I have come to the realization lately that I am struggling with who I am. For most of my adult life I have found my identity in two things…..being the mother of four children and my career. Right now, both of these “identities” are in limbo and I am struggling with finding out who I really am. I will not lie……it’s difficult. I’ve known for several months now that I have been struggling emotionally, but I always thought it was just my job situation. Looking for something more stable than what I’ve got now. Going through the interview process. Living in limbo. But yesterday I realized it is much more than just my job situation. Let me try to explain.
Yesterday I was having lunch with a couple of business associates and the conversation turned to our children and how close we are to becoming empty nesters. My husband and I have just three more years until our youngest graduates from high school. Three years from becoming “empty nesters”. Since Connor is the youngest of four, I have always said that he will leave our house with my footprint on his rearend…..I am now rethinking that position. For almost all of our married life, Dave and I have had children in our home. I got pregnant with Liberty (our oldest who is 23) when we had been married just six months. I love being a mother and truth be told, I am scared of having a quiet house. I have never had a quiet house. Much of my identity has been wrapped around being the mother of four. Being NEEDED by my four children. Over the last couple of years, I have been needed less and I have come to the realization that I don’t like it. With Reuben (number 2) going away to college this year and Kaylee entering her senior year of high school the realization that things are changing quickly has hit me hard. I didn’t realize how hard until Debbie asked me how I was doing with the thought of all my kids being gone. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I have been avoiding evening THINKING about Reuben going away to college this year…..and Kaylee graduating next year….and Connor just two years after that.
Something else that has been a struggle for me has been my employment situation. I don’t like living in limbo. I don’t like working on a contract basis. I want to be part of a team. More specifically I want to be part of a management team. Why? Because the other half of my identity has come from what I do……my career. All of my adult life I have been driven to succeed in the business world. Driven to make it to the top. Driven to make more money. Driven to be the top dog. As I approach 50 (in under three weeks…..YIKES) I am struggling with the realization that finding a new/better job is harder. People look at me as an “older worker”. My experience is actually working against me. I may have to take a job that doesn’t pay what I have been making and doesn’t offer the challenges that I have always enjoyed. That scares me.
Why does all of this change scare me so much? Because I am not sure that I know who I am without my career and with my children getting older. For so many years when people have asked me to tell them about myself my response has been “I am the mother of four and I am the marketing manager for such and such company”. Now, don’t get me wrong. I will always be the mother of four, but as they get older……they don’t need me in the way the did when they were little. I spend less and less time running them around, picking up after them……you get the picture. I am not NEEDED as much.
Today I am starting a new journey. That journey is to discover exactly who I am………being a mother and being a career woman are a part of who I am……but it cannot always define me. I have to find who I am at the core of my being…..
Edited the evening of August 17.
One thing that I am trying to do while on this journey of finding myself is to get involved with some hobbies. I used to love to sew. When Libby and Reuben (the two oldest children) were little I made a lot of their clothing. I made the bedding for their cribs when they were born. After numbers three and four came along, the sewing maching got put away for many years. I pulled it out a couple of years ago when Kaylee was showing llamas and needed a costume designed for her llama. I am quite proud of the baseball uniform that I whipped up for that llama…..and let’s get it straight right here and now. Putting a pair of pants on a llama is NO EASY TASK.
After making the llama uniform the sewing machine started getting more use. I have made pajama bottoms for several friends and family members for Christmas gifts over the years and really enjoy my sewing time. Another hobby that I picked up was cake decorating. I have always wanted to learn to decorate cakes, but never had the time to do it. Well, I finally have the time and I am loving baking and decorating special cakes for my friends and family. I am seriously thinking about taking it to the next level and doing a little marketing for Ginny’s Cakes. Here area few pics of some cakes I’ve done in the past year.