This past year has been a difficult one for me. I feel as though I’ve recently woken up from a long sleep only to discover that I don’t know who I am anymore. First, I find myself deep within the throes of peri-menopause. So, my body is a stranger to me right now. I rarely know what to expect or when to expect it.
Next, I’m realizing that my 16 and 14 year old sons don’t need me as much anymore. After spending years of thinking about what their needs are and what I need to do to try to fulfill them, I’ve come to a place in life where they are becoming much more independent.
And after 18 years of marriage, my husband and I are also having to navigate new territory of how our relationship should look and how best to relate to each other in this new phase of life.
Can You Relate?!?
This summer, my 16-year-old son was away from home much more than he had ever been before. He went on two different week-long camping trips with various family members. He attended film camp. And he went on a 2 1/2 week long missions trip to Brazil.
This son who used to look to me for everything was now boarding jets and going through customs without me. And he didn’t suffer for it. In fact, he matured greatly during his adventures. And I discovered that having less control over his safety drove me to my knees in prayer – which was uncomfortable but good.
Seeing my sons grow up and become young men has been such an amazing journey… one I wouldn’t trade for anything. But part of the process of becoming a stay-at-home mom was that I quit my own career and put my own needs aside for a long time. Especially since I’ve also been homeschooling them since my oldest was a toddler!
Now that both of my boys are high school aged, however, and the end of their time living at home is in sight, I’m feeling a bit lost.
When my husband asks me what I’d like to do on our date nights, I don’t have an answer for him.
When I get an opportunity to have some time to myself, I don’t have any idea what to do besides watch some show or other on HGTV.
I can’t think of any hobbies that I enjoy anymore.
And I often feel tired.
Who is this person who looks back at me when I gaze into the mirror? I don’t even know who she is. She isn’t the same person who used to look back at me before I had a husband and kids. I’m not that selfish, insecure girl anymore. But who am I?
Becoming a stay-at-home mom was a huge sacrifice which demanded that I put my own desires on the shelf for a season. But now, it’s time for me to start figuring out who I have become during these past almost 20 years. My motherhood phase is rapidly morphing into a different stage of life – and as that door closes another opens.
Who have I become? I look forward to rediscovering who I am. To taking on new challenges. To finding my new purpose. To learning how to navigate this new phase with my husband and my God. But if I’m honest, I’m also afraid. Who am I?
As a new year begins, I tentatively look forward to starting this new voyage of self-discovery. Can you relate?!?
If you’ve also felt a little lost, I’d love to hear from you. Can you relate to having put your life on hold for your husband and your kids? Have you been successful at rediscovering anything about yourself? Please leave a comment below.