Monday, June 5, 2017

Being a Mom Is Only a Part of Our Children's Identities

I was reading a devotional. I don’t even remember what the whole devotional was about – but it took a turn where it was talking about our children and the path their lives would take. Then I read this line…

“Don’t ever forget that you being their mom is only a part of their identities.”  (Youversion – Tightropes & Teeter-Totters)


As I enter into the season of my baby girl just graduating from high school and gearing up to go off to college next year; that sentence hit me like a ton of bricks.

And the tears welled up in my throat.

Not because that sentence made me sad. But because it rang so true. It’s something I’ve been trying to prepare myself for.

I know that my children are the world to me. But knowing that, I also have to know that when my job is done raising them, that I may not be the world to them. And I have to be okay with that. Sure, I hope I’m always a priority with them. I hope they value my thoughts, my time, my company.  But they will have a larger life than just the role I play in it.

So different than when they were babies.

I can see it. I’ve been with my husband now longer than I lived in the home where my parents raised me. And although nothing or no one can ever replace “mom and dad,” there is so much more to life than the circle and neighborhood that you grow up in.

So I have to face it. I have to prepare myself to adjust and transition my place and role in my children’s hearts. If I’ve done my job well, they will never not want to be with me, love on me, talk to me, or care about my well-being. They will never go out and just forget me. But, if I’ve done my job well, they will also be able to live independent lives. Ones that are generous, merciful to others, compassionate, joyful, and intentional. They will be able to function and love developing friendships and relationships that are separate from the close bond that I hope we will always share.

It’s a strange thing. Yet somehow, should be so natural.

I will always be a mom. I will always be THEIR mom. But that part of my identity can’t become their WHOLE identity. It would cripple them.

And that’s the last thing I want.

So, I sit back and cheer them on. I hope to be a part of as many moments as I can in their lives. But I live and I love not just as a mom, but as a person. A woman who also has other identities and roles in her heart and life. None maybe as important – but still, they matter. And they shape me.

May the part of the identity in my children’s hearts that I play a part in, be one of the strongest and most beautiful. But may it only be a part. Because I want them to be whole people; their OWN people.

Nothing could be more beautiful than that.

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