Lately I feel as though I’m on a quest to remake myself. I can’t exactly put my finger on why. Maybe it’s because that as the mom of two kids, I’m feeling part of myself slip away Perhaps because my husband and I have made the conscious decision that I will staying home at least until our family is complete, though we haven’t defined what that means, and likely until our children are grown and out of the house. Even though I already knew that, somehow the decision has sent me into high gear in an effort to pursue my identity. I’ve begun to guard my self-care time zealously. Nap time /quiet time is a necessity. I’ve begun to invest in myself in ways I only did sporadically in the last four years.
But there are pitfalls to that task of caring for yourself, suddenly you begin to wonder if you are stylish enough, cool enough or even good enough to do this job of motherhood. If maybe this was all a mistake and you were never meant to have children at all. I’m still walking the journey toward finding out who I am as a mother and in addition to being a mom. That’s right, I said it. I am more than just a mom.
Much of who I am is tied up in being a mom, and I agree with Lisa Jo Baker when she says that no one is just a mom, but I think the point is that there are parts of me that are innate and would still exist even if I hadn’t become a mom. I have talents and passions that may be enhanced or muted by my motherhood, but they are still part of me. Elements of these passions was infuse themselves into the way I parent and the kind of mother I chose to be, but they are not directly tied to my role as mom.
I am a writer, one who has spent the last ten years battling with pen and paper, keyboard and screen, but mostly with myself in self-doubt and frustration. But in the last couple of years I am finally willing to identify myself as a writer without needed to add “but I don’t write as much as I’d like.” How much I do it doesn’t make it more or less of who I am, it is part of me. It is something I love and feel passionate.
I am trying to make an effort to take better care of myself by getting dressed in clothes that make me feel great, training for my first 5K, and investing a few hours each week in pursuing my creative passions, like my writing. But I need to be sure I really doing those things for myself, not because I’m proving anything to anyone.
I don’t need to prove to anyone, except maybe myself, that I am more than just a mom. Of course I am more, and there is no “just.” None of us is just one thing, we are an amazing combination of talents, passions, abilities and roles that make us truly who we are. And nothing except our own opinion of ourselves, can make us any less.