Friday, May 8, 2015

Motherhood Did Not Steal My Identity

I remember hearing things like, "Before I was a mom, I was ___." "It's hard to remember the me before motherhood." Hearing these things made me feel anxious and even a bit fearful  about motherhood--like I had to protect and safeguard Sharlee. If I wasn't careful, Motherhood might come and steal all of my intelligence, talents, opinions, preferences, and such. That would be no good. Certainly, I'd have to watch out for that.

But then JaiseAnn came and I became a mom all at the same time. And I quickly discovered that Motherhood hadn't come to take me away from myself. In fact, Motherhood has helped me find myself. 

For years I joked that I lived in a constant state of struggle between being my mom or being my dad. I had parts of both my parents in my personality and I felt like I was constantly at struggle between one or the other. It was funny and it was a great way to explain how I felt, but the truth was it was difficult for me.

maintaining identity during motherhood

There were times that I seriously felt trapped between these two battles...constantly choosing which parent to emulate more. I could not decide which part of me I should embrace and which part to shut down.  And could I ever really have either without the other side tugging at me to change a little?

But then I became the parent and motherhood freed me of that. Instead of feeling like I am torn between taking after one of my parents or anyone else for that matter,  I am free to decide "What should JaiseAnn's mom do?" This freedom has allowed me to dream bigger, say "No!" when I need to say it, and to say, "Yes" when I know I need to as well. It has helped me find and discover interests that I didn't know I had and it has made me want to strengthen parts of me-- my faith, my body image, my health, my drive, and my marriage to set a good example for her.

I have found and enhanced parts of myself, not just as a mother, but as a wife, educator, friend, blogger, Target shopper, and chocolate consumer. I am finding myself an even bigger dreamer than I knew. I find more things I'm interested in and more things I am good at every day.  I haven't lost myself, I've found myself. I have discovered parts of me that were hidden all along, just waiting to come out. Motherhood has allowed me to embrace my inner dreamer, my inner homemaker, and my inner song-writer. I've found the goofy and the super sensitive side of myself. I have found discovered a stronger fighter and I have desired to learn more and search for more faith.  I have found a self-love that I didn't know existed as I get to be someone else's whole world.

mother daughter pictures
Motherhood has stolen hours of sleep and a bit of independence, but it has given me so much. All the sleep in the world couldn't repay what Motherhood has given me.  It's freed me to grow and evolve and develop into so much more. My heart has grown, my dreams have grown, my talents have grown, my priorities have improved,and my faith has grown. I am grateful every day for the gift of Motherhood. 

How did your identity change/unfold after motherhood?

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