get dressed, changed dressings on boo-boo(okay wounds, but you get the idea), helped feed them, gave them love. I took care of people. And its no different then what I do in my everyday life as a Mom. So I am and will always be just a Mom, and that is okay. My self worth is not judged on how much I make, how I look. My self worth is determined by how much of myself that I give to the world. Now, i liken this to you. You give so much of yourself and tell us what your life is like and it makes us FEEL. It makes us laugh, cry, and get indignant when idots are rude to you or your family. You bring joy to me and my world. So if you are JUST a Mom then I am so much less. Don’t think you don’t deserve your life and the fruits of your labor. Your journey to education on yourself and the world may not have been in a classroom, but in a world where you made and continue to make a difference. Like I said, I like you and you make ME happy. Mission accomplished.

  44. TeacherMommy

    I have a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree and work full-time as a teacher. NOT being educated was NOT an option in my upbringing.
    And you know what my deepest shame and source of guilt is? That I don’t think I love being a mother enough. That I often would rather be at work than spend hours with my children. Am I a good mother? Yes. Am I a great mother? Not so much.
    So you’re not “just” a mom. You are amazing because you are such an awesome mom. And you are not defined solely by that definition–you most definitely have an identity of your own. You also have PLENTY to offer. Otherwise I wouldn’t be reading your blog, trust me on that.
    We ALL have our secret shames. The very sad reality is that our society has taught us to view ourselves as lacking, to constantly compare ourselves to others and find ourselves inferior. And then we do it not only to ourselves, but to each other.
    You love what you do. And your children love you. Your husband loves you. Your readers loves you. So who are you? You are you, and becoming the best you that you can be.
    And that’s amazing.

  45. ambrosialove

    I was still pregnant with my first when I ran across a handful of ‘mommybloggers’, you included. When I made the transition from being a working woman (a waitress! with a college education!) to being *just a mom* at home with a newborn, with no friends who had any idea what I was going through, your blog, along with the others, helped me tremendously to realize I wasn’t alone. I may not have reached out and tried to make great friendships with you ladies, but I very much *depended on* reading about your *just a mom* experiences.
    I don’t think you’re *just a mom* though – you’ve been a volunteer, an organizer, a speaker, a photographer(!) . . . and a voice for *just a mom*’s everywhere!

  46. Kristy

    I think we all choose our paths while looking over our shoulders at what could have been. If dedicating this time in your life to raising happy, loved children is what your heart wants than where is the shame in it? Knowing what you want to do and where you want to be is a blessing.
    This could be a yearning to try something new. If so, follow it and see where it leads you.

  47. WhichBox

    Listen, I’m going to admit something that is hard for me to say.
    Years ago, I would have, well, not looked down on you exactly, but thought I could never have a connection with you. I value my professional life, and kids came later. So someone who had kids early, who didn’t have a profession – I wouldn’t have felt we had anything that might connect us. But through the internet, I’ve found a screamingly funny woman who makes me laugh – hard – along with her stories. I’ve admired an amazing photographer. I’m in awe of the vulnerability you show regarding your health and body. And I’ve admired the love you have for your children. I actually don’t even think of you as a mother first. I think of you as a really interesting person. You have opened my eyes. I’ve grown as person by learning, through you and others, that I have a lot in common with a lot of women. It’s called life and how you live it. And I respect and admire you and your life tremendously. Thank you.

  48. patois

    There are so many comments above mine, and I’m sure they are all far more articulate than mine. (See, we ALL do this thing!)
    College is nothing. College is wasted on so many of us, myself included. You do so many things so spectacularly well. Don’t beat yourself up for something that matters not. (Yeah, yeah, easy to say.)

  49. Vicky

    No one is ever “Just a Mom”. Your a Chef, a Dr. a short order cook, a Maid, a domestic Goddess, a Sexy Bitch, a lawyer, a mediator, keep of all things. Y there are so many things that you are beside a Mom.
    I have always loved your writing. The first post I read was when you and V were in Kohls and she was asking to wipe you in the bathroom. I laughed so freaking hard.

  50. Dee

    Y, You are an inspiration. At 40, I have grown tired of all the “perfect” moms I have come in contact with. I want to be with women who tell it like it is, let their warts show, so we all know we are not alone.( I have warts too, wanna see?) Women love you for making it OK to be what you love being. I told my MIL the other day how much I loved cleaning the toilet, providing a fresh clean toilet for my family. she said, if that is what gives you joy, that is priceless and worthwhile. I agree. You love being a mommy and a wife. that is priceless and worthwhile.

  51. ElizabethZ

    I only read about 7 blogs regularly, yours is one of them. I have been reading it for about 4 years now.
    I am almost 37 and am back in school, if you want to do it, you should do it, with 3 kids and a modest income, you should be able to get all the grants and loans you need to pay for school (aren’t state schools free in CA except for some fees and stuff – there is no tuition though or am I wrong?) . Go back to school IF you really want to do that for YOU.
    I think you are great just the way you are and I love reading what you write and your PICTURES, you are so talented. Really, I am not just saying that to make you feel better!!
    I have 3 young kids and would give anything to be able to stay home with them and be “just” a mom. The grass is always greener. Having a career is overrated. The money is nice, but the having to work everyday? Yeah, that sucks big time.
    Please don’t think of yourself as “just” anything again, you are so much more than “just”. We all are. The moms who love being moms. (And others too, you’re great too! Before I offend someone who is NOT a mom).

  52. Suzy Voices

    Oh sweetheart, “just a mom” is an oxymoron! I’m a working mother, and I thing stay-at-home moms have it the hardest! I get an 8-hour break each day from being a mom, you don’t. I think I would probably lose my mind without it.
    I have found so much comfort in writing and reading blogs. I never thought there were women like me until I read the words from all these beautiful, intelligent, funny women. And you are one of them!
    Shame is such a wasteful emotion. IT doesn’t get you anywhere or give you anything. But we all have it. I wish we could all just let it go, and we’d be even more wonderful than we already are.
    Keep your head high, my dear. Because you are LOVED and RESPECTED for who you are!!!!

  53. Jen

    I did everything I could to avoid being “just” a mom. I went to college, I planned for a career, I swore I would never/could never be a stay-at-home mom. And now? I’ve left my college degree tucked away in a drawer barely being used and I stay home to be a mom to the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel shame all the time about being so content with my life right now. Why is it so hard to be happy and proud of what we are and what we do.
    PS you may feel like you don’t measure up to all those incredible women but there are those of us sitting out there thinking we could never measure up to you.

