Identity crisis.

My youngest child no longer fits in the little seat on the grocery cart.  Technically, she’s still thin enough to sit comfortably, but her legs are getting so long that they continually whack mine as I navigate through the produce section.  Additionally, I’m pretty sure if I continue to lift her up into that seat I will give myself a hernia sooner than later.

So for the first time in ten years, I have no children riding in the grocery cart.

I feel as if my whole identity is changing.  I’m no longer the mom who is just trying to survive the day surrounded by toddlers and babies.  I’m no longer the mom dealing with teething and terrible twos and temper tantrums.  I’m not even the mom of a preschooler anymore.

I’m the mother of elementary school-aged children.

Which is not a bad thing.  In fact, it can be pretty awesome.  As the mom of older kids, I no longer have to be the first person awake to insure the safety of all living things inside the home.  As a mom of older kids, I now have minions to help me in my never ending quest of ridding the house of dirt and clutter.  As the mom of older kids, I no longer have to translate what my offspring is trying to communicate through crying, babbling, or toddlerese.  We all speak the King’s English here (or at least Hoosier English, which may or may not be quite the same thing.)

But change, even good change, is hard.  I’m not the person and the mother that I used to be.  I don’t fit, anymore, into the mold I made for myself when I started this whole motherhood journey.  Time has passed, doors have shut, and things have changed.

I have to make a new mold, a new image of myself as a mother.  I have to get used to my new identity.

Regardless of what my new identity is, I know for sure it will include these three.

Just Write

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5 Responses to Identity crisis.

  1. If you’re not ready to embrace a new identity, you could always have another baby! But if you’re in my boat your response is pretty much, “Just shoot me now.” My youngest is now 8 1/2 years old. I think I’m still trying to embrace a new identity how many years later? LOL! I don’t know, but I sure like getting more sleep than I did during baby, toddler, & preschool years. My identity included the joyous event of my youngest going to school all day long! Crazy thing is with year round school my younger two are home 3 weeks out of every 12 so it doesn’t feel like they’re in school all day anyway. Just when I get into a good routine during the day, they’re off track again. Matt and I have found that as kids get older they become more fun!

  2. Denise McCubbins says:

    I have been reinventing myself since my youngest was born. Really, I’ve been bracing myself for the day when there won’t be any more little people who need me all the time. That need to be needed has defined my life and molded who I am. Very soon the first one will leave followed in very quick succession by the other four. On one hand, I hope I’ve taught them everything they need to be successful and independent. On the other hand, I want them to always be there for me to take care if just so I feel needed. My heart breaks just a little everytime they learn something new. It means that little acorn is getting further and further away.
    I know I’ll always be an important part of my childern’s lives, but I know with equal clarity that I’ll never be as important today as I was yesterday.

  3. I totally remember when I hit this phase, and it IS hard, even with all the things that get easier. My kids are almost 10 and almost 7, and I find myself looking wistfully at the moms with the toddler and preschooler, and even the babies … even though I know how hard that time is…

    Loved this post.

    -Ellie

  4. Beautiful! Yes, things just keep changing and changing and as soon as you get used to the way things are, they change again. So bittersweet to see them grow.

  5. Susan says:

    Wait until they are all grown and gone. Talk about trying to reinvent yourself. My passion is my children. I loved mothering them and being a big part of their lives. Although I am very pleased at the adults they now are. I truly miss the little people they were. The Grandchildren really help but are just not quite the same.
    Enjoy them, every moment you get 😉

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