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Identity groups

How many different identity groups do you belong to? Pick three groups which you think are especially important to you.

Three groups that I identify with are stay at home parents, online learning college students, and I am a partner/fiancé. A stay at home parent is one who stays home to take care of the children under thier guardianship. Many stay at home parents chose to work from home, are students, or focus solely on caregiving. Personally, I am a mother of two girls, five and two, and have a third daughter on the way. I am an online student and I am fortunate enough to have a partner that has employment to bring revenue to the household. The second group I identify with is the online college learning community. The current online learning community involves instruction that includes interaction, collaboration, and research with others in the online community as a standard part of coursework (Dabbagh, 2007). I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Clinical Psychology degree program and take my classes online only. This educational set up allows me to manage my responsibilities through flexible scheduling while staying home with my children, cutting out the cost of child care (Dabbagh, 2007). The final identity group I chose is partner/fiancé. We are in a monogamous long-term relationship and have been together for seven years.

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2. Describe what attributes you share with the other members in each identity group listed above.

As a stay at home parent I am the primary physical and emotional caretaker of mine and my fiancé’s two children. To perform my duties as caretaker I am organized, patient, I work twenty-four hours a day/seven day a week, and I am scheduled. I have very few moments to myself and

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am always needed (Langerman, 2018). As an online college student, I am also organized, goal-oriented, self-motivated, scheduled, have a high expectation for success, possess interpersonal and communication skills, I am proficient in the use of the required technologies for online learning, and have an appreciation for the skills I will acquire by working collaboratively in a diverse online community (Dabbagh, 2007). As a partner/fiancé I possess the characteristics of being trustworthy, honest, faithful, and I am physically, mentally and emotionally supportive (Seidman, 2017). I also am empathetic and open-minded, allowing for expression of thoughts, desires and needs (Firestone, n.d). Most of the time I consider myself emotionally mature, but admit that I, like most, have moments of lapse when it comes to this quality (Firestone, n.d).

3. In the identity groups you chose, what are some of the explicit and implicit rules you identify in each group?

When it comes to being a stay at home parent, the rules are governed by the individual household. These rules are based on each individual family’s child care and household standards. The explicit guidelines of being a stay at home parent are be attentive to your children, be active with your children, and make a daily or weekly plan. The unspoken or implicit tips would be to get exercise, get dressed every day, and if you need help ask for it. Unfortunately, many stay at home parents avoid speaking out about loneliness and depression because the popular mind set is “how lucky you are” to be able to stay home with your children. Talk to other stay at home parents. Get involved with a community or church “Mom group” and take time for yourself. The explicit rules for being an online student are clearer than being a stay at home parent. The online learning community does not accept cheating or plagiarism of any kind. To help yourself follow these spoken rules, follow these implicit rules: don’t wait until the last minute to get your school work done, plan and schedule your time wisely, and practice organization. Also, get to know

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your classmates and professors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Finally, the explicit rules that come with being a partner/fiancé closely match those that you should practice with all social interactions and relationships. Don’t lie, cheat, or physically, mentally, or emotionally abuse your significant other. Implicit rules of a relationship include speaking positively about your significant other in public, keeping your partners secrets, and not going to bed angry. Also, understand that relationships take work. It takes time to develop a strong relationship and you are going to confront difficulties at some point. Learn with your partner how you can cope with these difficulties together (Seidman, 2017).

4. Describe your role in each identity group. What kind of roles are you expected to play in each group?

Being a stay at home parent, I am expected to be a multitasker, entertainer, nutritionist, chef, personal shopper, housekeeper, nurse, chauffeur, teacher, event planner, time keeper, and stylist. As an online student I am expected to be organized, on time, articulate, self-motivated and professional. I am also expected to be adept in Web based technology and computers, possess reading and written communication skills, and excel in self-management and self-directed learning (Dabbagh, 2007). As a partner/fiancé I am expected to listen, love, laugh, trust, be honest, and be faithful to my significant other. I am expected to give my opinion and counsel when asked, make life decision together, and rely on one another for support. I am also expected to show my partner respect (Firestone, n.d).

5. Among the roles you described above, which is most important to you and why?

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My loyalty to my family is deep-rooted. I take pride in my ability to be an involved and active parent, providing my children with opportunities to grow and learn in a safe and loving

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environment. I also cherish my relationship with my partner/fiancé. We love and respect one another, he is my best friend. I rely on his support in all aspects of life and welcome his companionship. Our family is a team, a unit. We keep each other in mind in the decisions we make, and we make decisions together. Part of growing our family and taking the best care of each other, involves me being an online student. I am furthering my education to open opportunities for myself to better support our family.

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