  54. tena

    I could have written this- with minor tweaks. It’s a daily struggle, but that’s why this community is so great- we realize we’re not the only ones feeling the way we do.
    Thank you.

  55. Karen Chatters

    You have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of. Many, many very accomplished and successful people didn’t go to college. And by “accomplished and successful” that doesn’t mean that they work these crazy careers or saved the world. They raised smart, beautiful, intelligent kids of their own. You have influenced and impacted peoples lives through your words and your blog. Of course you’re a mom, a wonderful mom, but you are so much more. And on the days that you feel like “just a mom”, hold your head high and say that with pride because there is NOTHING shameful in being a mom.

  56. crystal

    I have read you for years, and this is the first time I have commented. Why? Because even though I have a fancy job, and 3 wonderful kids, and am currently engaged to the most amazing man ever, I look forward to reading you as often as you post. You make me laugh, cry and try harder to allow my going, in-your-face funny side to show. More than that, you have taught me to be proud of me!! I used to worry that I could never do as much as my friends, or as good, but I realized perhaps my job (in my little circle) is to continue to be their source of entertainment and laughs. And this, I am proud to do! Oh, that and wear McDonalds hats while doing a funky chicken dance-YUP-Just sayin”’!!

  57. Felicia

    Y,
    Do you know how excited I get when you answer me on twitter? It makes me day! I think you are awesome, you are not ‘just” anything you are everything. You are real and what you write is real. You are not perfect and you don’t pretend to be, you write the truth and you are honest and loving, and when I read your blog I feel so much better because someone else is going through what I am going through. We are the same, you are amazing. You are never just anything, because neither am I. You are so many things and you know, when your kids grow up and they are successful they will never look at you just as mom, they will look at you as the inspiration that you are. Being a mom is just as important as anything else in the world,because with out moms what would we have?

  58. Melisa

    When I am dead and gone I won’t be remembered for the degree on the wall, the working late or business dinners. Someone new will set at my desk, their family pictures while replace mine and work will still get done.
    When I leave this world I will leave behind my beautiful daughter. I hope when that time comes she will remember all the good times and knows how much I love her. As a single mom; she is my reason for everything. I will never be “Just a Mom” I am her mom. Work is Work be my daughter is my life. When friends and family look at her they will remember me. You are not “Just a Mom”

  59. kdiddy

    I just finished my master’s degree and I still feel like I measure up. One of these days you and I are just going to have to accept that we’re awesome. ;-)

  60. Jen @ lifelove'n'wine

    Oh Y, I wish you didn’t feel that way. I think you are so amazing and I just love reading your blog. You are an amazing writer, photographer, and of course mother. I can see the intensity of your love for your children when you write about them. Also, you are so strong and determined…more so than I think I could ever be. Your struggles with your thyroid problems get you down, but you still fight on. You keep trying. You don’t give up. You are amazing.
    I know we are always hardest on ourselves, I am the same way. But I just want you to know that when I think of you, I just think “Wow. She’s da bomb”
    (yes…I just said da bomb. Apparently I’m having a 90s flashback)

  61. Amy

    Yvonne, I haven’t commented in like, forever, and I haven’t blogged in months. You have inspired me to do both.
    I think a lot, if not all, of us suffer from the “Just a…” insecurities. It’s interesting that you never before mentioned you didn’t go to college, and it doesn’t change my opinion about you at all. I started my online life with bb’s because I was so isolated after giving birth. It eventually morphed into blogging and finding all the fabulous “mommybloggers”. I was a very active one at one time (PsychoBabble).
    It never mattered to me if people had gone to college or not, because here I was, a mom, with a college degree, that I’ve squandered. I’ve never had a career, only jobs, and that’s where I get envious I guess. I’ve also been envious of people like you, full time moms who love what they do. I’ve always felt slightly ambivalent, slightly lost as a mom. I’m a good mom, but I really could use something else in my life to give me fulfillment, but I don’t just want another “job”.
    Anyway, that was a long-winded, roundabout way of saying, it doesn’t matter where of even if you went to college. Some of my best friends never went. If people judge you for it, then it’s best if those people aren’t in your life. I’ll echo what a lot of people have said here, you are a wonderful mother and writer, and your photography continues to blow me away.
    I love you just the way you are.

  62. Lisa

    Y- I imagine this has been said many tiems already in the comments, but you are not *just* …..you are such an incredible woman! You are beautiful, articulate, inspirational, funny, wise, kind, creative, open…..and so much much more….and this I only get from reading your blog. You must be 10x all that in real life. You are one of the woman bloggers I admire and wish I could be more like! A college education does not make you who you are..it’s just a piece of paper, a very expensive one at that!
    You have nothing to be ashamed of…nothing at all.

  63. Jodee

    OH I know exactly how you feel. I never went to college either and I am ” just” a stay at home mom. I quit my job to stay home full time when we had our second Boo. I am SOO blessed to even be able to be at home with my kids, but sometimes I do miss working… and feel like just a mom.. sigh. I think we need to remember that being “just” a mom is really hard and the most important job in the world. Great post.

  64. Mrs Chaos

    You have a lot to offer.
    Your job as a mom is the hardest and most important job there is. To your children you are a teacher, a therapist, a doctor, a photographer…their biggest fan.
    This blog/website…this platform that you have to share your story is amazing. To your readers and these women (people) that you connect with you are a teacher, a therapist (maybe even a doctor), photographer and their biggest fan.
    You do good work. Don’t sell yourself short.

  65. Ines

    Y- I am “just a mom” too and I have a Bachelor’s degree… and you know what, there are so many days that I feel the same way. I love reading your blog every day because we share so many of the same struggles. I think you are an incredible woman. You inspire me to not be ashamed of my size and to continue to enjoy my life.

  66. Abby

    Hey, it could be worse! You could be like me and feel the shame of not even finishing highschool. I finished 9th grade..nothing more. The looks I get when I admit that are awful.
    Someone once said to me “but you’re just a mom. You’re not doing anything with your life. At least *I’M* going to college”. You know, I’ve also found that even though I didn’t finish highschool, I’m still smarter than a good portion of my peers. The spelling. The grammar. The (what I consider) basic knowledge. I find myself thinking “YOU finished college?? *HOW*?”
    And for the record, being a mom IS doing something with your life. Something great. Something wonderful! Something not everyone gets to do in their lifetime. You are creating life and molding those small people to be great someones someday. Someones who will, hopefully, be smart enough to not mock someone else’s life choices. Because that person that chose not to go to college..could be their mother.

