Who am I?
I know I wear a variety of hats in my life. Most of them give me hat head so that I don’t want to take them off. Nevertheless, I need to be ready to switch roles and I have put some hats on a shelf (pastor) or thrown them out (wife).
Often at work I am told that I am the mother hen in the student ministries office. While I am older than those I work with, I really don’t feel like I “mother” them. Well, maybe a little. But I am not sure if that is a bad thing or not! I guess it feels like a derogatory term. For one thing we all have a mother and don’t necessarily need another! Especially since I picture a mother hen as a person who cares for the needs of others in an overprotecting or interfering way.
Also, I want to partner with those I work with as a a fellow teammate/friend or as a coach and not as their mother.
I kind of think I am more like the little janitor guy at the end of the fractured fairy tales cartoons or the Carol Burnett as the cleaning woman graphic. This is also rather demeaning; not because I go around cleaning up someone else’s messes but because we live in a culture that does not value or treat this hardworking portion of the working class with respect. The term janitor seems like a person to be pitied or who is ignorant, has failed or highly expendable. It is that embarrassing way that I feel when I tell someone I am an administrative assistant. I guess, though, that it feels more authentic than being called a Smother Hen!
I wish things were different for me sometimes. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful for this job but sometimes the ways that I am treated seems very much like the caste system and I am at the bottom wrung. I really would rather have a better title, maybe even a different job so I could wear a different hat and throw out those with negative labels. But how? How can I come across as someone not so pushy, less of a know-it-all, unintrusive and more caring, genuinely interested, dedicated to bringing out the best in others? Looking for a new hat!