When our daughter was born, I went through what you could call an identity crisis. I didn’t feel like the same person. I definitely didn’t look like the person I’d known for the past 29 years. I had an C-section scar that itched at random times, none of the clothes I bought seemed to flatter my post-pregnancy figure, and maybe worst of all, sex now felt like a chore I crossed off on my to-do list. I felt like a robot that worked during the day only to come home and breastfeed, change diapers, (sometimes) make an attempt to clean my house, and wake up the next morning to do it all over again. I told my husband I needed more date nights, more affection from him, more attention. He tried to do what I asked, but still I felt empty. What was wrong with me?
I looked up articles on postpartum depression, but the description of symptoms didn’t match what I was feeling: I felt like I was floating on a raft, trying to row back to shore. But the more I rowed, the more confused I became about which way I was trying to go. I started doubting the career path I had chosen. Was I really meant to be a teacher for the rest of my life? Would it have been better if I had just continued trying to apply to medical school? Just what was my purpose in life anyway? Was I just supposed to be Go-Go MomBot for the next 18 years? The prospect of cooking, cleaning, and caring for my kids for the rest of the (enjoyable) years of my life was depressing.
It wasn’t until I took time to do some serious soul-searching that I came to have peace about my situation. I wasn’t content in my roleas a wife and mother because I had started to see myself as a wife and mother and nothing else. I had stopped seeing myself as a person, with a mission in life and gifts to fulfill it with.
I started spending more time in prayer and meditation in the morning. I also started writing again, and it’s taken me on a path that I didn’t even imagine I would be on when I first started. Now I see that being a great wife and mom can only spring from being the person I’m supposed to be. And in re-discovering my gifts and talents, I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to guide and counsel people in their relationships and inspire other women. It all started with me slowing down and realizing that my roles in life aren’t an end in themselves. It started with me re-discovering my identity.
I look at women who are impatient to get married and have kids. The reality is, getting married is a beautiful thing, but as a woman, your identity really has to be solid. Your husband, hard as he may try, will never fulfill you. He will complement you, encourage you, support you, but he cannot give you a purpose. He cannot instill a gift or talent within you. Your husband cannot instill in you a passion for life. In short, your husband cannot be God.
Similarly, I look at young men that I know who dream of a loving wife to come home to and start a family with. That’s an awesome aspiration to have, but have you thought about the type of man you want to be? Are you actively trying to become a better version of yourself every day?
The foundation you lay in your life before you get involved in a relationship follows you into marriage. You can’t think that saying “I do,” will be a magic wand that instantly transforms you into an awesome person that does great things and lives a great life. There are things that happen in life that shake you up and make you question yourself regardless, but when you have that foundation of who you are, what your passion is, and when you live out your gift in every role you have, eventually you'll find your way back to what’s truly important.
Till next time!
P.S. If you're in a relationship, or even thinking about being married one day, go ahead and download our FREE Pre-Marital Crash Course. Honestly the information and exercises in here are great for both singles AND couples.
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