I have spent countless hours in therapy re-defining myself. Learning that I am not a one dimensional being; that I am not defined by my trauma or individual experiences.
That I play many a-roles and have had many an experiences; and that this collection of roles and experiences is what actually define me.
PSA: You may need to re-read that a few times before my word vomit makes actual sense.
I've been practicing dialectic thinking. The idea that things are not one way or another, but somewhere in the mass spectrum of gray.
It's actually quite funny that I have made so many of my life decisions either black or white, because I surely don't see the world in that simple way.
Shockingly, I digress.
In the process I've had to unlearn all the staunch rules I've given myself on what being a mother should "look" like.
And there I go should-ing on myself.
I had unknowingly conditioned myself to believe that in order to be a good mother I couldn't be anything else.
My focus had to be my children every moment of my every existence. And if they weren't, then that meant I was a selfish human who didn't deserve these beautiful, complicated, emotionally exhausting, physically draining, yet awe-inspiring creatures.
All of my everything does not have to be centered around my children at all times. My from dawn until dusk does not have to be consumed by my raising little people.
Before you press that panic button and rat me out to child protective services...
...do what we never do online and allow me to explain.
Motherhood is a piece of my purpose and a part of my definition.
Albeit a large piece and a huge part.
The part that drives all my other parts.
I can be a giving mom and still need to put myself in time out.
I can be a devoted mom and still not want to read a story right now.
I can be a dedicated mom and still devote meaningful time to my marriage.
I can be an adventurous mom but still have hobbies outside of motherhood.
I can be a present mom and still look forward to bedtime and want a minute to catch up on my news feeds.
I can practice self care and still give my all to motherhood.
I can be an emotionally available mom and still have personal aspirations.
I can be a weary mom and as I tell my kids to give me personal bubble space I still want all my kids under my roof and within arms reach.
I can be a confident mom and still be unsure of myself.
I can be an adoring mom and still be angry and impatient.
I can be a loving mom and still be learning to love myself.
I can be a great mom and...
...still be everything else that I am.