Who are you? The question seems so simple, yet I have found it difficult to answer at times. Who am I? Of course, in defining myself, the common answers come to mind. I am a mother, a spouse, a teacher, a daughter, etc. Many of us have seen shirts worn by people claiming to be the world’s best hockey parent or insert any other sport or activity there. But who are we beyond this? How are we defining ourselves?
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In the past, I frequently referred to myself as kicking into “robot mode.” I went to work, came home to quickly whip something up for supper and shovel it in, rush kids off to music lessons and/ or a sporting event, make lunches for the next day, and so on. The next day played out as if I simply hit a “Rinse and Repeat” button on my life.
When I did this, I have to admit that I became miserable inside. I just did things because they had to get done, never stopping to acknowledge the importance of defining myself beyond the role I was fulfilling at any given moment. I also never stopped for self-care. In fact, when asked what the latest thing I did for myself was, I struggled to answer.
I know I’m not the only one…
I think a lot of moms lose their definition of self along the way. Recently, I asked a fellow mom what she has done to take care of HERSELF recently. She laughed and responded with, “I just go to work, go home, then drive my kids to their activities.”
Over the past 18 months, I have been working to change my pace even though I still lead a busy life. The harsh reality of my oldest graduating and experiencing how quickly all of this comes to pass is one reason. Another is reflecting upon how my own mother lived as well as on the poor state of health she is in now. She was always so busy taking care of everyone else but neglected to care for herself. Taking care of ourselves was not modeled. Lastly, approaching life in a robotic manner really took a toll on my health.
Why I had to make changes
I was living without meaning. I was defining myself as no more than how I was fulfilling whatever role I was in at the time and how I was of service to those around me.
The problem with this is I neglected to serve MYSELF. I wasn’t filling my own bucket at all! That, and the fact that I was incredibly short-fused and grouchy! When I only focus on my role as a mom or whatever other roles I am in and not on who I am as a whole, I can easily still become like this.
I recently read a quote by James de la Vega that resonated with me:
Be mindful even if your mind is full.
I feel happier and like I’m living with purpose when I am mindful and not just fulfilling a role, such as the mom role. Don’t get me wrong… I definitely value this role! I just also need something for ME!
Parenting at its finest: This is me photobombing one of my daughters.
So who am I today?
Of course, I am still all of those things listed in the first paragraph. However, I feel I am also much more than that. I am creative, unique, grateful, intelligent, helpful, inspiring, enough, and a friend. I am a creator, a teacher, a blogger, and an author. I AM the one and only ME!
Yes, I am extremely grateful for my role of being a mother and spouse. However, I am more than a mom and a wife! I am much happier knowing that these aren’t the only way I am defining myself today.
In need of resources?
If you are looking for resources to help you or your children with self-definition and/or positive messages, you may wish to check out any of the resources listed below:
Becoming by Michelle Obama – Imagine if she only defined herself by her roles as mom and wife!
I Am Affirmations by Arthur Falcone
I Think, I Am: Teaching Kids the Power of Affirmations by Louise Hay
Looking for an idea of something to start for YOU?
I love to craft and create things. If you are looking for ideas for crafting or things you can make, you may wish to check out Craftsy. There are more than 1,000 inexpensive, high-quality courses there.
Do you have multiple kids and need something to keep you and your family organized and focused?
You may benefit from a Mom Agenda.
What are your definitions of you?
How do you define yourself? Do you feel the need for a definition beyond “mom,” “parent” or other? How do you ensure you take care of yourself while fulfilling multiple roles? Let me know in the comments below.