No this isn’t a post about how some hacker on the internet stole my identity. Instead it is about how my children stole it….or maybe I just gave it to them. See for 10 years, since I was pregnant with my oldest son, I have been a stay at home mom. My days, hours, minutes are spent centered around my children. Most of the friends I’ve made these last 10 years have been through my children.
Before I had kids I would have described myself as an outgoing person, an extrovert if you will. In school I always had a few close friends and LOTS of friends outside of my immediate circle. I loved the spotlight. I wanted to be a singer and an actress. Dating a senior boy on our football team that also stared in our highschool musical was a BIG deal for me (he became my husband a few years later)! Now I would describe myself as somewhat shy, more of an introvert. I tend to shy away from large groups of people, close myself off a bit from the world to focus all my energy on my children. Standing in front of a crowd, while not the worst thing in the world, is just not my idea of a fun time anymore. However, when my kids are with me I have a voice! I’ll speak to new people. Push myself to meet the other parents at sports and school.
When I first became a mom I was still ‘Lori’, doing things I loved like scrap booking while the baby napped. But slowly over the years things started to shift. I started to hide behind my kids. They became my identity. Everything I did, I did for them. I found different outlets that slowly pushed me back into being myself, like volunteering for a moms group for 7 years. Which had me putting on conferences and workshops. Or getting a job as a bookkeeper/personal assistant (with my kids in tow). HOWEVER the day to day reality was that I had given my heart AND identity to my kids.
All of this brings me to today, the day I have NO CHILDREN at home with me. My three older kids are in elementary school and my youngest started a Mother’s Day Out gymnastics school twice a week. For the first time in 10 years I am ALONE! I can spend my day doing whatever my heart desires. I should be jumping for joy and running into the hills singing, but instead I sit awkwardly not knowing what to do with myself.
Here I sit, trying to push myself to take back some of my own identity. To find what in life makes me happy. Today I get to be LORI, but it will take me a while to learn who I am outside of being ‘MOM’.