  67. paige

    Oh, Y.
    I think you are inspirational. I love that you write about things that other people can’t or won’t acknowledge; and you do it with grace and without being judgemental.
    All of us women feel inadequate in some way. The mom-guilt! I hate it. I’ve been a WOHM, a SAHM, WOHM part time, and WAHM…they are ALL hard. Currently I work full time out of the house and I’ve struggled with every permutation of “mom”.
    When you’re feeling outclassed, outgunned or like you don’t belong…come back and read this entry and these comments. I think you are wise and funny and kind.

  68. Amy

    Y – I think most of us who read you don’t think of you as “just” a mom. You’re JUST a wonderful write, amazing mom, and a compassionate, thoughtful human being. Oh, and the funny, too. I’m not sure if it sounds like you would like another career, but don’t let anything stop you from taking a class at a local college (or not, and that’s totally OK too). You are simply an amazing person!
    - Said the person with 2 fancy degrees who’s meeting with the President of her company in 53 minutes and just STAPLED (yes, with a stapler) the hem in her pants ’cause they fell down this morning. Oh, and pants = dark brown. Staples = silver. Staples win.

  69. Karla

    Yvonne,
    I have a degree. I have a career. I just became a mom last May. My best job and the best thing I believe I will ever accomplish is being my son’s mom. Being a mom is the best and I would love to be a SAHM if I could….but I have a mortgage that my husband can’t afford alone…so I am stuck working at my career that I went to school for.
    Karla

  70. Dotte Girl

    Do NOT feel afraid, or ashamed, or unworthy. You are an incredible writer, a SMART writer, a wonderful, loving mother– and what you have to offer is that you entertain, and inspire and instill in all of us a sense of kinship–that despite our differences, we are all so very much alike. And a four-year college degree wouldn’t do a thing to change that.
    We all have shame for different reasons. Yours is because you didn’t go to college. Mine is because I got divorced. Every woman out there feels inferior for some reason–even the women who’ve got everything that we want.
    Hold your head high, girl! We have all embraced you just as you are–it’s time for you to do the same!

  71. gaylin

    As a single woman of 50 with no children I often struggle with where I am and who I am in the grand scheme of things.
    I didn’t want children or a marriage, it never seemed important to me. I adore being single, love the quiet, love never having to report in to anyone and to only be responsible for taking care of me is a relief. I started taking care in my family at 11, yep, an 11 year old taking care of adults and teenagers. I was done being a mom before I graduated high school.
    I don’t have a college education, my parents also didn’t emphasize the importance of education – even though my mom went back to college when I was 15. I have a good paying union job where I am a worker bee. No ladder climbing, no glass ceiling, come to work, do my work, get paid.
    Being a mom is one of the hardest JOBS I can think of. All of you who have done it and are doing it, take a bow.
    Having a family is a 24/7 commitment to responsibility for decades. Congratulations to you for taking this on, let yourself off the hook – delete the word just from your vocabulary.
    Even though I am NOT a mom (believe me I get the sad faces from people, aww you never had kids) I come to this blog every day hoping for the latest. Keep writing please.

  72. Dana

    I have read your blog for a long time and I have commented maybe one? I don’t know… but this post moved me to do so. When I read of how you interact with your kids and how they TRUST you… that is what I hope to be to my kids and what I wish my mom had been to me. Being a mom is such an awesome and important task. Shaping the minds of children is a great responsibility… and when they all grow up to do great things you can take the credit!

  73. Isabel @AlphaMom

    I haven’t read all the comments but I’m sure this is up there somewhere….
    You mah dear, are a fabulous woman. You are super talented (as we all are). Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that’s what makes us different and this world interesting.
    Your voice is special, it’s strong and it’s authentic. What you are doing by sharing your messy and magical stories is sharing with the world what is real. You are one but many varied voices of motherhood and one day in 50 or 100 years, women are going to come back here and read these words of yours and laugh and cry and understand what it meant to be a mother in our time. You are documenting history. You are doing it for you. But we lucky others get to see it.
    Also, this: “writing about my ass eating my thong in aerobic dance class”? This is why I love you so. Because seriously that image is priceless.
    Love,
    Isabel

  74. Shannon

    I came to your blog late. I had no idea if you went to college or not. It never even occurred to me. You are a writer. You are a photographer. You are a wonderful friend to a lot of great people. You are a mom, too but we don’t come here because you are a mom. We come here because we love you.

  75. Sugared Harpy

    Women are not JUST anything.
    We don’t say this shit about men. They are fathers, and yay! They work, and yay! They do both, and yay!
    F*ck that noise. You aren’t JUST anything. Every woman is more than the sum of her parts or her actions. There is NO shame in being human, you are human. You are everything and not just anything.

  76. Mandy

    You know, we all put that “JUST” in front of something in our lives. You’ve put in in front of “a mom”. We’ve all had that same feeling, but perhaps about our career, or something else.
    Mostly I’m a lurker here, but in a time in my life where I don’t have the time to write on my own blog, and only read a handful anymore, your blog is still on my list. I think you’re awesome!

  77. Heather

    We all feel shame for different reasons. I feel shame for going to college, going to grad school, having TWO DEGREES and then staying home with my kids. Sometimes people say to me, “Oh, you went to all that school and now you’re doing nothing with it?” Or, “How much money did you waste going to all that schooling?” I see my friends who work full time and have kids and I feel like they think I’m stupid for what I’ve chosen. Why do we care so much about what others think of our lives? They are OUR lives and life is too short to live it for someone else.

  78. Sharon

    If you’re happy with yourself and your life that’s all that matters. But I still think you should consider going to college. It’s never too late and I think it’s a great thing for kids to see. An education and it is so important. Not the most important thing in the world but very important none the less. I went back to college because I never finished at the age I should have. Many friends have too. It is something you will never regret doing, I promise you. I was surpirsed when I read the comments, I thought every one would say ‘if you regret not going to college, go!’
    Good luck to you no matter what you decide to do :)

  79. Dawn B

    Anyone can get a degree and pop out kids. It takes a really great (and REAL) mom for her kids to turn out as wonderful as yours.

