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Archive for July, 2014

I’m sort of over seeing posts about ‘not losing yourself in Motherhood’.

I get it, I guess. I at least get the intentions, though the sentiment is not something I embrace.

It’s hard being a mom (although I also saw another article circulating around that we are supposed to stop saying motherhood is hard, um… ok). I have seen some gracious views about not getting ‘caught up’ in motherhood so much that you swap your identity in exchange for ‘just’ mom (although, not sure what that even means….as if ‘mom’ is something you can throw the word ‘just’ in front of, it is so much of something not ‘just’ something) but for the most part these ‘don’t forget your identity’ mantras miss the mark on Motherhood completely, I think.

I am Alyssa and I am a mom.

Letting the ‘momness’ permeate through is where I really find any sort of full identity. God has called me to motherhood, and so that is my identity, and at the risk of being a bit controversial… it isn’t just part of my identity, it is my full identity.

We sometimes crave for days to get away from the endless laundry, a conversation with a friend to not be interrupted by someone spitting up on you or tugging at your shirt to go potty, the early mornings to not exist on Saturdays, the frequent wakings to stop, a moment to not have someone calling out that three letter word ‘mom’. But, those thoughts, though they may feel suffocating at times, are not a loss of identity, they are a loss of perspective.

It seems like the ‘don’t forget your identity’ push limits you to either be a Mom when it’s time to be a mom or yourself when you steal some moments to be ‘Yourself’, ‘Your Name’, instead of just embracing the fact that you are yourself and you are a mom, and those things are not an ebb and flow of one or the other but they are reconciled harmoniously. 

I am Alyssa and I am a mom.

If you separate the mom from me, well that’s really where I lose sight of my identity. Do I crave to carve out moments here and there to blow dry my hair, browse the aisles of Target, or grab dinner out with a friend? Of course. But I’m still 100% aware of my motherliness (that’s totally a word, no red squiggle underneath) whenever I do these things. You can’t ‘escape’ motherhood by letting yourself focus on something you’d like to do. Motherhood is the lens that you permanently view life out of once you are a mom and that isn’t something to be afraid of or find escape from. It’s not unhealthy to want to do these things, but if you think these things will bring you back to your ‘true identity’ where you can find yourself away from the title of ‘mom’, you’re not viewing the whole picture.

My heart and my brain, my emotions and my thoughts, my questions and convictions – they are all so deeply rooted in being Alyssa who is a mom (and a wife, and a friend, and a daughter, and a sister). If we could grasp that one doesn’t take away from the other, but enhances and fills out the entire picture of who Alyssa even is or hopes to be… we may speak less about identity crisis and more about identity acceptance.

I think that is where the friction begins, it’s the flesh versus the soul.

Humans are inclined towards our own desires, but our souls are called to complete submission to the call on our life.

Matthew 16: 24-26

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul

If we view Matthew 16 as a call to obedience in regards to our spiritual life, can we not follow suit and apply it to our spiritual calling? If you are a mom, you have the calling of loving and raising children with a complete focus on Christ and in that calling, yes, friend, gently I say to you, you may ‘lose’ who you once were, but you are not lessening who you are as a person. You are adding responsibility, new convictions, different views on life, old habits to break, and future conversations to think about. You aren’t losing yourself, though, you are finding yourself, every single day that you lay down your agenda and embrace yourself as a mom.

I am Alyssa and I am a mom.

 

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