With marriage, two become one. But does that mean that you have to lose your identity in the process? Yes and no. Let me explain.

After having a child, getting married, and having another child within two years’ time (and in that order), my identity changed dramatically. One day I was out shopping by myself, which is indeed a rarity in my world, and realized that I felt strange. I didn’t have a husband there with me. There were no babies calling my name; and I was just there with me. Alone. It was an odd, self-conscious experience. I was forced to think about what it means to be me in light of my new identities.

Admittedly, being a wife and mother do shape who I am now, but I can’t allow my identity as such to become a security blanket. Too often as other halves (and mommies to boot), we forget who WE are. The woman behind those titles. After that strange, eye-opening experience in the mall, I decided to take great care in holding onto a semblance of myself. Who am I? I am a writer. I am a woman passionate about social justice. I am an avid reader and debater; I love to run. When I don’t make time for those things, I’ve noticed that I am more lethargic and tired. I get sick more easily, and I generally am not that much fun to be around. Making time for those things makes me feel good about who I am as a person. And that is vital. It’s important for me to carve out time honing in on the things that make me ME so that I can be my best wife and mother to my guys.

Somewhere along the way, we women forgot that we are more than wife and/or mom. We are women too. There is no guilt or shame in claiming your “me” time. When we are allowed to make time for ourselves, we are then able to give the best of ourselves to our families. This week, think about what makes you who you are. What makes you your beautiful, creative, loving, essential self? Ponder this, and think about ways that you can balance remaining true to you with fulfilling your role/s as wife and/or mother. Feel free to share in the comments section!

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