"You're not who you used to be."
The words hit hard. I didn't want to be different. I had gotten used to who I was and I liked it.
Those words hurt. They came laden with insecurities that they dropped off in my heart as they danced through my head.
Any girl who's went from single to married, from free to being a parent, knows that it doesn't come without an identity crisis.
So the words hit hard.
And then they made me angry. Like, of course I'm not who I was. I'm a Mom now, hello.
The changes range from a humorous changes in conversation to soul searching, gut wrenching discoveries and the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Now, instead of asking my husband if he'd rather play Monopoly or Rummikub we look at each other and say "do you want diaper duty or bathroom duty?"
Instead of a world where I can spend the morning sleeping in if I want I have to come to grips with the reality that I am a selfish person and sometimes I resent a lot more than losing sleep.
Instead of making a decision that will effect my future I'm making dozens of decisions a day that will shape who our children become.
I liked who I was as a young adult. The teen years came with their own struggles, but by the time I hit my 20s I felt secure. I knew who I was. I was good at what I did.
Back then an evening of fun consisted of coaxing my friends up to the ambulance barn so I could practice getting IVs and then going to the local grocery store to buy a cake that looked like a hamburger and jamming out with the windows down all the way home.
Time spent with friends was full of giggles, crazy dares and heartfelt talks. My opinions were strong and freely shared. I had lots of time to think them through and I knew what I believed and I reveled in what I felt.
And now...I've changed.
My soul can feel restless and I don't know who I am anymore.
Deep thoughts and feelings run through my heart and I don't know how to deal with them anymore. I feel small and inadequate.
Just another Mom.
Just another lady cruising through the grocery store with a cart full of lovely little people, trying to decide if I should buy Kraft or Annie's Macaroni and Cheese.
I look deep into my daughter's eyes and wonder if I'll be able to show her how to be a woman of worth. How to be brave and true and feminine and strong.
I kiss my little boy's hair and revel in the smell of the outside air. And I wonder if I'll be able to instill the importance of being bold and standing up for truth, the need to fight for those who need a champion infused with the strength of God.
I feed my baby girl at night and the atrocities of abortion run through my mind. And I want to cry out against it, but there's not many ways to fight, as a mom, with 3 kids in tow. So I hug her a little tighter and ask God to protect her always and thank Him for putting her in our care.
I want to go out and do something fun with my friends but I feel like my mind might not have enough energy or the capacity to carry on an intelligent conversation at times.
And even as my mind kicks against it, my heart is starting to embrace it.
Because I'm starting to realize that embracing the hard, the everyday and the mundane all together is what makes life real.
Learning to love bigger, pray harder and fall deeper in my Savior as I realize how very inadequate I am.
Sometimes I wonder where all my big 20-year-old dreams have gone.
And then I realize I'm living them. Each and every one.
God has been so gracious to me.
Yes, I've changed. I'm not who I used to be. And it's actually a good thing.
So dear lady. If you're struggling with your identity, and don't like who you are anymore?
Stop a minute. Think about what's changed. If it's bad, then change it back again.
But, if you look carefully you might just realize - you're living exactly the life you were meant to be living. And you are becoming the person God has called you to be.
It's ok to not be who you used to be.
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I love this! Becoming a mother is such a change. I've been thinking a lot lately about how all of life is changing seasons and adjusting and learning. As a young adult, it's easy to lose sight of that because you get settled into a routine and feel comfortable and secure, but motherhood pushes you back into reality.
3/25/2017 08:36:30 pm
You're so right, Bethany. I guess this isn't going to be the only change I have to deal with, is it? Life is constantly changing!
Oh my... motherhood definitely changes one's life. One of the reasons I love living in the Midwest is because I love the change of seasons. I also love life's changing seasons. Motherhood is a wonderful season that will mold you into a more giving, kind and stronger person. I love how you're embracing it.