  80. Alice

    You are awesome.
    And sadly, you’re not alone in this. I remember my mom dreading the ‘and what do you DO?’ question at parties because she was a SAHM. Sure, she was also a musician, an artist, a weaver and (later on) a volunteer tutor, editor and counselor.
    But she didn’t have a Title. And a Job.
    Now, these many years later, I’m the one who followed my sweetie to a faraway place for his academic job, I’m the one with few local friends, and I’m the one who dreads hearing ‘what do you DO?’ because in many respects I’m ‘just’ a housewife right now.
    Yeah, there’s volunteering, there’s the title of ‘consultant’, and there *are* lots of legitimate things that I do for people and groups in the community.
    But without a title and business card (that represents a business with significant A/R), I feel vulnerable. On better days I channel Joan Jett and other kickass women who don’t give a fuck what other people think, but there are many days where I feel ‘just’. Thanks for giving voice to this, and for allowing yourself to feel vulnerable in public. It really helps those of us who feel the same way.
    [ps - preview is broken? Get a "The MTCommentFields tag is no longer available; please include the Comment Form template module instead. " error]

  81. Laurel

    Though I’ve commented only a few times I’ve read your blog since before it was joyunexpected. You can’t learn what you are, it is priceless.
    I don’t have the words to express it;
    But you teach (the night before I had a internal sonogram I read your description of it, while it kind of freaked me out that they had changed that procedure, it was much better than finding it out at the exam),
    You inspire many laughs – so many times I can’t narrow it down – “the worm”, “the snip” etc.,
    Your photography makes me try harder to get better at taking pictures,
    You are something I’ll never be – a wordsmith – c’mon “ass eating my thong” is a great word picture.
    You are also a risk taker. In spite of apprehension, you get out there and do things.
    Maybe, someday you’ll realize what I have at twenty years older. What we remember in life is family, friends, teachers, companions, loves, and not accomplishments, famous people, how much money we have, what kind of car we own, and who we’ve impressed.
    I just realized something else. I love you Y.

  82. Christy

    Thanks for writing this Yvonne and outing yourself – and so many of us! I have an MBA and I had a big executive job, traveled and stressed a lot and I still never felt I measured up. In the process I missed a good measure of my kids wee-hood. I have a home based business now – which I’m pretty bad at yet but much more time with my kids. I admire your choices and often, often wish I’d been more focused on being a MOM much sooner. School will always be there. Kids grow up fast.

  83. Leah

    You are such an awesome woman, you are a fantastic mother, you are hilarious, you’re photography is awesome, etc. etc. I work full time outside the home as admin/accnt assistant. College consisted of a few classes here and there. Could I carry on a conversation with fancy talk and all that probably not. But my children know that I love them more than life itself. And therefore that makes me “just a mom”.

  84. Issa

    I have sat here for ten minutes and i’m still not sure what to say. Except….me too.
    I adore this post. And Y? You do belong. More than a lot of other people.

  85. Andrea

    Y–you are wonderful and awesome in so many ways. I think some of what you are feeling is a reflection of how our society is so messed up. I often feel as a SAHM that I have to “justify” myself when asked what I did all week or whatever. I met a woman just yesterday who told me to get over that feeling. Moms are not valued at their true worth. I think that is a sad fact.
    I hate the word “just.” I get asked all the time “oh, you have just one child.” Shut up. I’m still a mom and he still needs me.

  86. Mary Jo

    How about this… I’m not a mom, not a college grad, and currently unemployed. Loser much? Yeah, but oh well. I have a great husband who adores me, and I like my life for the most part. You are who you are, nothing more, nothing less. You are wonderful.

  87. Marcy

    Honey…
    All I can say is AMEN !!!
    I feel everything you’re saying only I experienced it about 10-15 years earlier… It still sucks.. It still hurts.. It’s lame … but I DO know how you feel.
    That’s why my blog has been a great outlet for me too … if nothing else it helps you connect with others.
    So…..Again… Amen… from one non college grad…. lipstick wearing…. monkey lips gal to another… raising our children to be honest respectable humans…
    I think THAT has been a pretty important job too…
    Just saying..
    ; )

  88. Cate

    Don’t give up on yourself so easily.
    I’m twenty six, single and slowly but surely getting my degree. I moved to California from Louisiana over three years ago to find ME. My mom was fifteen when she became pregnant with me and to date, she’s in jail for DUI #3, or maybe she’s in rehab now; I’m not really sure. She’s lost relationships, she’s left baby things and clothes and family pictures in various houses and apartments and my brother and I have very little to recall our childhood. She says that since we’re adults now, she doesn’t have to worry about us anymore and that her problem is not our problem. I have hope for her and love her dearly, but have such contempt for the disease she’s allowed to take over her life. It pains me to know the shame she must feel for not being there for her children but I’ve had it just as difficult; I’ve had to retrain myself: I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it.
    Sandy (my mom) won’t talk to me because I now demand a certain level of respect and if you want to be my mom, then you have to earn it. And it’s the most heart wrenching thing in my life to avoid her calls, emails and call her by her first name but MOM is an earned title, just like a degree. I want my mom. I don’t care if she has a degree or a great job or a great car or house or if I ever receive another birthday or Christmas present. I want her to be healthy. And happy.
    The one thing I cherish most that MY MOM gave me: Four months after I moved to CA, she mailed me a hand written letter that had flower seeds taped to it; flowers she had nurtured from seeds themselves that grew and produced their own seeds. She wrote the instructions of how to nurture them and how much she hoped we could share a joy in gardening. I framed the snippet of paper with the seeds and her joy with sharing something with her daughter. I cry when I read it and miss her and more.
    I was blessed to have a grandma that scooped me up and raised me from age 2 and saved my life. She’s now 77 and in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and it breaks my heart that this person who gave up her “golden years” to raise yet another baby..may not remember being MY MOM one day.
    There’s nothing more in this world that I want than my mom. Not Sandy. I’ve learned to separate my mom from Sandy. I’ve had to reinvent her for my own sanity. I love my mom. On most days, I loathe Sandy.
    And people judge me for that. People that don’t understand. However…
    The only opinions that matter are those of your children. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TAUGHT THEM they’re intelligent and handsome and beautiful and funny and witty and charming and fantastic and deserving of love and warmth and kindness and life. By watching you, you’ve taught them how to love and how to be a friend and how to nurture and how to laugh and how to be a good son and daughter. You’ve taught them they’re important.
    So while my grama taught me all these things and she’s essentially been my mom my whole life and I can never thank her enough, there will always be an empty space in my heart for my MOM.
    And that’s all I want her to be.

