Why do I feel like I'm nothing more than a wife and mom?

I'm in my mid 20s with a husband and children. I love my family, but I feel like I've lost my identity, and I don't know who I am other than a mom and wife. At times, all I can think is what I gave up and how I feel unhappy and trapped, but I know I'd feel like worse without them. I loathe myself at times. I have an amazing life, so why can't I just enjoy it?

Courtney Shrum
Courtney Shrum
Somatic Anxiety & Trauma Therapist

First I want to thank you for sharing your story, I imagine that it might feel really tough to question things like how much you gave up while feeling unhappy and trapped. Self-loathing is an overwhelming and heavy thing to feel especially in the face of just wanting to appreciate and enjoy your life. 

Feelings however, don't have an agenda - they are just a reaction given the state of things going on for you. Oftentimes they can be based on previous situations or events in life. It is also important to note what narrative comes up for you in the face of certain feelings. For example, what is the story you are telling yourself when you feel the sensation of being unhappy?

One part of being on a mental health journey is also recognizing that there can be a duality to life sometimes. Duality in your case looks like a) loving your family and b) recognizing your loss of self identity due to your roles as a wife and mother. Both of these things can exist and be true at the same time and it is okay that they do!

The good news is that you can explore who you are and what your identity is while still being a wife and a mother. To explore your identity you can start by asking yourself something like: "what lights me up inside to think about?"

Wishing you all the best in your journey.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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