I had an interesting conversation with a friend last week. Actually, this is someone I don't know that well, but we are on our way to developing a friendship. We were talking about motherhood and the joys, and annoyances, that come with it. The topic of our conversation is not one that is unfamiliar to me. I've probably had this same talk with a dozen other moms. It all centered around the fact that while we desperately love being mothers, there is still a part of us that screams for an identity outside our children. We long for purpose beyond poopy diapers and snotty noses. We want to make a difference in the world and fear that somehow we're not living up to that desire.
This was a very big struggle for me after I had Sloan. Those first few months when the entire focus of my life shifted off of one path and slid down another were hard and confusing - actually, I think this lasted a couple of years. Once Sloan got a little older and I finally felt like I was impacting his life, rather than just sustaining it, it seemed I saw a little more purpose in my role as mommy. But there is still a longing to have an impact on the world, while also raising lovely, God-honoring children. I sometimes miss "me" time. Parenthood really is the largest act of unselfishness in the world (at least it should be anyway!). But so often, there is this stigma that surrounds motherhood. We are all so afraid of becoming soccer moms. At least I was. I still get a little panicky when I realize that I am driving, gulp, a minivan! Weird.
Of course, there is also no place I would rather be...most days anyway. I adore being a mom. I gave up a large part of myself because that's what I wanted to do. That's what all of us do as mother's - whether we stay home or work, we all sacrifice in order to provide as much time, attention, love and grace for our children. And the truth is, our identity should not be wrapped up in our kids. That's not good for them, or for us! As a child of God, I believe that my identity should be placed in Him, as His daughter, allowing Him to mold me and use me as He sees fit. I want to be available to do whatever He calls me to do. I also understand that I have been blessed with certain talents and gifts and I want to use those and not waste them. It's a balance between pursuing those dreams and keeping my primary purpose as mother to three in focus. That sometimes feels like an overwhelming task!