What does it mean to be a mom? Many different things to different moms. I see motherhood as a sort of Venn Diagram. And where everything overlaps is a mom’s unique motherhood story.
Here’s what mine might look like:
You could have even more circles though, but I broke mine down into the three main “roles” I have at this point in my life. So how do I define each of these roles? See the following outline to find out. (I’m letting my inner organization nerd show on this one.)
- How I know I’m a mom:
- On my “break” from my children, I chose to take a shower in peace.
- Recently, I spent the better part of the night de-lousing my son.
- I let the kids crawl into bed with me and subsequently punch and kick me all night with their flailing limbs.
- I know how it feels to be completely depleted after weathering the storm of a 3-year-old tantrum.
- I want nothing more than to take my kids’ pain and discomfort away.How I know I’m a mom with a chronic illness
2. How I know I’m a mom with a chronic illness:
- I “invented” a game that consists of laying on the couch while I hit a balloon back and forth with my kids, because I’m so fatigued.
- I use my last bit of energy to play Legos with my son.
- On Saturday mornings, I set the kids up with breakfast and a tv show, and then proceed to fall back asleep on the couch.
- I fall asleep next to my kids without meaning to, while putting them to bed… did I mention I’m tired?
- I try to shield my kids from the most difficult parts of my illness.
3. How I know I’m a step-mom:
- I co-parent with up to 3 other people, instead of 1.
- I’m grateful to another woman, for sharing her most precious gift with me.
- I constantly walk the line between mom and STEP-mom when enforcing discipline.
- When planning future events, I must calculate if it falls on a day or weekend that we have my step-son.
- I have to explain why my son calls me by my first name, and I feel annoyed that many people look at him as “less mine” because of it.
Where do these three roles converge? My unique motherhood story. Every mom has one, and every story is somewhat alike but also unique and personal. Motherhood is a club that many women belong to, and there are so many universals that we all understand (Hello, 1C!!). But we also have different motherhood roles we take on. While I don’t only define myself as a mom, it’s the part of me that is so central to who I am, there’s no way to define myself without it.
By understanding our motherhood roles and how these “pieces of our story” connect and overlap to each other, as well as to other mom’s stories, we know ourselves more, can better connect with our kids, and can better support and encourage other moms.
So how do you define your own unique motherhood story?
Xoxo Julie LeBar
Learn more about my journey by visiting my blog here.