One of the things I’m going to miss most about being a grad student is being able to tell people that I’m a grad student. It was a way of telling people that I’m more than just a stay-at-home-mom.
When I meet other moms at playgroups, one of the questions they always ask is “do you work or stay at home?” I took pride in saying I was in grad school and telling them what I was studying. It was a way of identifying the type of person I am to other moms and seeing if it resonated with them, because it is really hard to find moms I could be good friends with. “I’m a grad student” really means “I love learning about complex things that have no bearing on everyday life. I love doing research and reading scientific papers and thinking. I’m an INTP. And if you love these things too, then maybe we can be friends.”
But now I’m just a stay-at-home-mom, and there’s no pride in being a grad school quitter. I don’t know how to identify myself as an interesting person to other moms, because it’s not as acceptable to talk about math and science and time travel at playgroups where moms usually talk about Pinterest and crafts. “Grad student” seemed like a good way to encapsulate my personality.
Someday I hope to be able to say, “I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and I’m a writer.”