About Jennifer Todryk
Hey there! I’m Jenn.

Things get a little loud and chaotic over here from time to time. I blame the three child beasts ... and Mike is loud too. But, I hope to bring you nothing but happiness, inspiration, good home decor and only the comfiest clothing recommendations because, who really enjoys pants .... ? And most importantly a good laugh. I hope you laugh a lot… even if it’s at my expense.

- Jennifer
May 8, 2016 | Motherhood

Finding An Identity Beyond Motherhood. We Are More Than Just “Mom”.

by Jennifer


I feel like no matter how old we are, how confident we are, and how put together our lives seem to be, we, as mothers, are constantly trying to find an identity beyond motherhood. Before we popped out our baby beasts, we were known for other accomplishments, but once we become moms, sometimes it feels as though mother is our only identity. At least, it did for me.

My identity prior to motherhood seemed to change throughout my seasons of life.

In third grade, my family moved and I started going to a new school. One day I walked out of the bathroom and my dress was tucked into my tights, exposing my amazing flowered underwear. I was mortified. This is my first memory of understanding what having an identity meant. I was the new girl who flashed the entire class.

In sixth grade, I have my first memories of being witty. I started realizing that my friends and acquaintances laughed at a lot of what I said and they started telling me that I was funny. I was the funny girl.

In tenth grade, I was one of only five sophomores who made the Varsity cheerleading squad. I really don’t know how I made the team considering the fact that my back handsprings looked frog-like. My legs were too long for my body and gangly things that split apart as I rotated my body backward. It was an unfortunate sight. But I could dance, had a loud voice, and I could fake smile for days, so I earned my spot. I was a Varsity cheerleader.

College came. I remember older guys on campus telling me to join a sorority, Delta Zeta. They told me that I would fit in with these ladies. These girls were loud, bubby, and were everywhere on campus. I knew that I wanted to be a DZ, so when the day came to fill out my bid card and choose my sorority of choice, I only filled out the first choice line. No second or third choices if Delta Zeta didn’t pick me. I was all in, baby. I didn’t want to be a sorority girl, I wanted to be a DZ. They chose me and like that, I was a Delta Zeta.

The day after my college graduation, at the ripe age of twenty-one, I boarded a plane for New York City. I had landed a spot as a fashion intern for Marie Claire Magazine and I was determined to make it in New York City. I wanted a career. I was a determined “New Yorker”.

At twenty-two, I was back in Texas and engaged to a man twelve years my senior. He had an established career and knew much more about everything than I did. It was a struggle to be the date on his arm at his work events because I felt out of place. How was I to relate to all of these doctors, surgeons, and parents who were much older than I was? To me, I was the kid in the room trying to fit in and not say something stupid that would embarrass her fiance.

In 2013, I was twenty-four years old, happily married and had my first child. I quit my job and decided to stay home full time. I read parenting books, listened to audio tapes… I was going to be a perfect mother (at least I thought so in my mind). I was a mom!

2015 brought my second baby, my daughter. I was now a mom to two kids. Two kids under the age of two! I got this, how hard can two kids be? I was a stay at home mom who didn’t have a career or really any hobbies. I was so happy with my identity.

Until one day when I realized that I wasn’t.

After I had my second child, my outlook towards my stay at home mom identity changed. It was suddenly so isolating. I was more than just a mom. I needed more.

It killed me to have these thoughts, my babies should be enough, and they were enough for my heart, but my mind needed something else. For my ever lovin’ sanity, I needed more to my identity.

It took me a few months to nail down what I was feeling. All that was coming out was resentment towards my husband. He works so hard, but with his job comes a lot of socializing. He travels, he has work dinners at expensive steakhouses, he has the occasional happy hours, he goes on four-day work conferences where he gets to go to Disney World and text me pictures from Epcot. Instead of being happy for him I was beyond jealous.

I was in a dark place. Not depressed by any means, but I wasn’t having supportive, healthy thoughts towards my husband, which would have become toxic if it continued. After a lunch with my mom, where I pretty much poured out my heart and some tears over a Cracker Barrel platter of chicken and dumplings, she told me that I needed to fix things. I needed to make my life more fulfilling for myself, but that I needed to leave Mike out of the equation. Mike couldn’t stop working, he couldn’t stop eating at nice restaurants, and he couldn’t stay home with me and do equal housework.

I had to do something about this on my own. I had to find an outlet. Something that I could spend time doing from my home, during nap time, and most likely braless.