  89. Sheri

    There really is no such thing as “just” a mom. You’ve dedicated yourself to doing your best at the hardest job in the world, and there’s nothing “just” about that.
    I have never said this out loud, but I wish with all my heart that I had been able to spend at least part of my kids’ childhood being “just” their mom, instead of squeezing them in after working 2 or more other jobs. I’m back in school now, so that I can hopefully work one really good job instead of 2 or more crappy jobs. But I can’t get back the time I lost. Know that you are blessed, and that you are a blessing to your family.

  90. Toni Miller

    I don’t believe I have ever commented before although I have read your blog for several years now. You are living God’s desire for you.
    God Blesses you every day, your family is lovely.
    I will never had any children, it’s too late and I never got pregnant.
    I did get some education but never got a degree, but I do have a really well paying job, really well paying job.
    Doesn’t matter, I would trade places with you in a heart beat. To be a Mom, to keep a warm loving home. To have a nacho party. To wear ugly sweater to the Nacho party.
    Yvonne you are exactly who God made you to be.
    I am also Blessed because I am who God made me to be.
    It is the way life is, we are all on our own path. Enjoy yours and know that you are very special.

  91. nil zed

    I was raised with the general expectation of going to college. “You are smart! You should go to college!” but once I got there, I couldn’t figure the rest of it out. I was the first in my family to go to college. My mom expected marrying a well educated high income earning man was the purpose of college. I didn’t have a goal of what to study. I was overwhelmed and lonely. I dropped out, got married and had a baby. (All before the next school year began! Yay me!)
    I eventually unmarried that guy, and married another guy who was a graduate student. All the time he was in graduate school, my lack of degree wasn’t too important. I worked with and socialized with other justamoms and it didn’t matter. Except for sometimes when I couldn’t apply for promotions.
    But now, he is not only a PhD, but a professor! And we live in the professional housing on campus! Everyone in our neighborhood works for the Univ. and if their spouse doesn’t work there too, then they at least have a degree or two or more. Because that’s where they met, at college! So, then I really, really began to feel bad about it. I felt small, and redneck and backward. I felt stupid for having messed up: I’d had scholarships people!
    So, since I live in California now, I found my local community college and enrolled in _just_one_class. One on-line class. It didn’t interfere with my parenting time (by now I was a band parent) or with my job. It pretty much only took time from my on-line socializing (remember listservs?) and computer gaming.
    The next semester, I took 3 classes, which all met on the same day. I scheduled work around it (yay temp agency) and my family survived.
    The next semester, I took 4 classes, on 2 days and, since I was now a culinary school student, got a job in a restaurant working all the other days of the week. Yes, all the 5 other days. My family survived, one daughter got a job in the same place even.
    A few years later, I had a culinary certificate and was working as a catering chef. Then I had another baby, and haven’t worked out of the house since, though I expect to next year.
    It feels good to have modelled hard work, determination and all that sort of thing for my daughters. Even if I hadn’t finished, my schooling overlapped with their community college experience. We carpooled. We transitioned from mom and children to mom and grownups while standing in the book buying line together. That was good. They haven’t finished, but they aren’t afraid to keep fitting it in where they can, between jobs.
    The having finished, having worked where I dreamed of working, having taught my daughters to think big, it all matters. But, I must admit, it feels good to have a piece of paper to define myself with amongst my neighbors. It’s not a degree (though I’m looking into how many classes might make it so) but it’s proof of whatever it is proof of. It makes me feel good, even though I’m not using it for work.
    So, if you did go to school, what would you study? Photography??

  92. mbbored

    You are not just a mom, you are A Mom. You are The Mom. You are The Wife. We all have our gifts and talents and yours clearly is being a good mother. I’m envious and wish I had that, but I don’t.
    My own mother went to college and became a teacher to take care of children because she never thought she would find somebody who’d marry her. Once she did, she embraced being a wife and mother and loved it. Unfortunately, my father passed away way too young and my mother was out there as The Career Woman again. She’s now a professor, widely respected in her field, but she always says her best moments are when all her kids are at home and she can begin to make up for not being able to be just a mom.

  93. donna

    I can relate so much to your post, as I had the same feelings at an earlier point in my own life. I went back to school once my kids were in high school. I have earned three degrees since that time. Guess what? I am now a highly educated person who STILL has feelings of not being good enough.
    What I am saying is that we must learn to love ourselves as we are NOW. Feeling good enough has nothing to do with wealth, education, or weight.
    The thing that I am still working on is HOW to feel good enough. Life is full of lessons, isn’t it?
    That being said, I did love going to school. If you think that it might be for you, go for it. Start by taking just one class. But don’t do it to feel good enough…You are awesome just as you are. I am a lurker who is constantly impressed with your energy, humor, and photography skills. Most importantly, I am impressed by your obvious love for your family.

  94. Dale

    The day after the Taliban was driven out of a city in Afganistan, a reporter told of a woman who climbed on top of a car near a market full of mostly other women and shouted “Look at me!” and took off her burka. Under which she wore a long baggy shapeless dress, but still. :) Do you admire her? I do.
    Under the Taliban, women kept their heads and bodies covered, and got little education, arranged marriages, and were treated like property. What if that woman above made a comfortable life for herself and her kids, got some sort of low-wage job, and found a way to express her freedom and inspire others? Would you think of her as “just a mom” because she didn’t have an education?
    It may sound harsh to compare your church with the Taliban but I think it’s fair. Your churchmen might claim they are protecting their women, the Taliban would say the same. There are abuseive hateful men (and women) in every culture but I belive there are mostly good hearted people in every culture, no matter how misguided by one jackhole shouting about monkey lips.
    So before you compare yourself to your professional readers, compare your background to their’s. Lots of them were raised by college graduates who instilled that expectation early.
    You see those women as far higher on their ladder then you are on yours, but look down. Your ladder is standing in a deep, deep hole! That’s where you started climbing. And look at you now, all up in the daylight! :)
    (If you’re not sick of my analogy yet) now look at your kids’ ladders! Why, they are starting on level ground! “Just” a mom my ass!

