Identity Crisis: On the 5th Anniversary of Becoming “Mom”

Identity Crisis: On the 5th Anniversary of Becoming "Mom" | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo credit: Sarah Elizabeth Photography}

In just a few days, we will celebrate my daughter’s fifth birthday while I will silently be celebrating the fifth anniversary of becoming “Mom.” This name has not just become a title, it has become my identity. I am a completely different person than I was five years ago. I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself behind the broken blood vessels from pregnancy and forehead wrinkles from parenting. I hide my dark eye circles behind my glasses, which I never used to wear in public. My hair, which used to flow freely down my back, is constantly tied up. Where the heck did I go?

I used to bury myself in cooking magazines and cookbooks to find new elaborate meals to cook. I even used to volunteer at a cooking school and enjoyed taking many cooking classes and meeting famous local chefs. I loved spending an entire weekend cooking for a dinner party with our friends. Fast forward five years and now I despise cooking. My delicious Italian pasta and chicken parmesan have been replaced with boxed mac and cheese and frozen chicken nuggets. Most of the time if I dare try to cook anything else, the kids refuse to eat it and I get a text message from my husband that he has to work late. I hate spending time on planning, shopping, and cooking just for me.

I used to attend food and wine tastings with my “wine wife.” She and I first bonded over boxed rosé in college. As we attended more wine classes and festivals together, our spectrum widened. We added crisp and dry whites, bold and spicy reds, and even port. We even went to a few wineries together and met the wine makers. Now those tastings are few and far between. Now that we have kids, we have resorted back to boxed rosé…in plastic sippy cups. Misery loves wine wife company. 

I used to love to travel. We had finally planned my dream vacation to Italy and were just about to book it, when I found out I was pregnant. Before that we had traveled to Mexico a few times, Canada, in addition to visiting family all over the country. I have taken the kids to visit family in Wisconsin, Colorado, and California by myself, but we have never traveled as an entire family, or even just as a couple since our honeymoon. Now those long walks on the beaches with my husband have turned into rushed runs through Target with two screaming kids.

I used to run and practice yoga…a lot. I was training for a marathon in New Orleans when I found out I was pregnant. I tried to keep active while pregnant, but it became really difficult. Since becoming “Mom,” my body has been for the benefit of others. Even after the kids were born, trying to find childcare, an affordable double jogging stroller, or even just the energy was nearly impossible. Running with two kids is not exactly easy or calming. The kids like to do Frozen yoga, but listening to Anna and Elsa for the millionth time is not exactly calming either. I like to run and do yoga by myself to clear my mind and recharge.

“Mom” has not just been my name the past five years, it has become my identity…my only one (once I had to quit working). I shudder at being called a stay-at-home-mom. When we bought a new car, the female closing officer put “homemaker” as my occupation on the documents. I was offended. My taxes this year had to say “unemployed.” There is nothing wrong with being a mom, but it has become all that I am. I spend my entire waking (and usually sleeping) existence “working.” There are no vacations or sick days, but yet the negative connotation of these terms undermine and devalue all of my hard work…and my identity. 

After spending five years in this identity crisis, I am tired of it. I am done grieving the loss of my child-free youth. I denied it. I was angry. I tried bargaining to have it all. I was depressed I lost it all. Now it is time for acceptance. I’m going to accept and embrace my title and my identity. My new motto is: “Yes, I am MOM, hear me roar,” well more like: “World’s okayest mom.” I even found the shirt to display this title.

Identity Crisis: On the 5th Anniversary of Becoming "Mom" | Twin Cities Moms Blog

This shirt (along with a few others I found, thanks to fellow moms on Etsy) will become part of my official Mom identity acceptance outfit. I am finally making the leap to athletic pants and shoes too. This new outfit is multifaceted. Since I joined a gym with childcare, no one is nursing, everyone is (almost) potty-trained, I can start running again…and not just running errands, but actual running shoes hitting the pavement. I can do yoga again too…without Anna and Elsa as instructors. 

We will travel again…as a family and as a couple. Even if it is just to Wisconsin Dells before my oldest starts kindergarten this fall. I love traveling, and I want the kids to enjoy getting out of their environment and learning from the larger world. We have definitely gotten road trips to Wisconsin down to an art and a science, so now we’re ready for a bigger challenge.

My wine wife and I are in an online wine club together. The money we put into it supports independent vineyards. We have direct access to the winemakers virtually, just like we used to do in person. We can save the special bottles to enjoy together while having our own at-home tastings…in plastic cups…or maybe classier coffee mugs. After all, the handles make it easier to multitask handling kids at the same time. 

I am going to cook what I like to eat. If the kids do not want it–too bad. They are old enough they can make their own PB&J or cereal. I hope the constant attempts to try new foods will pique their interest more consistently. As for my husband, he usually likes what I make and will be okay with leftovers and reheated meals. 

I have been lost in the “Mom” identity crisis for five years. It is time I fully embrace it and revel in it, before it is gone. Bring on the yoga pants, messy hair and coffee!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply