As we age and enter different “season,” I believe our identity changes too. We begin as someone’s child, sometimes someone’s sister or brother and then maybe someone’s wife or husband and THEN…THEN we become someone’s mom or dad. For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to assume you are a mom (not that dad’s don’t count, but there is a huge difference between moms and dads and identities…so for this post, we will be talking about motherhood and the identity change that comes with that…sorry dad’s!).
Motherhood. Think about it for just a minute. YOU created another human life. YOUR body did that. YOU created another heartbeat, another pair of lungs, a liver, a pancreas, kidneys, a BRAIN! YOU MADE A BRAIN! Just think about how miraculous that is. YOU…little ole YOU made a brain. You made a breathing human life and then brought it into this world. Every one of your offspring are miracles and you created that. I don’t think, as mothers, we stop to think about that enough. We don’t stop to truly marvel in the fact that we created human life and those human lives go off to hopefully be productive members of society. They have experiences and lives and make choices that help or harm themselves and we, as their creators have to let that all happen with no input. After a certain time, they leave our grasp and find their own way. They decide for themselves if they are going to take that drink or smoke that or shoot that. THEY make decisions that we may have guided them to make but inevitably they make their own decisions. That’s on them.
BUT the part of this journey that WE CAN CONTROL is what we decide our identity will be after they leave our nest. We truly have no control of their decisions and we have to sit back and watch them make their mistakes and do what they will do but what WE have to decide for ourselves is who we will be after we are not so much “so-in-so’s” mom but just ME. I recently had to write a blurb for an event that “describes me.” I sat and thought about it for while because how much of ‘me’ is being a mom or a wife or a business owner? How much of ‘me’ is about ME? Am I a mother of 3 and a wife of 26 years or am I a business owner, editor and a non-profit CEO? Am I a creative photographer or a lover of water and yoga? How do you describe yourself? How do you define yourself?
Whether you have small kids at home or have kids who have left the roost, how do you describe yourself? Who are YOU? Identity is a funny thing and it changes as we go through life (especially as moms) because our priorities change and the amount of time we spend with certain people and tasks changes. You might think that your identity right at this moment is that of a laundry, fluff and fold employee or a chef of picky eaters who throw 75% of the food you slave over onto the floor. But I promise you that in 5 years that identity will change a bit and in 10 years it will change again and in 20 years you will wonder if you cooked food, would there be anyone around to eat it?
Our identities change and so do we. Define yourself right now and decide who/what you are meant to be. Own it. Love it. And if you don’t, find something else. This life of ours is SO short!`