  95. Tamara

    I am a college educated woman who works as an executive director of a provincial non-profit, and I *want* so bad to be a mom. I want to stay at home and be a good role model to my children (I don’t have any yet). I think that you are GREAT as you are, as long as you are happy. It’s way more important to be happy with your life, than to be “the same” as others.

  96. Tricia

    Yvonne,
    I know many people who have degrees who are full-on morons. A degree does not define your intelligence. Never ever ever use a degree as a barometer for your worthiness. You are SO worthy or anyone’s attention. You are an inspiration, a shining example of the kind of mother I want to be and funny as all hell. And thats that. So there. :D

  97. Lisse

    You can always go back to college. But really, only do it if there is something you are interested in and passionate about that you want to know more about. Because when it comes to talent, you are already a writer and photographer and comedienne.
    I read a lot of blogs, and though I have never met you, I have to say that there are few people out there as full of life as you are. Even during the times when you are down, you are making us laugh.
    You’ve also kept a marriage and family together in hard times. Not everyone can do that, and it’s worth something.
    It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve gone to college or what kinds of jobs you’ve had. What matters now is what you want to do next. Think about that a while and get back to us ;)

  98. Mr Lady

    I could have written this.
    I grew up in the same box as you. Different name, same covered head make babies no makeup no pants box as you. I grew up believing that college was BAD in the eyes of God. So I didn’t go. So I got married and had babies, just not in that order.
    And now I swim the same big educated intelligent seas as you and I feel small in the middle of it. But not that small. I’m learning, and I think you are, too.
    Love, baby.

  99. baseballmom

    oh, my gosh. me too. i allllways, always wanted to be a wife and mom. always. i went to college, didn’t finish because i partied too much, went to community college, then got a job working with kids. i went to college because it was ‘expected’ in my family. my brother was always the golden child with the perfect grades and now-a successful job and a college degree. it made me feel small. i also have been told, time and time again, that ‘you are only 4 credits from having a degree…you should GO BACK’. i couldn’t. my babies could. not. be in daycare while i went to school–i wanted to be their mom, and that was it. besides, i didn’t want to. everyone in my field now (i am a classroom assistant for our school district-it’s ideal-i have days off when they do, i get off work when they get out of school, my son goes to my school) asks me WHY did i not finish school and become a teacher? my mom and the rest of my family doesn’t say it anymore, they know me, but i know they are thinking it! WHY can no one understand that I LIKE what i am doing. i want to work with kids, but i don’t want to be the one responsible for lesson plans and state testing. forget it! i just wish people could be happy for me.

  100. nonlineargirl

    Thank you for that post and your bravery.
    The secret is that so many of us (whether we are highly educated or not, whether we have careers or jobs or stay at home, whether we are married or single…) worry that we are not worthy of our company. On the one hand it is sad that we all think we should be or do more. But it does speak to the wonderful company blogging women are lucky to find ourselves in.

  101. AA

    I’m late chiming in and I really hope you get way down to this one…. because I just want to say that the thong eating ass post was one of the best things I have ever read anywhere! I loved it. I laughed out loud. I went to a friend’s house and showed it to her. She now reads your blog.
    Do not denigrate the thong eating ass!

  102. Stefanie

    First off, I don’t have time to read all the damn comments. Apparently if this were a popularity contest you would win. Just another thing you are good at.
    I just wanted to say that your post about being “just a mom” was excellent and could easily win an award.
    Fuck “pieces” seriously, what? Pieces? About feminism? Who the fuck cares? Be honest: would really spend time reading bloggers’ pieces about feminism? If you were sober?
    I didn’t go to college.
    We are artists! Photography? Writing? Are you kidding me with this attitude? You are so much better off than hourdes of people who graduated from great schools. You just have no student loans. And like Neil said you can’t be a lawyer. Well, actually you could be a lawyer if you passed the bar exam. Maybe we could do that together. Go take the bar exam. Just for shits and giggles.
    One more thing: even if you were just a mom and DIDN’T do that well? It doesn’t matter because…well, I don’t know. I started this comment strong and that’s what’s important.
    See you tomorrow.

  103. The New Girl

    My mom used to call facing a fear like you just did ‘swallowing a frog.’ I have no idea why, but sometimes it just fits.
    You swallowed a big frog and I hope that it feels better for the venting.
    I agree with every positive comment here and I know that, sometimes, even the most positive opinions of others do nothing to change how we feel about ourselves inside. I hope that you let some of the love into your heart, though.
    Truth is, reading about your butt eating your thong is super-funny. And the world needs more funny. You have something to give just by virtue of who you are, if you see what I’m saying.

  104. Heather Cook

    That was one powerful post! There have been so many great comments so far as well, but I will add mine in the hopes that you read it.
    You are an amazing writer and mother. I am sad that you went to a church like that because there is so much more in a great, beautiful, wonderful church. You have amazing gifts and reading your posts have taught me about myself and my own parenting. I did not go to college through I do work outside the home now… but I’ve felt exactly as you did. I have felt so out of place… so much so that I’ve shied away from promoting myself or attending conferences or putting myself out there to get to know women online because I just assumed that as soon as they saw I was “just a mom” and a mom way over her head at that… they’d just shun me, I was sure.
    You are funny, witty, loving, amazing and beautiful. You are the mom that college graduates want to be.

  105. michele

    As a mother of 4 children, do you realize that we are shaping the future of our world? We have the most important job that there is,how we raise our children will affect all the people that they touch in their lives. Being a mom IS the most important job in the world and should never be looked down upon. by you or anyone else. Consider it a gift! For both you and your kids!! Michele

  106. Sugared Harpy

    Oh my gosh, someone (Tricia, above) just said this and I think it’s really true:
    “I know many people who have degrees who are full-on morons. A degree does not define your intelligence. ”
    I learned this after I went back to school…you get a degree for just sitting in class. The person who gets Ds and the person who gets As get the same degree. I now teach college kids and yep, its true. It’s no definition of intelligence nor is it always about achievement. Some kids have nothing else to do but go to school, so they go just enough. Others really earned an education and use it. The just enough people just got a paper.
    But it’s the same with moms. Many can give birth, but it really takes a hell of a lot of effort and sacrifice to be a mom. Look at your amazing kids!!! You think you aren’t contributing to society? Hell yes you are. HELL YES.

