Tell Me Now, Who Are You?
Tell me now, who are you?
Who do you see when you close your eyes? When you stare in the mirror at tired eyes, and bags that could go on for days? Who is the person behind those tiny humans you're carrying on your hip day in and day out? Who do you see standing next to your husband in pictures? Who are you?
Fairly easy question, right? Maybe some would agree. But for me, that question is so complicated and hard to answer because I'm not sure who I am besides "Mom".
Before having children I was quite certain who I was and what I stood for. I had likes and dislikes. I knew what my favorite things were, my favorite places to go, and what I liked to do on the weekends. I didn't get woke up by screaming or the pitter pattering of feet coming into my bedroom every night. Oh, how I miss sleep. I knew the values I upheld. I knew what I believed in and what I didn't. I could hold intelligent conversations with another adult without screaming "stop pushing your sister" or "don't take that from her" approximately 100 times in the course of five minutes. I indulged in tacos and margaritas at least once a week and did not feel bad about it. Working out was more fun mostly because I didn't have to pay extra for childcare. And my sweet husband, well before the kids he was my side kick through it all.
After having children though, I'm not sure how to answer all the things I knew about myself before them. I feel like it's so easy to lose yourself and put yourself on the back burner once you become a Mom. I know I love being a Mom to my daughter's. I know I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I know that I was meant to be a Mom to them. But as a person who was so strongly rooted in knowing who she was before having kids, it's mind boggling to me that I'm still such a work in progress when it comes to knowing who I am after them.
So I guess I'll start here. Better late then never, right?
I'll start with an easy one, I know what my name is. And I know some people wouldn't understand this, but for real I'm so tired someday's that I forget and say my name is Mommy. Not a joke. I have to literally stop myself and then people look at me weird. Guy's I legit left my daughter's panties on her under a pull up when she laid down for a nap last week and didn't realize it-that's how tired I am most days. Here's to looking at you, my crazy children for keeping me up 24/7 these days.
I know I'm tired, like really tired most days. See above paragraph.
I know I love coffee. Give me all the coffee and we can be best friends.
I know I love yoga classes and working out. These things help my anxiety and depression on all sorts of levels. I'm not the most fit person and I still have so much work to do, but being active helps me to not fall into a really black hole that seems to be always lurking and waiting for me around the corner.
I know I can be a super absent friend and I get down on myself for not having a super close tribe I'm apart of. I put myself in a bubble and it's hard. My anxiety plays tricks on my mind somedays. Sometimes my children have a bad morning. Sometimes just leaving the house is a chore, and I know these things actively play a role in how I coexist in the friend world. I'm still not sure where I fit in these days and where I belong. I'm trying to figure it all out and I'm hoping I do, someday soon.
I know I love tacos. And all Italian food. Oh, I love gelato too. And wine. All the wine!
I know who I believe in. I know how I feel on very controversial topics. I know who I voted for and why I voted for them. I know how I feel about the world today. I know how I feel about being a Military Spouse.
And maybe the above is all I know right now. I'm still growing everyday as a person and figuring out who I am along the way. Being a Mom takes priority over every single other thing in my life. What I do on a daily basis is everything for my children. I'm not lost and I haven't lost myself, but I do need to get better about figuring out who the real me is along this journey of motherhood. My children will always be my babies, but they won't be babies forever. I get to borrow them for a very short time, and then they are out the door and are trudging through life by themselves and figuring out things like I figured them out back in the day. I will always be Mom to them, but my role throughout the years will change like the tide.
Who am I going to be in 15 years when my oldest is 18? Who does that person look like in the mirror? It's all about the balancing act. Balancing being a mom and balancing me as my own person outside of being a Mom. I'm trying to figure it all out, but it's jumbled when you're literally living life day to day, the same day on repeat most days. Everything is to schedule. There's no time to "live a little" and go outside of your comfort zone when you're taking care of tiny humans who rely on you being there for them through it all. You have to be strong. You have to be smart.
Everything you do, is for your children. Everything you are is because of them.
And that is where it's hard to distinguish the person you are and who you see yourself as being. Being a Mom is 24/7, 365 sometimes 366, days a year. You don't get breaks. You don't get weekends off. You don't get to stay out late and sleep in with no care in the world. You have to juggle what you need to do during the day along with what your children have to do during the day. You have to make meals, something I hate so much. Can I hire a chef, please?! You pack snacks and go on playdates, or drop the kids off at school while you work or run errands all day long. You do so much because you are the Mom. You have to or no one else will.
So where is the time you need to figure out who you are?
It's in the quiet moments during the day where you see your kids playing by themselves and you get a sneak at your phone and the trendiest dress pops up, and SURPRISE, you buy it without hesitating.
It's in the moments you take the time you need for self care for your mind, body, and spirit. Whether that is yoga classes, meditating, working out with a personal trainer, going to a cooking class, or strolling the aisles of Target alone while you sip your Starbucks coffee. Yes I went there, and yes, you should do this!
It's in the moments right before you close your eyes every night, knowing full well your kids will be up multiple times before the sun rises, but you thank God for this life.
It's during nap time when you apply for a job you can do at home while being a SAHM, too. Or you decide to work outside of the home and go after a dream job you've always wanted.
It's in the moments you have a date night with your husband and you remember the feeling that you felt when it was just the two of you before the kids came along. You remember those butterflies and how he was the most important person to you. You remember it all. And for a split second all you care about is the man next to you holding your hand.
It's in the moments when your around your friends and you realize that these people you've out yourself out to, these people who have become your village, are truly there for you and accept you for you.
Finding out who you are is in so many moments every single day. Don't let these moments pass you by. Don't let yourself ignore these moments. Find yourself. Find out who you are besides Mom. I know it's easy to get wrapped in that, but I beg you and I beg myself to get out of the mindset where you think you're a bad Mom if your whole life, your whole being, doesn't revolve around your children.
You're a person and you matter so dang much. You are so special to so many other's. And you mean the world to your family.
Don't lose yourself so far in motherhood that you cannot even scratch the surface of you are outside of it. Find out who you are and love yourself for the amazing woman you are and the person you are becoming every single day.
So tell me now, who are you? Who do you see when you close your eyes? Whose staring back at you in the mirror? Find yourself outside of being a Mom and love yourself for every inch of who you are outside of that.