Last week my Mother-in-law took both of my kiddos overnight.
As a stay at home mom for almost two years, it was a bittersweet feeling.
There was this ominous blaring of freedom along with an overbearing sense that I was missing a big piece of myself.
Waking up the next morning to a quiet house and calmly walking into the kitchen.
Greeted with a rush of confusing emotions.
How do I start my morning without my kids?!
The moment was surprisingly overwhelming, igniting a stream of tears down my cheek.
‘Who even am I besides Mom…?’
I’m not your average mom.
When I got pregnant the first time it wasn’t mapped out to happen according to my “picture perfect plan”.
I was 19 and a full blown alcoholic when I got my positive pregnancy test.
I didn’t know how to take care of myself at the time… let alone the life of a tiny human.
There wasn’t a house or a husband… it was indeed, very backwards.
I posted this photo to announce the news.
The caption stating, “joining the mommy club!”.
The things that people wrote in response to that post were terrible.
In their defense, the thought of that person as a mom was rightfully baffling…
“That baby is going to be so messed up!”
Only God knew what I was capable of.
The pregnancy was a process of growth and change.
I was learning how to navigate life sober for the very first time while also juggling the chaos of preparing for a newborn.
For me, pregnancy was the perfect distraction from all of my “crap” though.
Nothing else mattered besides the precious little life that was growing inside of me.
After my sweetie pie arrived everything literally started anew.
No longer was I the broken young adult, searching recklessly for love at the bottom of a bottle.
It’s like that person died and a totally different me was born- equipped with a baby.
My name is Mommy.
And boy, I could go on and on about her.
Happy mom, sad mom, mad mom, rushed mom, stressed mom, excited mom… to name a few.
Alexis on the other hand?
Literally doesn’t know how to start a morning without her kids.
That’s honestly about all I know.
Motherhood has this beautiful way of changing us.
We take on this new role that nothing could ever prepare us for.
It’s the most fulfilling yet consuming title on earth.
In my case, motherhood literally took my old mess of a life and replaced it with a really good one.
Suddenly I had a reason to live…. my kids.
Motherhood gave me purpose in life so I established an identity around that role.
“Mom” was the new me, a foundation I’ve built from over the past 6 years.
But take away my kids for one morning and suddenly I’m completely lost.
There aren’t roles for “Alexis”, “wife”, “self“.
The problem lies in the fact that I can’t be my “best mom” if I don’t ever tend to my needs as an individual.
And what even are my needs?
I don’t know.
How do you even go about learning who you are…?
Small observations while continuing on with everyday life.
A good starting place might be imagining my “perfect morning” if I lived alone and had nobody else to worry about.
Understanding how I’d prefer to spend my morning doesn’t mean it’s going to change anything, it’s simply establishing preference as an individual.
Personal identity is a vital part of life.
Our identity cannot rely solely on another person as our identity is what is true for us.
At the end of the day, I am the only person that I’m in control of.
Yes, “mom” is a piece of my identity…. a very important piece that I hold high in value.
But I’m more than just “mom”.
My name is Alexis.
I value God, balance, family, and routine.
I dislike chaos, drama, feeling rushed, and over scheduling.
I will do anything for the people that I love.
I thrive on taking care of others.
And someday, when my kids are grown and moved away, I will be okay with who I am as an individual.
Check out my blog PROJECT IDENTITY for more raw inspiration! 💕