  107. Kyla

    Yvonne! You my dear are a wonderful, amazing, WHOLE person. You aren’t just ONE thing. You might be a kick-ass mom, but your personhood doesn’t end at that. You are a writer, a photographer, a friend, a mom, a wife, and all around wonderful, wonderful person.
    That being said (and I mean every word) if you ever do want to go to college, DO IT! I got married at 17 and had kids right away. KayTar is almost 5 and I’m back in school. I love it. There’s always time to do the things you desire. If you want to go to school, don’t be afraid to jump in, I know you’d do well with it as you have with everything. Look at the amazing life you’ve created for yourself!

  108. lani

    Hmmm… seems you’ve struck a chord here. This will be comment 116? I’ve been following you since the beginning and I’ll just say this… you are way more than just a Mom. I think your kids and hubby would agree.

  109. Gabby

    Y
    BE HAPPY WITH YOU WHO ARE.
    People will always judge you no matter what. Just be happy with yourself first and then you will see the BIG difference. Love yourself just as you are….

  110. Mamapajama

    Obviously with the amount of comments on this post, you struck a strong chord with your readers. Take it from a college grad, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. For the most part it’s a piece of paper. Living life and having real experiences at home with my kids and family and at work, has taught me more than those four years ever did. I have awesome friends from both groups, and honestly what we talk about more than any business or work related topics are our families. That’s the glue, not the level of education, that holds us together. You have NOTHING to feel ashamed of, now consider the topic dropped, sweetheart!

  111. Wendy

    Wow… you sure touch a whole lot of people with your words and your world Yvonne. I am so grateful to be of those who gets insight into your life, who gets to laugh and cry with you and yours.
    I don’t understand why it’s so easy for us to NOT see all the positives within ourselves. I am the first person to cut myself down, to point out what I precieve as faults..and I have (as do you) so many friends and family and loved ones who see me for all the good things I am.
    Someone else above said “a degree doesnt define your intelligence” and I totally agree!
    You are a beautiful, loving, intelligent, witty, zany fun Mom, wife, lover, writer, blogger, artist, friend, daughter, sister, etc etc etc…

  112. Jenn

    I relate to so many things that you write on your blog, especially your church experiences. To know that there is someone else out there who would get it, if I were to share my story, is really powerful for me. And as a part time teacher (1 day a week) and a full time mom, I so get the
    “Well, you hardly work at all” or ” What do you do with all your spare time?” or “You mostly just stay at home then” statements. I do what I do because it is the balance that works for everyone in this family, and most importantly, for me. I am happy and a happy wife/mom is a happy life for the rest of them.
    I wish I knew someone like you in my world…please know that you have made a difference to me.
    Jenn

  113. Allison

    I agree with all the women here…but honestly, you are so young. Go back to school. A college degree looks nice on a resume but, beyond that, the things you learn at school are so amazing. Take a few courses. Who cares if it leads anywhere. One day your kids will grow up and leave home. They will always be your kids but find something that is just yours. You can do it! I spent 25 years raising my kids and with them all out of the house, I have to admit, I’m a bit lost. I’d kill to be your age again with all that time to go back to school.

  114. Shaunta Alburger

    I’m starting a low-residency BFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College in April. You get a week twice a year in Vermont for the residency and do all the rest of the work from home. Perfect for mom’s…no seriously…a week in Vermont twice a year? Sounds like sanity to me. Check it out. You have to have 60 credits to get in, but they have program to get you those 60 as well.

  115. Erin

    So now I’ve typed and deleted 40 times.
    Listen to me. And please listen carefully… we’re all ‘just’ something. A mom. A careerwoman. An Aunt. A…something. The problem is we put the ‘just’ in front of it.
    Stop it.
    You are you. And you are amazing. You have no idea how many times I’ve said…God, I wish I could write just like Y. Or God, why can’t I be as great at that Mom thing as Y.
    The grass is always greener, and what not.
    You are loved and admired for who you are, and for who you are not. The whole package. And I wouldn’t change a damn thing about ‘just’ you. Because she fucking rocks.

  116. kris

    I wish I had something well written and inspiring to say, but I’m falling short tonight. I hate that you feel this way.
    You are inherently perfect, just as you are.

  117. Annie

    I don’t believe I’ve read your blog before – I found this via Queen of Shake Shake.
    I also haven’t read the million or so comments here ;) but can I tell you on first impression that you come across as every bit as influential, powerful, intelligent, and professional as the women you write about here?
    I have a college degree – I used it for 8 years after I graduated, and fate took me to Florida – I’ve been a stay at home wife and mom ever since – and that’s 7 years so far. I have started to do a little bit of freelance writing – but none of it relates to my degree.
    My point is life opens doors for you if you’re willing to see them and walk through them – regardless of your educational standing. My husband is very successful in his field and he never went to college.
    So, I’d say you’re not ‘just’ a mom – you’re pretty awesome! :)

  118. Christine

    Y, you are intelligent and beautiful, inside and out and it comes across in every freakin thing you do. If you want to go back to school, do it. But don’t do it because you think it might make you “better”. At the end of the day, the degree is just a piece of paper, but the experience might make it worth it for you.
    No matter what though, it doesn’t change my first sentence about you.
    You are woman, hear you roar.

  119. Jerri Ann

    Eh, I have an education…highly over-rated, it’s a piece of paper….I have two kids…now there is some work! And these two guys are a piece of work I tell you!
    I love your blog, I love you, I loved talking to you last year at Mom 2.0 for the few minutes after I embarrassed you on the elevator (I was excited to see you as you were to see Jason Kidd and I am so serious).
    Here’s the thing……I wrote about it not long ago…when do we quit fighting the thought of being mommy bloggers and instead hold our heads high, shake our fists at the world and say, “I”m a mommy blogger sucka and I am good at doing both”
    So there! You rock, period.

  120. Paula

    isn’t it funny, I have/had all that stuff that you talk about and wonder if you should have (degree, career..blah blah) save for one thing. A child. I can’t have children. Nope. Miscarriages I am EXCELLENT at… no children. You can have all of my “all” take it… I would trade it all for just one healthy baby. The legacy that will live on with your children is inherently better than any piece of paper from anywhere… blessings.

