In this day and age, we all worry about identity theft. And who wouldn’t? With the economy being like it is, most of us depend on each and every penny just to make ends meet.. the idea of somebody stealing those hard earned coins is threatening. But you take precautions, try to be prudent and then hopefully.. you just live your life and the idiots leave you alone. That’s not what I mean though. I am talking about my identity.. the hats I wear, the way I describe myself or introduce myself to others. The layers of personality, my environment, what I do that gives me purpose.. my contribution to the world.
My husband identifies himself as a Captain in the fire department. It is his main sense of how he is represented. It’s how he views himself. He is also a husband, a brother, a son and a friend but in his mind.. he is first and foremost a firefighter. I have known this about him since the day we met because that is how he introduced himself to me: “Hi, my name is Bob. I’m a professional firefighter.” It’s more than just what he does for a living.. it’s who he *IS*.
If you ask me about my identity, I will tell you that I am a mother first and foremost. It is my most important job and it has been my career throughout my adulthood. I no longer work in the public sector but when I did, I worked in the medical field. Yes.. I contributed to the world in a way (hopefully a good way) but my children were more important than any job, any patient, any other humans. I am a wife.. and I think i’m a fairly decent one. There may be days when he would beg to differ but I love my husband and I am loyal to him. I will defend his honor and protect his reputation. I will care for him and nurture him in sickness and in health but I am still a mother first.
I’m human. I make mistakes. I’m so far from perfect that I can barely spell it. But in the midst of my mistakes, I have a perfect love for my children. Even when THEY make mistakes. It’s really hard when you do what you feel is right and still get judged for things not being perfect. I can’t do perfect, remember? But in that perfect love, I make hard choices, sometimes say no when i’d rather just take the path of least resistance and roll with it. I can only hope that someday, my children will recognize that every choice had a reason behind it, every mistake I made originated from a good place and I did my dead level best to teach them responsibility, compassion and respect for others. All while accepting they also have flaws but are worthy of being loved in spite of them. See.. my most important job. Ever.
But now my children are young men. Grown up. No longer need a “Momma”. I get that we never outgrow our mothers because I still wonder what mine would think or how she would handle a situation i’m dealing with. I trust her and I trust her judgment. She was and still is a wonderful mother but I find myself making choices without her input or wisdom.. trusting on myself and the ability and confidence she helped to instill in me to do that while she was still mothering me. I know my day has come, just like hers did to lay down the role of “Momma” and just become the woman that gave my children birth. “Mom” instead of “Momma”. It’s much easier said than done though.
It is my identity.. the way I perceive myself, my most important job, my purpose. And it has been stolen from me. Stolen by time. Time I can’t get back. There is no daylight savings in this job. No extra bit of daylight to get the things done I missed out on. I got one chance and I can only pray to God that I did a decent enough job that my children will someday recognize the same things I see in my mother: kindness, gratitude, graciousness, imperfectness, fierceness, loyalty and most of all.. love. I pray for strength as I move forward into the next phase of my life and as my children move forward into their own. I am lost without a purpose most of the time but I am finally trying to find new purpose and ways to again contribute to society in a positive way. But even when I find that additional purpose.. I want my sons to know, they will ALWAYS be the source of my greatest joy, at times my deepest sorrows, my extreme pride and the best way I could have ever improved society as a whole. Your “Momma” as well as your “Mom” loves you from the depths of my soul. Now and forever. Please don’t forget that “Mom” is here but “Momma” lurks just beneath the surface, you only have to ask if you need me.