All I wanted growing up, was to be a mom. To have my own babies to love. That was my highest goal.
I grew up in a culture that subtly, and not so subtlety, told me that getting married and having kids should be my ultimate calling.
And so I did that. Got married at 21. Had a baby at 24. Stayed home, and devoted myself to motherhood.
I have an amazing husband and three wonderful kids. Who I love more than I can possibly express.
But why do I feel like I need more?
Why isn’t being “just” a mom enough? Whats wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? Why aren’t my kids fulfilling me?
When I was a teen and young adult, my church culture was just starting to speak against the notion of finding a man to be complete. I mostly got that message.
But the message I got over and over and over from inside and outside the church is that the ultimate compliment of a woman is being “selfless”. So I concluded that my kids would be my ultimate fulfillment, and what I needed to do to get to that place of fulfillment was to make my needs smaller and smaller and make my kids’ needs bigger and bigger.
That left me in a place of complete brokenness. Surrounded by a cloud of guilt and shame that constantly told me I was not enough.
I kept trying to fit those old broken pieces back together. But they just didn’t fit like they used to. And how could they? I had grown and changed immeasurably.
My old container was just too small.
So I tried on a bunch of other containers, trying to see what I could put on that fit me better.
But none of those felt quite right either. I didn’t have enough energy to put towards faking it. And I was so tired of faking it.
So I started counseling. I decided that I couldn’t look outward to find who I am. I have to look inward.
To do that, I have to give my self time and space.
I have to give myself more, not less.