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When You Lose Yourself in Mothering


When You Lose Yourself in Mothering

Listening to my son sing Faith No More's Midlife Crisis at the tender age of five this morning taught me two things. One, "Little Man," as I call him, is certifiably awesome for knowing this song. And two, "Mom" isn't the definition of me.

"You're perfect, yes it's true," he sang. Why, thank you, Little Man.

"But without me, you're only you."

In my opinion, even with him, I'm only me. "Mother" isn't the definition of me. Neither is "wife," "daughter," "step mom," "cook" or "maid." No matter how much cleaning I do.

Often, we moms fall into a trap of defining ourselves based on our roles in relation to others rather than the characteristics that define our self-identity. There's a stigma for women with children who don't call themselves "Mom" above all else. Society says that if we do not define ourselves primarily as mothers then we must not care about our children. We must put them lower on the totem pole than we do ourselves. "Selfish" is how they would define us.

Where does that leave us, though? Full of resentment because we've lost ourselves in all of our "mommy-ness".  Suddenly, we no longer have time for hobbies. We no longer have time for friends. We have time for our children's hobbies and our children's friends.

I will proudly stand up and state that my world absolutely does not revolve around the small beings who live in my house. I am defined as "Me" first. Smart, ambitious, funny (right?), honest, thoughtful, helpful, independent "Me." Does that mean that my children don't come first in my life? Sometimes it does, yes. Is that okay? Absolutely! I mean, I'll step in front of a train for you, kiddo, but I'll be darned if I'm tying your shoes until my nails are dry!

 

I won't let anyone else define who I am as a person, even if they are tiny and depend on me for survival. Being a mother is something that completes Me in some form. It is an aspect of Me. A role. A characteristic. It is not my definition.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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