ON CHANGE AND REDISCOVERING YOUR IDENTITY

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When something in your life causes you unhappiness, you should yell as loudly as you can until everyone can hear you. You should complain and tear apart everyone else’s life because you’re not getting what you feel you deserve.

Right? No.

When something in your life causes you unhappiness, you should try to find a way to change it. Change is a natural part of life. Of growing up and moving forward. Without change, you stagnate. It’s as if your feet are stuck in quicksand with your being unable to move in any direction.

Stay-at-home moms are prone to losing their identity. It does not happen overnight, rather the transformation is slow. At first, you experience that lack of sleep which causes you to start yelling and complaining. Then, you no longer feel beautiful as the time you used to take on making yourself up is now consumed with feedings, diaper changes, potty training, cleaning, and making meals that the children might or might not eat. In time, you learn to accept this as your duty, your job.

Years pass and the children grow up. They start to go to school and you are faced with yet another change. You become chauffeur as you drive your children to school, to parties, to friend’s houses, to soccer practice, dance lessons, and anything that society makes you believe will make your child a ‘well-rounded’ person. In the meantime, you might take up a hobby. It could be photography or sewing or baking. Whatever it is, it becomes an escape, a way out of the norm. But time is limited and you need to make the best use of it.

As the children grow older and you have an increasing amount of time at your disposal - as they are in school for a full 8 hours a day - you might start to wonder ‘what next?’. ‘Is this it?’ ‘Is this what my life has become?’

In the meantime, you’ve lost skills necessary to go back to the job you once knew. Time has moved on and technology has advanced. You are faced with another decision but it’s not necessarily a simple one as up until now your identity has been defined as ‘Tommy’s mom’ or someone’s wife. Then one day you wake up and look in the mirror. Weary eyes stare back and you blink again wondering who that person is staring back at you. Who have you become? The more important question is ‘who do you want to be?’. It’s also not easy for the other spouse to understand. You’ve given him or her all these years of making meals, keeping the house as clean as possible, doing everything you can do and now you want something else. You want your own identity back. The one you had before marriage and children came into the picture.

Change is necessary in order to grow. It is not simple or easy and most of the time we tend to talk ourselves out of a chance we later wish we’d taken.

This is not to dissuade people from having children or that children bring about unhappiness. Quite the contrary, children can bring about a great deal of happiness. The challenge is in finding the right balance. 

You have been given the precious gift of life. It's important to use it wisely and to live life to the fullest. The moment you realise that you hold the key to your own happiness is the moment you know that only you hold the power - the one to change your future. The one that will bring about an inner peace and calmness you so greatly desire.