I didn’t realize just how deeply I struggled with my identity until I became a mother. Even then, it took me a bit to see how consumed I became with this new role of mine.
As a young person, I was a writer. That is what I identified as; aspiring novelist and blogger. Then I got married and became a wife. I strove to have a clean and pleasant home, be a good hostess, and an attentive wife.
Then I got pregnant and gave birth to our little girl. Now I was a mother. A whole new and overwhelming, all-encompassing role to throw myself into.
I felt the pressure, particularly as a first-time mom, to be the best. To blow everyone away with how smoothly I transitioned amidst the sleepless nights, with how calm I was in the face of crying, with how well-dressed and well-behaved my sweet little baby was. I’m honestly embarrassed to admit this, but there you have it. I am a self-absorbed being.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I did, and do, deeply desire to be the best mom that I can be for my daughter’s sake. That is foremost – truly. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with wanting a good image.
How is it that so often a single action has both good and bad motives?
Why did I feel such a need for affirmation in my mothering? Why did I care so much about being, in a practical sense, better than everyone else? I think that a large part of the answer is that I didn’t know who I was apart from it.
I am a mom. It was my identity.
Note that while this post is written in the past tense, it is something I’m still working through. I know that as children of God we find our true identity in Christ. I know this, but sometimes there can be a gap between what we know in our head and believe in our heart; sinful habits can take root there. Praise God for His faithfulness and for providing the bridge across that gap.
I haven’t talked to my fellow mamas and taken a poll to substantiate this conclusion, but I think that this can be a common struggles for mothers simply because our job is 27/4. You are a mom. All. The. Time. It is such an enormous part of life, it can be easy to let it overwhelm all else.
But you are so much more than that. I don’t use the word ‘more’ to indicate that motherhood isn’t an incredibly high and valuable calling; it is one of the most important things in the world. It just isn’t all that you are.
You are a human being created in the image of God, for the purpose of bringing Him glory. You are a beautiful and unique individual, with specific talents and inclinations. You are a sinner redeemed by grace. If you are a mother, it is because God chose you to be the one raising these little people for His glory. What an honor.
Throw your heart and soul into being a mother. Embrace that role fiercely. Make sacrifices for your children, pour yourself into them. Do everything that you can to be a good mama.
But don’t let motherhood become your sole identity. Only Christ can adequately fill that role. I can tell your from personal experience, trying to place your security in anything else is an exhausting and futile endeavor. Your identity rests in Christ, and it is safe there.