3/25/2017 08:37:41 pm
I love how you brought in the changing seasons. Each one is so beautiful on its own, especially in the Midwest! I grew up there. Thanks for stopping by, Teri!
3/22/2017 05:11:04 pm
This is so beautiful. .I'm so proud of the person you've become, Stefani !
3/25/2017 08:38:17 pm
Aw, thanks, Mom! You're the best! ?❤
3/22/2017 08:54:08 pm
I can identify with nearly every single part of this! You say it so very well! I remember how much the same words cut my heart one time. And I felt so hurt...then so angry. And eventually I realized that I didn't WANT to be who I used to be. I love the way you are embracing life and the rollercoaster of motherhood. I'm right in there with you! ❤️
3/25/2017 08:39:22 pm
You definitely travel the motherhood journey well, dear friend! Thanks for your sweet, cheerleading words! ?
3/23/2017 05:11:32 am
Such honest, thought-provoking words here, Stefani. There are many times I struggled with my identity -- trying to figure out where I fit in -- and they usually followed a big change. But I've found that God always made my path clear in His time. Uncomfortable sometimes but always necessary to get me to the place He needed me to be.
3/25/2017 08:40:31 pm
It's so amazing to find God is always right there with a map and a lamp to light our path when we need it! Thanks for stopping by, dear Marva!
3/25/2017 08:40:59 pm
Thanks, Elli! ?
Beautiful, Stefani. Sometimes takes us a little while to work through our thoughts on who we are and what we do as moms! I agree, it's okay to not be who we used to be . . . we should be changing as God works in us to mold us more into the image of His Son. And using kids to reveal our selfishness . . . yup, that's the way He works. Here's to continued change, all for the better.
3/25/2017 08:42:38 pm
Thanks so much for your encouraging words, Abi! I always thought one kid would be enough to show me my selfishness, but goodness, each kid brings out more! It's starting to get a little scary! ? Blessings to you on your parenting journey as well!
5/12/2017 11:32:55 pm
Loved this Stef. I relate..... so much.
3/29/2018 12:38:59 pm
I could've written this! I always look back to my "prime" as being 18 years old, when life was full and possibilities were endless. Now I'm weighed down with motherhood and responsibility, yet I forget I'm living the life I dreamed of (okay, reality... it's not all roses!); the life of being a wife, of knowing I can and have carried children in my womb, and having growing children that call me mama and return heartfelt hugs and kisses. I may not have the "fun life" I did as a young adult, but by far my life is more fulfilling today. There truly is nothing more life-giving to a woman's heart than living her God-given role of being a helpmeet to her husband and nurturing littles. Yes, this stage is stressful, but deep down inside, I know I'm fulfilled. Thank you for that reminder!
6/10/2018 06:09:47 pm
This is me right now! And ever since I had my first child. Allison is 2 now and Wiley is 7 months. I have felt this resentfulness for so long and am FINALLY opening up to this new me.
7/13/2018 10:16:00 pm
I am in awe. This is me right now. My children are only 10 months apart, I work full time, my husband works full time, and most days I feel like I'm losing my mind. Most days the only prayers I can muster up are "just help me, Lord. Just keep me, Lord", continuously. I've been trying to figure out for 2 years (my daughter is 2 and my son is 1) what was going on with me. I knew something was happening, but I just couldn't quite figure it out, or accept it, rather. God was changing me! He's still changing me! I've been struggling to hold on to a season of my life that I have matured away from. I see so much more clearly right now. I can breathe a little more now. Bless the Lord! I so needed this. Thanks for this post! Pray for me!
Thanks for this beautiful article. I am so thankful to God I am not the same person I was, even last Christmas. God was gracious enough to allow us to adopt a little boy in April and he is making such a difference in our lives. I find myself quoting scripture and singing hymns to him. I know he doesn't understand yet, but they strengthen me.
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I am on a journey to know Jesus better, and be the wife, mommy and friend that God created me to be, all within the walls of my own little home. <3