Sometimes I find it hard to remember that I was ever more than just a mom.
It’s difficult to believe that once my primary identity was merely “Keisha, a human”, rather than my first identifier being the fact that I am obviously the mother of the two beautiful munchkins who are pretty much always with me everywhere I go and the growing bump showing baby number three coming along. I don’t remember the last time I was remembered for being myself, but everywhere we go regularly people remember my friendly little people. I love being Mommy…but sometimes I desperately need to remember that I am more than that.
Once I had a job that I was proud of, with flexible hours conducive to being a full time mommy when the time came (and continued to work- taking them with me- for the first three years) and had worked very hard to make that a secure long term career plan. I had to step away from it in order to make the parenting decision I could be comfortable with under extenuating circumstances I can’t go into publicly. I went from being a wife, mother, and shipping manager/motivator in the family business to being a full fledged stay at home mom & wife. Even knowing it was the right decision, I went through a huge depression. I still struggle with the fact that I “just” take care of my family.
Staying at home with little ones day in and day out is both rewarding and soul numbing.
I forget I am anything other than a mother. I forget I’m capable of anything other than being a sibling referee, snot wiper, bottom cleaner, story teller, homeschool teacher, art director, entertainer, dish washer, laundress, chef, chauffeur and all the other little things that make up the day of a homeschooling parent of a tribe of small children. What else is there in the world? I don’t remember sometimes, since I’m alone in this little world of children so much of the time.
I always dreamed of being a mommy. I love living that dream- with or without income in my own right- but sometimes I want to remember there’s more to me than that.
I am artistic. I can do a lot more than just quick sketches for my children to color, but I forget that sometimes because I just don’t take the time out of being Mommy to do draw anything that interests me without involving my babies. I love to hike and wander through nature, but it’s so much hassle to try to haul my children along by myself that I don’t bother, and my husband is so infernally busy with the job of providing for the family and being everything to everyone that he rarely takes time for that type of outing. I’m good at selling anything I’m enthusiastic about, but haven’t been able to focus beyond the munchkins enough to find something I am passionate about to sell to help pay for our little family’s needs. I haven’t finished a book that wasn’t colorfully illustrated for the joy of children in a few years now, where I used to read extremely long novels on an almost daily basis. Until I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, I went to the gym three times a week, because I loved it. Haven’t stepped foot in one in over 5 years now. I could go on, but I’ve forgotten too much. Really! 😉
Mommies, it’s okay to forget for awhile what made you unique and happy as an individual before you became a parent.
I know that I do. Sometimes I forget who I am underneath it all so much that it starts feeling soul numbing, though, and I have to do something- however so small- to remind myself of the things I loved and was good at before. When it starts to get to you, take time to try to remember. If you’re like me, you just plain can’t do anything major. That’s okay. What do I do?
Well, I blog, for one thing. It reminds me I’m able to continue to form sentences and thoughts without anyone’s input other than what flows from this crazy place inside of my brains. 🙂 It’s amazing how much that helps.
I draw, even if it’s just a quick card to brighten someone’s day. Sometimes I even throw some calligraphy on there.
I take my kids on a walk in the woods. I may not be able to go for miles on a trail somewhere, but I can certainly circle my own woods, watching the take in the beauty of nature that I find so peaceful as an individual and treasure even more as a mother.
I read a few online articles or a magazine to satisfy my inner bookworm until the day that I can voraciously consume literature once more.
I crazy dance around my living room or do stretches to feed my inner gym rat. I need to move it, move it….even if I’m tripping over crazy short people in the process. 🙂
In short….I remember.
I remember what I love and who I am that has absolutely nothing with the beauty of motherhood and the demands of tiny amazing beings who call me Mommy. I seriously stink at remembering, but sometimes I pause and remember all those little things that make me just plain ME. I am a much better mom when I take a few minutes to do that.
How do you remind yourself that you are more than a mom? Struggling? Head over here for a reminder that you are not alone.