I've been knee-deep in raising kids full time for nearly a decade. For the majority of those years, I have struggled off an on with depression, anxiety and serious self-doubt. As a former career girl, who actively chose to stay home and raise these babies, I never thought that being a mom would lead me to see the ugliest sides of myself.
The battle to get back to who I was, and who I know that I still am, has been long and hard. I have had to come to terms with the fact that I can't balance it all. Balls have had to drop, my kids and people have been let down, and I have had to prioritize re-discovering me.
For years, my days were engulfed in wiping butts, shuttling to and from nap time and reading mind-numbing stories over and over and over again per the request of the littles. As a college educated woman, it felt as though I had to check my brain at the door and this was all there was left for me. My life had peaked and it was a daily grind of child-rearing from here on out.
But as the little years have started to wane (thank the LORD!), and my head has started to poke up from the deep end, I am beginning to pull the shackles off my eyes and see the lies that I have believed for so long about my identity - that I was JUST a mom.
I am SO much more than a mom.
Yes, this is my vocation, this is my current role, this is my title but this is NOT who I am. It has taken awhile to fill my mind with the affirmations of who I really am for me to start believing them to be true, and living it out.
I am a good listener. I am personable. I enjoy helping others. I have a sense of humor. I am creative. I am honest. I put effort into my health. I am resourceful. I am MORE than a mom.
In recent days, I have decided to pick back up my dream of being an author. It has felt like for so long, my dreams have been on the back burner just being consumed with raising these kids. But my time is now. I am worth it. And so are you.
I have learned that it requires carving out intentional time to invest in yourself. In motherhood, this time will not just magically appear. The demands of those little people will consume you if you allow them to. It is not selfish to turn on the TV for your kids for an hour, and work on that dream of yours. Or pursue that side hustle. Or simply get something done that you've been meaning to check off your list for your sanity! As moms, we can't sell ourselves short. What we bring, and possess in terms of gifts and talents, is so much more than being a mom. Who we are is needed in this world. And yes, there is value and worth in raising up the next generation - this is important work. But if you, like me, find yourself wanting more, feeling like you have more to offer, then figure out what that more is and DO IT.
Because long before you had kids, you were someone who contributed something. Now that you have kids, let's figure out a way as women to integrate the two. Be the best version of yourself. Maybe that's simply by starting with reasons why, and how, you are more than a mom.