Mom issues – what do you do?
Me: Where am I?
I already had a mid-life crisis – at least I thought I did. I was 27 (gosh – I hope that wasn’t mid-life), and I left my entire life. I left my husband, my home, my dog, my friends, my job, my adopted city of Atlanta, and I was GONE. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t the “right” thing to do, but I felt like my sanity depended on it. I was absolutely losing myself, and I didn’t know how to find me if I stayed in that situation.
I came back home to the city of my birth, got the best job I’ve ever had, re-connected with college friends, made new friends, and surrounded myself with family. My new husband (of ten years now) and I have made a wonderful life together. We have created a family of six, and we are a team. I’m so proud of all that we have done, but I just can’t seem to find me anywhere!
This identity loss is all my doing, and most of it purposeful. I’ve talked with several women whose husbands have left them and their young children for other women, and they all say that their loss of identity probably played the biggest part in the breakup. That’s very sobering. That says that it is imperative for my own sanity as well as “for the team” that I get my little identity crisis worked out quickly.
Me: Where was I?
That post was written 14 years ago, but I remember that feeling as if it happened yesterday. In 2003, with children ages 8, 6, 4, and 2, there wasn’t a whole lot of ME to be found. I had evolved from 100% career person with no desire to have children to 100% full-time, stay-at-home, homeschooling Mom.
That identity was in jeopardy during the writing of this post, because I was re-entering the workforce after being at home from 1997 – 2003. It was difficult to completely let go of that career-minded me when Jess and Noah were born. I made the adjustment, and Annie and Liz came along to finish creating the “team,” and I was completely settled into full-time Mom-mode. At this time, I had to set THAT identity off to the side and go back to work. It was as though I would NEVER stop evolving into these radically different versions of me! I felt lost in a swirl of personal chaos, and I really wanted to step off the merry-go-round for an hour or two, but I couldn’t. Everyone continued to wake up having needs and expectations, and income and benefits were required to be earned, and every day was like being on that merry-go-round until I crawled into bed at night for a few precious hours (usually 4 or 5) of sleep.
Everything in this post makes it sound like a horrible time in my life. Although I was having internal struggles with the concept of my identity, these were incredibly sweet times with my precious babies! I’m just one of those people who “talks” out my inner monologue by blogging. So, I feel like moms everywhere go through something like an identity crisis – maybe not as off-the-charts as mine.
Next, there were new jobs and moving to a new place and lifestyle, and then job loss and income difficulties.
Then, I lost my parents in 2008 and 2010, and became an orphan at 45. I was still WAY too young to be on this earth without my parents. This was a REALLY difficult adjustment. Those people who anchored me in my identity were all gone, and I was truly on my own. Everything was on me after they died, with no safety net.
Me: the next version . . .
Today, I’m SMACK DAB in the middle of a new transition. Two of my children are past voting age and are becoming adults. This process feels like metaphorically severing limbs off and leaving them. We are such a close family, I only feel completely OK when all six of us are under one roof. That happens about twice a year now, and will probably decrease. They are growing up, and once again I must evolve.
Me: Where I am!
Here’s the encouraging part: these things pass. The world doesn’t end. Things aren’t hopeless, even when they may seem that way. In the midst of problems like these, you MUST have something bigger than yourself to keep you focused and functioning. I have my faith, and a Family Framework that is MUCH more important than any temporary problems.
Nothing, not ONE thing, is more important than my role as Mom. I’m not a Picasso or a Frank Lloyd Wright, so my children are the legacy I’ll leave behind in this world. Anything I can do to better their lives and improve their futures, I do. One of the most important things I can do is to give them stability at home. Sure, there were times when my husband and I had problems–really BIG ones–but keeping the family together was always bigger than the problems. This belief has brought us through troubles, and we stand together, hand-in-hand, walking toward our future.
FamilyFramework.net is part of my evolution. Writing here allows me to share the wisdom, the joy, the hardships, and some helpful tips learned along the winding road of motherhood.
You: where are you?
Tell me where you are in your journey. What twists and turns have you faced? What type of evolving have you done? If you’d like to share, comment below or email me.