I recently read an article about how women lose part of their identity when they become mothers. The article talked about how moms no longer have a picture of themselves on their Facebook page, that in fact their profile picture is typically a picture of their child (guilty as charged). The article went on to explain how we no longer associate ourselves as women who do this or that for a living, but we associate ourselves as mothers. I think this is especially true for women who choose to stay home when they have a baby. For me, one day I was a teacher, the next day I was Jackson’s mom. It is even more true for those of us who have special needs children and suddenly find ourselves unable to work because we have kiddos who require above average care. When you spend a great deal of your week in the car taking your child between doctor and therapy appointments, you tend to forget about any career or career goals you once had. So what does that mean for us stay at home Mommies? I think it means we have to work a little harder to keep our world wide and not fall into the “our entire world is in our home” trap.
For me, I have a lot of things I have gotten involved in just so I can stay sane and mentally healthy. I am taking a Leadership Advocacy class through the Arc of Spokane, I am on the Board of Directors at the Spokane Guild School, I go out to dinner and a movie with girlfriends occasionally, I bought a treadmill (so I can work out after the kid goes to bed), and in the past 2 months I have traveled over to our State Capitol 3 times to speak to my legislators about disability legislation that affects my family. I couldn’t do all this without the support of my husband, who is wonderful and understands I need to do things for myself, to keep my world wide and wonderful. Dylan Thomas said “Somebody’s boring me. I think it’s me.” If you’re boring yourself, stop doing it. Find something that excites you, something that gives your life meaning, something that takes you away from being a mom for a while. It’s hard to do, but if you don’t make that effort to expand your world, well you won’t have much of one.
Read more about Stacey and her family at http://lifeonmysterylane.