  121. Rachael

    I have a college degree, and I STILL feel this way sometimes. When I expressed the fact that not only did I want to be a SAHM, but I would happily play homemaker to my husband, keep the house clean, cook dinner etc. while he brought home the bacon? That was not really a popular point of view. I hate it when people ask what my job is and my response is to reply “I don’t work”. That’s so not true. I work a lot – I take care of my kid. And he is awesome.
    I’m glad you shared this, because I think tons of women feel the same way. I don’t understand at what point it became less acceptable to raise a family than to go to college and have a long term power-house career.
    You are not “just a mom”, you are a PERSON, and an amazing one at that.

  122. kat

    i love, love, love and adore you. just a mom. and the rest of us are blessed to be just moms along with you on this ride.

  123. JustLinda

    The great thing about being a woman today is that one can choose WHICHEVER path one wants to choose.
    I am a mom who goes to work every day. I am a mom who has no degree (I SOOO hear you about that “Where did you go to college?” question). I am a mom who writes on a blog.
    I have five daughters. I don’t know what the future holds for them, but I’m damn glad they can look around and see LOTS of options. I’m glad they can see someone who is “just” a mom, because that is a really important role in our society and I’d be proud as shit of them if they chose that path. I’m glad your daughter can look at me and see “There is someone who didn’t make it to college, but has gone quite far in her career!” because to girls who couldn’t or didn’t go to college, I can be a role model for how they might still make good on their own dreams, if their dreams are similar to my own path.
    You are ‘just’ a mom, but you are potentially a role model to millions. Be proud of that. Take solace and strength from the fact that your sweet daughter has many MANY potential role models and can forge a path of her choosing rather than one that was pre-destined for her.
    The world needs you to be who you are. Thank goodness we have so many different kinds out there – every child, every girl, can find someone to look up to and emulate.
    Follow your heart and trust your gut on this one. It’s all good.

  124. Jill

    What a fantastic post! Thank you for opening up and sharing yourself. That’s what you have to offer — yourself — and that, my friend, is really something!

  125. Heather B.

    Have you ever really listened when conversing with me? I cannot speak to save my life. There are words and sounds but they never really go together so I just end up saying ‘like, you know?’ repeatedly while really confused people stare at me with at ‘WTF’ look on their face. Point is, I have never thought of you as ‘Just a Mom’. You’re my friend, Y. You’re one of the only people in the world I have ever told my weight to. You’re just you. And it’s really fucking shitty (pardon my college educated mouth) for someone to say that you are ‘just a mom’. It also shows how completely vapid and ignorant those people are but that is besides the point.
    Ok then! Carry on!

  126. baltimoregal

    You know, my mom is “just a mom.” She dropped out of nursing school. And yet she is an accomplished woman in any right. She knows etiquette, politics, health care, religion, history, geography, and so much more and can hold an amazing discussion on any topic, really, except technology (everyone has one weakness). On top of that she raised three children (born in just over four years) with a husband in the army and on the road/in the air. She is sweet, smart, intuitive, generous, artistic, craftastic, sarcastic, and sometimes scary. She’s had a life with moments out of a Tennessee Williams play and yet is still one of those people liked by almost everyone.
    Yet I think if she read this piece she would hug you and say “I know.”
    For myself? I have a degree. Plus lots more education. I have a work title at a prestigious place. But I don’t think I have it in me to be a mom. Not like her. Not like you. Not now, anyway (36!).
    We all have our weak spots inside.

  127. Amy

    Thank you for this very brave post. I think you encapsulated the feelings of many of us out here. Don’t doubt for a second all those ‘professional’ women don’t have their own feelings of shame and inadequacy.
    Can you pass me a tissue?

  128. Susan

    You are whole. You belong. You have a story. You have wisdom and insight. You are perfect.
    Yet, I believe, we are always evolving and growing. The paths are boundless and all potentially beautiful. What is that voice inside you telling you? Listen to it. Carefully. Live with the questions for a while. The answers will come.
    But mostly, believe.

  129. Deb on the Rocks

    It’s astounding, isn’t it, that the Internet is letting us break down all kinds of crazy barriers to knowing “different” kinds of people, and while that is super powerful, it is kind of shattering too? Dammit you are awesome for nudging us to look at that.

  130. Rusti

    I spent 5.5 years getting a 4-year degree in a field I enjoy, but can’t find work in, and instead work as a secretary at a University… I worked up until the day I went into labor, had to be back at work when my daughter was 6 weeks old because I couldn’t afford to be on unpaid maternity leave, and last week, when she turned a year old, I cried again as I left her at daycare to go to work… I’d give ANYTHING to be “just a mom” – and I mean that with all my heart. Also – I don’t think you’re “just” a mom, you’re an amazing mom, doing an amazing job. Keep up the fantastic job (and yes, I mean job!! being a mom is one of the most demanding jobs out there!! you rock!)

  131. Nanette ~ AMomBlog

    Wow, I’m sitting here trying to hold back tears and it isn’t working. You put into words exactly how I feel. I’m going to be at Mom 2.0 Summit in February. It’s my first ever blogging conference and even though I’ve wanted to go to a conference, I’m afraid I won’t fit in. I hope I get to hear you speak at the conference and it would mean the world to me if I could meet you (but if I do, don’t blame me I break down in tears).

  132. Nicole

    I don’t think there is anything “just” about being a mom. College degree, SAHM, WAHM, WOHM whatever. We’re all people who make the decisions that are best for us and I think its time we stop judging each other and ourselves. If we all stood together and supported one another I think we could all lose those titles and be stronger for it.

  133. ParentopiaDevra

    I’m looking forward to hearing you speak at Mom 2.0. I’ve sat next to you, I’ve heard you speak. You are very worthy of being listened to, and I am looking forward to it very much. Will be cheering you on!

  134. Amy

    I’ve been where you are, and I *went* to college.
    Y, your writing is more lovely, honest and open than some of the most schooled authors out there. I haven’t been blogging much lately, but yours is always my first click when I have time to read.
    You are worthy, and this post explains why in a nutshell.
    xoxox

  135. Linda

    I want to give you a huge hug…you rock! After a very successful 15 year career, I am staying home with my baby, because it turns out that it is the most important, meaningful, fulfilling job I will ever have the opportunity to do.

  136. Jamie

    Y, you have so much to be proud of and you are an AWESOMELY talented writer and photographer, college degree be damned. My wish for you this year is to stop being so hard on yourself and see the awesomeness in you that others so obviously see!

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