I’m a pretty typical introvert. It’s not that I don’t like or enjoy being around people; I just require time to myself to recharge. I know this about myself. I’ve known this for a while. But when it comes to my children, I seem to forget this aspect of my personality. So I give and give and give some more. Then I wonder why I’m short-tempered and frayed around edges.
I never wanted to be that mom. You know, the one who sacrifices herself on the altar of her children. But sometimes I feel like that’s who I’ve become. My mom was not that mom. And I never felt less cared for or valued because she cared for and valued herself.
Recently, I’ve been doing little things to “reclaim” myself, like finally losing the baby weight and making an effort with my appearance before leaving the house. It’s amazing what you have the energy to do once you start sleeping again. And although those are wonderful, even necessary things, I can’t help feeling that they are superficial. Those things are not going to refill me when I’m empty.
We are often defined by the roles we play. It’s true, I am a wife and a mother. But is that my true identity? Is it what defines me and who I am? Until I know that, I will always get lost in my roles. It’s not about wanting more out of life. I’m fulfilled as a wife and mother–I’m where I’m supposed to be. But I can’t let it be what defines me.
There is only one place I can find my true identity. Who I am has to be rooted in Christ: “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Galatians 3:26-27 NLT).
But I need to be constantly reminded of who I am in Christ, otherwise I’ll get bogged down in the minutiae of my everyday life. For me, spending time reading the Bible and in prayer not only remind me of who I am, they recharge and restore me. But I’m not very good at carving out that time. So I’m going to make it a priority. That may mean that sometimes Faith and Journey will have to play in their room, while I take time to refuel and remember who I am. In the end, my prayer is that as I take time to fill up again, I will fulfill my role as wife and mother with more purpose and focus.