I’m not exactly sure when it happened. It wasn’t as soon as I had my first child, but somewhere along the road of motherhood I quit being “Robin” and became “Aubrey’s mom,” “Emma’s mom,” “Sadie’s mom,” and my personal favorite, “MOM-MA!”
It’s disconcerting to lose your identity in parenthood, to simply become the role that you fill for someone else. But how can you not be consumed when all of your time is spent meeting someone else’s needs? Before I had children, I had interests, hobbies…free time. After having 3 daughters in 4 years I realized I was losing it. Losing me. It was hard to even remember what I liked about myself, what I liked to do. My days were spent saying, “No!” in a hundred different octaves and tones, hoping against hope that my children would obey me. My nights were spent wandering zombie-like from my bed to the nursery, to breastfeed and back and forth putting toddlers back in their beds.
In addition to the bright moments, and lasting memories I’ve had with my children over the first few years of their lives, God began showing me how to “not sweat the small stuff.” Instead of crying when my potty-training toddler peed in the floor for the sixth time in one day, I laughed, and then I blogged about it so other people could laugh with me. When my toddler climbed into bed with me in the middle of the night and handed me her own potty-training surprise, I didn’t have quite the same reaction (picture a horror movie-like scream and lots of hand washing and crying, “Why?!”)- but God was growing me up.
When my preschooler pulled a tampon out of my diaper bag and began cleaning her ears in the check-out line at Wal-Mart, I didn’t even flinch. I was just glad she wasn’t trying to shoplift any candy.
I had a few moments of weakness when my middle child gave herself several Sharpie tattoos, finger-painted my bathroom walls with my favorite lipstick and almost blew up my toaster oven. But writing and blogging about my misadventures in motherhood helped me to gain perspective, find the silver linings and continue to fight the good fight, and stay focused on what God has called me to do during this season of my life- raise my children.
If you’ll let it, instead of making you a crazy identity-less “Mom,” the monotony of motherhood can mold and shape you into who God wants you to be. I’ve learned over the last six years that with a good sense of humor, and a heart to serve my family, I can survive just about anything motherhood throws at me. You can too, as long as you remember, “You gotta have faith!”
Copyright © Robin O’ Bryant, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved