What is your personal identity? Over the past several years, this question has been so very hard for me to answer; to express or define who I am. A wife? Yes. A mom? Yes. But do those titles really define who I am? No, not by a long shot. Somewhere along the way, I feel I lost my grasp on who I am – of the things in life outside of my roles in life that bring me joy. Back in my single days, I’m certain I would not associate my personal identity with my job title. (Don’t get me wrong – I’m not equating marriage and parenting to a job title, but they certainly are work!) However, I have a difficult time looking back on those single days, even married, pre-kid days, and remembering the things that defined me then and undoubtedly define me now – because the fact of the matter is, that woman is still me, just a little lost at the moment.
I’d like to think it’s a temporary blip in the personal identity radar. Babies and young children require a lot from their parents and the early years are exhausting, frankly. I honestly don’t feel I gave up the things I enjoyed, but rather took a hiatus from them because my role as a mom has taken priority. And that is okay! But as the years slip by, it becomes harder to recall those things I enjoyed, and finding the time to make them a priority seems like an exercise in higher math. Motherhood is one of the greatest joys in my life, but at the end of the day, I don’t necessarily want to look back on my life and realize that so much of my identity was based on my role as a mom. I want to pursue my dreams and interests. I want to focus on other areas that bring my life joy outside of being a wife and mother.
A recent blog post I read, How Not To Lose Yourself In Motherhood, resonated with me and made me realize I’m not alone in my struggle. It also gave me a bit of a kick in the pants to start spending some time focusing on me. In the post, Maryea notes that on the journey to regain your personal identity you should try to maintain your personal interests, set and work towards personal goals, insist on time alone, and avoid isolation. While none of these key points are newfound revelations, they do serve as important guidelines and reminders. I’ve been making a concerted effort at trying to focus on these areas of my life lately, and it feels good! Some days/weeks/months are easier than others and I’m learning to be okay with that. I’m taking the time and making the effort and those are both steps in the right direction to redefining me.
– Joanna Heilig
While not necessarily her favorite attribute, Joanna has a sweet tooth that also means she can direct you to some of the best cupcakes around. You can reach her here to share your own personal goody cravings.