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Over a year ago, I worked closely with a PR rep for a big campaign. At the time, it was one of the biggest campaigns I’d EVER worked on and he was a HUGE help in collaborating ways for me to successfully “pull it off” and learn the software for the product I was promoting. I felt like we had become friends and I let him in on what it is I do outside of blogging and the different dynamics of my husband and children. It was over six months later, that he finally states he has two children of his own.
What? Six months later I learn you’re a Dad as well? I assumed that would have come up in our discussions about parenthood, family, and “Mom” blogging, yet it never did. When I asked him why he never mentioned it, he said something that struck me, for a variety of reasons, “I never define myself as JUST a Dad, or JUST their father, or JUST a parent. I’m more than that dammit.”
Have you ever asked someone for their email address and you get something like Joeysmom@email.com? Or you see their Facebook stream and every post is about little Joey? Or anytime you talk to them all they talk about is Joey’s school, Joey’s sports, Joey’s hang nail?
But I look at myself, as a parent, and I know I can be guilty on gushing about my children. I have moments of pride in them and, I don’t care who you are, parenting is one of the most emotional rides of your life and celebrating the joys on Facebook, through forums, or to friends can sometimes help parents cope with these emotions.
But all the time?
Yeah. It’s annoying.
I, distinctly, remember a conversation I had with a good family friend about 6 years ago. I called him crying about being a young Mom, 700 miles away from home, with a husband who worked so much I never saw him. Never been married, yet alone ever experiencing Fatherhood, he tells me, “Sara, when I’m a Dad, I’m going to be there all the time. My life is going to BE that child. My Wife will understand that she is 2nd place in my life because our sole focus needs to be on raising a happy, healthy, well rounded child.”
My eyebrows crinkled.
Yeah. I don’t agree.
In fact, I was so troubled by his statement that I said, “If you put your spouse second than the strong, firm foundation you need to parent your child is weakened. You raise your child for a mere moment, then they grow up and who are you left with? Your spouse. They MUST be a priority before your child. Must.”
I tell you those, very different, perspectives because I feel like I get lost in between those two.
Being a Mom.
And Being More than a Mom.
I refuse to JUST be a Mom. That’s a harsh statement, because I love my children more than I love myself, but the fact is… It’s so easy to lose your self worth when you’re wrapped up in your children. It’s easy to use all your energy on your children and forget about your spouse. It’s easy to care so much for them that you can’t care for anyone else. It’s easy to take your interests and replace them with that of your children.
You lose yourself.
You lose a part of your life.
I also refuse to be MORE than a Mom. Confusing I know, but I’ve been given this “job” from God. I intend to Glorify Him with it, by raising my children in a house full of love, obedience, and faith. If I focus on JUST myself and NOT my children, I’m ignoring the fact that I may be more than a Mom, but for a moment I’m their Mom and that’s one of the best parts of me.
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What about you? How do you balance being JUST a Mom and MORE than a Mom?
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