I find this is a common question for mothers & wives. I remember when I began asking that of myself… I remember my children were all school aged and I began to struggle with my own identity.
I could define myself as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. But at this time I had plunged completely into my role as a mom and a wife and I could feel that the other areas of my life were beginning to feel it. I was never sure how to fix it and began to learn I didn’t need to “fix” anything. Being tuned in and ‘present’ to my children and my husband seemed to be all I had available, and I needed to learn that I did not need to feel guilty about that. My life had become sporting events, homework, school meetings, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, after school friends and play dates, and in the midst of all that it was learning how to nurture my relationship with my husband. Learning how to make sure all my children and my husband felt ‘heard’ when they had something to share, that I was ‘present’ when at their activities and speaking with them, that I knew their friends and their friend’s parents, and the list of important things grew and grew. I needed to teach myself that those things all deserved my full attention and that I would one day be able to nurture other parts of me, but for now I needed to be 100% for them. I had certain people in my life who always understood the importance of these life roles. My parents have always supported my husband and I completely and they are so very proud of our family. They have always worked extra hard to find ways of us all being together through the years. They would attend the kids sporting events, invite us to dinners at their house, make holidays extra special, and plan vacation time together.
My husband and I would find ourselves closest to the people we spent time with at our children’s activities. We began to have certain ‘circles of friends’ based on what sports season it was. We always felt content and nurtured by these relationships. As time went on some of our friendships began to struggle. We would have friends who didn’t understand us not making time for them. We always stayed the course with what has always been most important to us, that is our family being together, our children being happy and healthy and the two of us being available to each other. I believe the strength of our marriage and the ‘awesomeness’ of our children is a testament to us making the right decisions.
As time has passed and my children have grown I have been able to expand my answer to “Who am I?”. I am still a mom and a wife first (I put those roles above all else). But I have also re-entered the work force after having been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years. I was so Blessed to be able to stay home and care for not only my own children but my niece and nephews as well. I can now add Assistant Elementary School Librarian to my identity and have wonderful co-workers of whom are my dear friends. I am also beginning to find more time to nurture my parents and other friendships. I know how important this is! We still prioritize our time, as our children need us tuned in more now that they are teenagers than ever before, but my identity is beginning to shift and expand.
How do you answer the question “Who am I?”