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?
Good for you on being sensitive to your human need for personal evolution.
Wife and mother are meaningful positions. And in your case, in order to feel your own growth, other areas of who you are would like your attention.
Give yourself time to allow your interest to wander in order to find the area of growth which will satisfy you.
Just like you know now that you'd like more than your current situation, trust yourself to know you will also know when you've arrived at another road you'd like to take for your own happiness.
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It appears to me that you feel as if you have sacrificed your dreams and aspirations when you assumed the roles of wife and mother. Many women place all their energies into raising a family but like you, believe they have not self- actualized in the process. Your efforts and devotion appear to have paid off as you now have a loving family! I would encourage you to explore your passions and hence find your identity apart from mothering.The reality is that parenting involves years of work as it takes 18 years to reach adulthood! Perhaps you can look forward to evolving with your children as you discover what else you would like to do with your life.
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It is not easy being a wife and mother. You have shifted roles in your life. You went from having a career to focusing on your family. Transitioning can be hard, especially when we feel we gave something up that we really wanted. I want to acknowledge you for wanting to be the best wife and mother you can. I think it is great that you are self-aware and want to work on this.
Feeling "unhappy and trapped" may also mean that you are believing these negative thoughts are absolutely true. We have lots and lots of thoughts throughout the day. Sometimes we pay a lot of attention to some and some we ignore. Right now these thoughts are getting a lot of your attention and perhaps you are thinking because you are thinking them they are true. Is it really true that you trapped? You also said that you have an amazing life. It doesn't sound like you are only having negative thoughts. You have some positive ones, too. However, you are giving a lot of weight to the negative thoughts, more weight than the positive ones.
I also wonder if you are struggling with the fact that you are even having this thought. One thing that can be helpful is to recognize that you are having a thought, that it is a negative thought, that thinking it does not make it true, and to let it go. This is the basis for mindfulness work that can be really helpful. It is a great place for you to start so you can balance out your thoughts and emotions.
Best of luck to you!
- 162 views
It sound like there are some parts of your life that you really enjoy it and also some things that you wish were different.
You say you feel like nothing more than a wife and mom, so I wonder if you could make a list of what else you are (friend, daughter, etc.). I also wonder if you could list your positive attributes or skills.
I don't know what you gave up, but I wonder if there is some way that you could spend an hour or so a week working on things that you like and/or spending some time with what you did before you had children. For example, if you're missing a certain part of your career, maybe you could work with your husband to come up with a plan where you could do whenever that is for one day a week. There are often a lot of small changes that can lead you in that direction.
Of course, that is assuming that you want to continue being involved with what you were doing before. If not, what else do you want to do? What is it that makes you feel happy? What do you look forward to? Remember that looking forward to having an hour or two where you can do something for yourself does not mean that you are not a good mother or wife. These ideas can coexist.
Can you talk with your husband about how you are feeling? Do you have trust for one another with feelings such as these?
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