My family mean the world to me. My husband came first and loved me for me, supports our family with amazing sacrifices every day, and enabled me to be a mother. For all of that and more, I love him with all of my heart. Then came my children, who taught me that the world is bigger than just me, that showed me what true love really means, and has helped me to realize more than ever, the importance of my spiritual beliefs and relationship with God.
One thing that I can often forget is that first, came me. Before my husband and before my kids, came me. Not only do I need to mean the world to me, but I also need to make sure that I don’t lose myself. Sometimes I can find myself defining myself by those around me. They are not me, I am not them. They are a part of me, just as I am a part of them. I am not the same person today as I was before my family was in my life, but I still need to know who I am. It’s easy to let my identity get wrapped up in my family, but I can’t define myself by my family.
Recently, I’ve started to put a focus on taking care of myself, and I’ve really noticed my relationship with my family improve. While life is still spinning and I’m often overwhelmed with all there is to do, when I have a stronger sense of identity, I can tackle it better. It helps me to realize that I am not my problems, they are something that I need to solve.
Obviously, part of how I define myself includes my family. But if I’m not careful, everything else becomes a blur and it’s all I am and see. I would imagine it would be even more difficult sometimes for those of you who stay home full time to take care of the kids. Day in and day out you breath diaper changes, boogers, and nursery rhymes. You tackle their temper tantrums and you get to breath in the scent of their baby heads and collect snuggles.
Who are you? Yes, you are a mom. Maybe you’re a wife. But who are you? What qualities define you? What is your mission in life? What drives you? Okay, so your kids and/or partner drives you, but what beyond them gives you purpose? Your kids are watching. They’re watching how to love and be loved. They’re watching how to value themselves and their wives. What are they going to see?
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If this was helpful, check out my next blog post, Staying me, which outlines ways we can define ourselves and use that definition when we’re feeling overwhelmed or less than.