Someone says, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” I cringe. I get nervous. I pause to collect my thoughts but on the inside I’ve already asked myself 100 questions.
Who am I? What are my interests? (Wait, what are interests? Interests, you mean things that I like to do other than pee in private?) Do I have hobbies? What are those? Do other moms have time to do things they actually enjoy? Where do I sign up for that? Am I the only one sweating? Did I put on deodorant today? What do I do in my free time? Free time, wait, do I have that? Should I say I like yoga to sound like a cool mom?
And then I give my answer which is usually the same: “I’m Amanda. I’m 28. I’m a mom. I have two kids. I have a husband and we’ve been married for almost eight years. I am a teacher and I love my job.”
I could go on and list all the awesome perks of being a mom like speaking baby (as my 6-year-old would call it because I can understand her little sister’s gibberish) or how I have every word of Brown Bear, Brown Bear memorized. I could even brag about being able to sing the Princess Sofia theme song in my sleep.
Or, I could talk about the perks of being a wife like folding boxer briefs just the way my husband likes them or my astounding ability to rebound dirty laundry mid-air into the laundry basket. I could go as far as talking about how I Jenga the heck out of my hubby’s lunch box every day, but I wouldn’t want to brag.
I quickly snap back to reality and remember that those things aren’t relevant in other people’s lives. It’s in those moments l, as a mom and wife, feel that my identity is missing.
But here’s the question: why can’t being a mom and wife be an identity? Why do we feel like being an awesome mom and wife are boring? Where do these stigmas come from? Honestly, I’m not sure. But I’m here to tell you that they’re all wrong.
I think it’s easy to feel like you’ve “lost” your identity when you become a wife, even more so a parent. This can be scary, which is understandable. You went from being an individual to being part of something bigger. Instead of seeing this as a loss, what if you considered instead all of the things that you’ve gained?
The feelings of parenthood are unparalleled. There is no greater love, no greater joy, nothing more unconditional. Unless, of course, you find yourself in a happy, healthy marriage. You have what so many people want.
Remind yourself of the first time that tiny baby wrapped their hand around your finger. The first time your spouse said, “I love you.” Remember saying, “I do,” and that there are people who would give anything to have what you have. Remember the look on your spouse’s face when they changed their first poopy diaper and the way your babies smiled at you for the first time.
Tell yourself that these are the things that are worthwhile. The things that make you who you are, even if others won’t understand.
And when you’re presented with the dreaded ask, “Tell me about yourself”—OWN IT! Tell them about all the things that make you a proud wife and mom and forget about what other people think.
You’re not lost. You’re totally and wholeheartedly found.