When All You Know is Home, Husband and Kids….
Reality Sucks Sometimes
I have been in many “valleys” in my 11 years of marriage and motherhood. I have also been on an abundance of “mountain tops”.
The ebb and flow of marriage, being a stay-at-home mom, having babies, changing diapers, doing home school (or not), cooking, house chores and a myriad of other things, can literally cause you to lose yourself.
Don’t get me wrong…those are all admirable and honorable things! I think that our jobs as wives and moms is so incredibly important! We will never know, this side of heaven.
But, those mundane things, that often last almost 2 decades or more, cause you to lose yourself. Your true self. The things you used to love, and the things that you used to look forward to, often “drift away”. And eventually, you get to your 30’s (maybe earlier, maybe later) and realize that you don’t know who you are anymore! You realize that reality is so much more “suckier” than those amazing wife and mothers who seem have it all together. That’s just not the true reality. Reality sucks sometimes!
Here’s a question that I often ask friends of mine…If you were to have a week off, and had your children watched and taken care of for that whole week, and you could do anything you wanted to…what would you do? Truly. Have you ever thought about it? Some women that I have talked to about this just stare blankly at me. No answer.
So many women have this issue. I know I did. They don’t know who they are anymore. They wouldn’t even know that to do with themselves (with no responsibilities to have) for one day, let alone a week!
Why is this?
How Do I find Myself?
You may be reading this and nodding your head and saying, “omg! That’s so me!” Well, I am here to tell you that you are normal, and YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
—–Let me just share with you MY story—-
We got married in a fever (we dated for under a month when my husband asked me to marry him). We got pregnant a year after we got married. Of course, the first pregnancy (unfortunately) was a miscarriage (Check out the story of my miscarriage on my Healthy Mom page). Then I got pregnant maybe 6 months after that. I had my first baby, and then 6 months after I had him, I got pregnant again!
You can see how crazy my life was at that time. Not to mention so many other things happening as well. Two more babies followed, and in that same season, my husband and I struggled with our marriage as well. My Husband also decided to take on a completely different career path where he had to be gone for training for 6 whole months! I was pretty much a single mom for 6 months, and had two toddlers to take care of, as well as being pregnant yet again. I was struggling to survive at that point, and had completely and utterly lost myself.
There were some mornings in that season, where I literally did not want to get out of bed. I was just too exhausted. Too spent. I don’t tend to be a “depressed person”, so I didn’t really struggle with “depressed kinds of thinking”, but I was so over everything! I Just wanted to “check out”, and maybe skip that whole season of life.
Obviously, I knew I couldn’t do that, and of course, I trudged on. I got to such a low point of failure after failure and utter exhaustion that I asked myself, “How do I find myself, when I don’t even remember who I used to be?”
I really feel that God was holding me together. Barely together, but together. I think He allowed me to go through those hard times, and to see that I literally could not do anything on my own.
It wasn’t until I had that realization that I just couldn’t do it in my own power anymore, that God gave me His power.
I obviously made it out of that hard time, but I also learned a lot. I learned what not to do, and what worked. How to rely on His strength. How to trust that He had a plan. All glory to Him!
I know it sounds weird, but I really believe that when you “do something”, you begin to find yourself. When you do things for others especially (preferably things that you love to do), you can find out things about yourself that you never knew. At least I did.
I started helping people.
You see, I began really using my gifts in music, decorating, leading, managing, creating, etc, and that is when I began finding myself. I believe that when you take the focus off of YOU, and put it on others, that is when you really start living. That’s what Jesus did, if you think about it.
I started leading worship, decorating and coordinating weddings, painting with acrylics, working on my truck, planning future vacations and just overall, putting my energy and gifts into serving others and
Now, mind you, I definitely had to find a balance and get my priorities straight, but using my gifts for others became part of my life. I believe that your priorities should be your relationship with God FIRST, your relationship with your husband SECOND and then your relationship with your kids THIRD. After that…the sky is the limit!!!
Maybe I just have more energy than most, but I find it so much easier to serve others and do fun things for myself, after my “home in order”. It allows me the freedom to be who I am. I used to love working on my trucks, painting, adventuring and using my spiritual gifts (music, leadership etc) to bless others. My hobbies and loves are no different then they used to be, I just had to FIND THEM again!
I challenge you to sit down and write out the things that you used to love. Write down the things that you have always wanted to do. Get your priorities straight, and THEN…GO DO THAT STUFF!!!
It’s liberating and it’s wonderful!
I like to “take off” every now and again and just be alone. I get energy by being alone. Wether it is going to a coffee shop and reading or writing, exploring a new area or store, antiquing (I love that), Just driving to nowhere in particular or getting a pedicure every now and then. If you get your energy by being around people, maybe you can plan a day with one of your best girlfriends. The reason why I think it is so important for you to hang with a girlfriend and NOT your husband, is because sometimes you just need talk. Just need to vent. Your husband is great for that, and I highly encourage date nights on a regular basis, but there is just something so important about having accountability and a deep friendship with a female. God made it that way.
Also, if you are in the “busy mom season” too, maybe asking your husband or a friend to watch the kids for a couple of hours, and just go grocery shopping alone! Those times of being alone or going alone with a girlfriend are SO important! They truly are so beneficial to you as a women! Those times allow you to be YOU. With no distractions. No responsibilities (except maybe grocery shopping..but that’s not the point), and no one to take care of but YOU!
Here are some ways you can make time TO FIND YOURSELF…
- Start every morning with Jesus and coffee (time in the Word is the most important way to Find yourself-don’t forget the coffee!).
- Schedule a day alone (or with a girlfriend). Even if it is once every other month.
- Find someone to watch the kids for a couple of hours a week to go grocery shopping or run errands alone. Trust me…there are lonely grandmas in your church or community that would LOVE to help you! Don’t be afraid to ask!
- Go to a Women’s Retreat through your church.
- Find a hobby that you love, and take a few hours a week to work on it.
- Write down a list of the things you used to want to do (before you got married), and try implementing just one of those things a year.
- Start using your spiritual gifts at your church (i.e. music, children, decorating, techy stuff Etc).
- Start saving money for a trip by yourself or with a girlfriend.
- Talk to your husband and tell him how important “finding yourself” is, and that you need his help. Most husbands just don’t know that you need that. Talk to them. They will understand.
- Start Praying that God will show you how “fearfully and wonderfully made you are”. Ask Him for His Power, and His leading. He will show you!
Although I believe everything I just wrote about, with my whole heart, I do believe that you first have to find your IDENTITY in Christ. Without Him, I don’t know how you can have joy, peace or even function for that matter, without Him. When you give your life to Him, He truly does give you your identity…
- “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10
- “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[fn]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:14
- “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, forwhose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” Phil. 3:8
So, Today, I just want to encourage you! I want to tell you that you are not alone! We all struggle in this season of life. We all have a story. But, all in all…God is good! And He has a wonderful plan for your life!
Be encouraged! You can find yourself! There is wonderful and amazing person in YOU!!!