Since that moment I have found out a lot about myself. I can write! Honestly, I always have been a writer. I aced language arts and almost failed math every year in school. It balanced out perfectly on my report cards.  So I made this blog that was originally going to be about home decorating, but instantly became a page of parenting rants. I very recently started another little business on the side and I have loved sharing it with people face to face and on social media. Who knows how long I’ll do this little business, but as of right now, I’m the mom-blogger who also promotes chemical-free cleaning products (which is hilarious because I’ve never loved cleaning).

My identity has changed and evolved so much throughout my life, just as yours has. One aspect of our lives does not make us who we are. We are all deeper than our title as “mom”. We are allowed to wear multiple hats.

Being just a stay at home mom started to take a toll on me. I needed more, and once I found other things that work well with my responsibilities of being Mom, I feel like I have a better grasp of who I am as a person, a woman, a wife, and as a mother.

We as mothers are allowed to have more than one identity.

I love being a mom, but I’m also a wife, a believer, a writer, a woman who wears yoga pants but doesn’t work out in them, a new lover of prosecco, and I’m happy.

My identity is so much more than just mom, and so is yours.

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*A special thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for those who read my thoughts weekly, take the time to comment, write messages, and share my posts with others. It means more to me than you even know! It keeps me sane and it keeps me writing 🙂

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Leave a comment

  • This is so good, and true! And hang on.....cuz it's always evolving! And another moral to the story is you are never too old to listen to your mother!
    • This is so true! Always listen to Mama!!
  • THIS. I'd love to pick your brain about how you juggle everything - my kids are almost exactly the same ages as yours, and the days when it's us at home all day I feel like nothing can ever get done - just in terms of housework, let alone any entrepreneurial ideas I may have. I have my living room gated off so that the kids don't play in the kitchen, but when I'm trying to work in the kitchen one kid goes to each gate at either end of the kitchen and suddenly I'm being summoned from two different directions at the same time. (Of course, it's worse if my husband's home. :P) Happy (slightly late) Mother's Day!
  • I love you daughter!!! I have no doubt ALOT of your followers needed to hear this!!
  • This was a great read! Thank you. As moms we struggle with the daily monotonous tasks of house chores and toddler tantrums and lose ourselves in the mix. I have also been faced with the inevitable identify crisis and am still trying to find that special thing to help me feels more like me. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to not feel so alone.
  • You hit the nail on the head... I think that's the saying. I have been struggling with my identity and decided to do something about it. It's funny how we feel so alone, yet at some point I think we all struggle a little with where we fit in. Great post!
  • I have always worked and had a number of side-projects even after having kids, but a few of my close friends have poured their hearts out to me with the same feelings that you had. I think few people realize how hard it is to be a stay at home mom... beyond the massive undertaking of raising your children. I am totally going to share this with them since I know they will be happy to read something they can relate too and I am so glad you found something to fulfill you and I am glad it was this since you are so stinkin' funny and sweet!!
    • Thanks so much, Lauren!! Appreciate you!! And I don't know how you work, raise kids, and have side projects! Holy moly!!
  • Thank you for this. I love you. All of you.
  • How ironic is it that I made a list today of things I want to incorporate into my life, and then I also read this post today? Besides working 8-5pm or later, dropping off and picking up kiddos from daycare, fighting a terrible 2/terrible 3 year old all evening long, parenting a 10 mth old, cleaning house and try to cook meals every evening possible… I still want to be myself. I want to look cute at work, do my makeup and hair, have time to shower and shave, read my bible and blogs, play outside with the kids, cook yummy meals for my husband who works opposite hours as I do, and also go to bed early and get plenty of rest. Oh and nails, I want to do my nails since I bought a bunch of new nail stuff. I want to be able to be a mom fully, a wife fully, a house cleaner fully, a chef fully, a commited coworker fully, and myself fully. It is hard to do it all but we are women and we can find the balance that makes it all possible! And what better way than to follow the meaning behind this post and make sure we make time for ourselves in the midst of doing for everyone else, and have a positive attitude about all of it. Prayer helps with that last part.
  • So happy you listened to your Mama! Happy Mother's Day! ?
  • Ah - this resonated. So well said. I think identity post kids is hard for mothers period. Figuring out how to make everything fit in a way that makes you happy is challenging. I love blogging for finding others - like you - who have dealt, and do deal, with the same feelings and thoughts I do about parenting. Thanks for writing this!
  • Such a good read and one that hits home for all Mommas. We are so fortunate as moms who are also believers!! We can look past the oftentimes menial tasks of motherhood to find our true identity in Him! Love you, friend! PS- you earned that varsity cheer spot. Own it.
    • Love you, friend. Fine, I barely own it lol