I recently introduced myself to several people as “David’s wife,” and “Hannah’s mom.” It was only after I’d walked away, that I stopped to question, “Did I ever even actually tell them my name?!” So often, we as women put our families first….which we should do a lot of the time…BUT, what we may not realize is how much of ourselves we might be losing in the process. We become comfortable in our role as spouse or mother, that we often forget the woman we were before we became those things….the woman we still are. (Yep, YOU are still in there…You are MORE than just “wife” and “mom.”)
We get so caught up in the whirlwind that is motherhood, and spend so much of our energy focused on helping our family achieve their dreams, excel at their hobbies, pursue their interests, bolster their social life, etc..Get where I’m going with this? Sit and think for a moment. When was the last time you put a fraction of that energy into yourself? When was the last time you moved some things around so that YOU could take a class? When did you last drop everything to finish up a project YOU wanted to do? We are family-centric by nature….Nurturing the needs and interests of our family members is in our blood as women…It’s what we do. We’re a self-sacrificial being from the moment of conception. We give and give and give until there is nothing left….not a scrap of time, energy, money, or focus left for ourselves. Sound familiar?
Of course it does! This is not a struggle singular to you…I have a wild hunch that the majority of women are facing this issue…We’re burnt out. Depleted. Lost. We don’t know who we are outside of “mom” and “wife” anymore. Our days are spent folding socks, making pb&j’s, vacuuming up Cheerios, driving the kids around, cleaning up the breakfast dishes, figuring out dinner, organizing sports schedules, etc. etc….Our life isn’t about us….at all. I don’t think we need to wait until our children are grown to figure out what we’re passionate about….to structure our time in a way that makes US happy….I think (I KNOW) that if we gave ourselves even just a fraction of the attention we give to our family, that in the end, we’d be happier, more well-rounded, loving mothers and wives. When we refuse to take time to pursue the things that make us happy, we end up full of resentment…..which can ultimately lead to bitterness, anger, and a whole host of problems in our marriage relationship and relationships we hold with our children. We must begin to make ourselves a priority again…..to get to know ourselves again…
I have my first ever homework assignment for all of you. (Can’t help it…It’s the teacher inside of me..) I have created a little self-exploration exercise for you to work on. Download the document….print it out…take some time to fill it out. Think about it. Pray about it. Really reflect.
Who Are You
(Click the above link and open it with Windows on your computer!)
This exercise is going to walk you through a few discovery questions. You’ll think about hobbies and interests you may have given up. You’ll contemplate what you still want to learn or study. You’ll explore your passions…the things you truly care about…the things that excite you. At the end of the exercise, I have you list your DREAMS. Dream big. I give you permission. Reflect on who you really are….the core of you….YOU.
Once you’ve finished, I’d love for you to email a copy to me. I’d like to compile a list of what other moms are thinking about/dreaming of/wanting to be…..and share them with each other. It will all be anonymous, but I think it will be powerful to be inspired by the hopes and dreams of fellow mothers. You can copy and paste your answers HERE.
I anxiously await your responses, and hope this little homework activity will help you as you begin to re-discover who you truly are. I can’t wait to meet you.