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.
*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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