QUICK GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT: Congratulations to Sarah Ellington for winning book #1 (Hope Unfolding) and Kimberly Pech for winning book #2 (Uninvited). I am so grateful for ALL of you ladies who have been a key factor in the success of The Beauty Within 31. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
This giveaway was such a wonderful success that I decided to host another one for next month (and possibly every month this year). So, stay tuned — check out the Facebook page — because it will be announced in the next couple of days! Yay!
Before the birth of my daughter I believed I had the “motherhood” thing down. I mean, after growing up as the oldest of six siblings I did learn a thing or two. I had a wonderful support team from my loved ones who were full of helpful information. Also, of course I had the internet whenever I had a question I just wasn’t sure about — one positive about being a millennial. 😉
I really, truly believed I was prepared for motherhood.
And you know what? I was!
I had crossed all my T’s and dotted all my I’s; in fact, you could say I was a tad bit overboard with my preparation.
My mother taught me about postpartum depression (among many other things) and my grandma taught me how to find a healthy balance between my many “momma” hats that I wore.
However, nothing could have prepared me for the identity crisis I would experience much later.
When a person thinks of “identity crisis” most would associate that word with a teenager trying to find their way or possibly a 40 year old who wants to find a new way — certainly not a young mother.
However, after about six months of newborn baby bliss, I began to feel my identity dissipate and a weird lack of confidence kick in.
Although I am not a shy person at heart, I began to shy away from my friends; feeling as if I was somehow less of a person than I was before. In fact, I began to shy away from everyone and everything!
Holding a conversation was tough and get-togethers were torture (yes, slight exaggeration but you get the point… I was awkward). I attended bible studies and MOPS meetings — places that were full of mommas just like myself — and yet I could not find a common ground.
I just felt as if I could no longer relate to the wonderful women I was surrounded by.
And then I realized something…
I was struggling to relate because I had put myself in a box of expectations that I outgrew.
In high school I was beginning to form a picture of who I wanted to be.
In college I was beginning to pursue who I pictured I would be.
After marriage I began to invest in who I needed to be.
But, in my beginning stages of motherhood, I was beginning to ask the same question of “who am I?”that I asked in high school. My aspirations were beginning to form around my child; my motives and desires in life had changed.
I realized I was no longer the same person and yet I was trying to put myself in the “expectations” box I had created for myself when I was younger.
How was I going to relate to other women when I couldn’t even relate to myself?
How many times do we do this without even realizing it? How many times do we convince ourselves that we need to be everything we thought we would be as a child? Mommas, let’s give ourselves grace! God does not expect us to be perfect — hence why He sent Jesus — so why do we expect something not even our Maker expects?
Experiencing some sort of identity crisis in motherhood is a completely normal feeling. We have gone from having a complete “handle” on our lives to asking the routinely question of, “I wonder how many hours of sleep I will get tonight before the baby wakes up.”
It took me a long time to realize that I am no longer that piano pedagogy student in college. My aspirations have changed from being a piano teacher to being a dedicated momma and small business owner! Things have changed for me. A year ago (yes, the beginning I started my blog), I had a hard time looking someone in the eye and telling them about myself. However, now I feel as if my path has been rerouted and my arrow has been straightened!
In fact, I have even been asked to speak.
Really? A person who had an identity crisis only a short year ago?
To summarize: I truly believe a motherhood identity crisis is the result of “who am I” confusion. Going from one lifestyle to another is fine BUT holding onto old expectations of who we should be is what causes us to think less of ourselves and belittle what we have accomplished.
We are not the same women we were before our child came into our lives and to place ourselves in the old “expectations” box will result in a dwindling self-confidence.
It’s time to re-draw those blueprints that we call our life.
What are your goals now? What makes you, YOU? What are your desires? As of now, were do you see yourself in 10 years? Actually, where do you see yourself NEXT year?
I have decided that in order to be the best, most confident woman I can be, I needed to set my sights NOT on specific goals but instead focusing on the Truth.
For me, the truth is from the bible. Instead of telling myself “I need…”, I am telling myself, “I am….”
I am… important.
I am… special.
I am…. loved.
I am… designed with a purpose.
If everything else falls short of these things then they probably weren’t worth it to begin with. As long as we know our worth is far more than accomplished/unaccomplished goals, we undoubtedly will have a better chance curving the identity crisis epidemic in motherhood.
P.S. If you like this, check out “You Are Enough: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes”