Parenting

I Am More Than Just A Mom

Mom working from home in office whilst also looking after her young daugther.
Belinda Howell/Getty

I became a mom for the first time 30 days before my 22nd birthday. I’m not opening with that fact because I regret having my girls young, but it’s worthwhile to note for the conversation we’re about to embark on. Just because I’ve been a mom for most of my adult life doesn’t mean that’s all I am. I am more than just a mom.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what my life was like before July of 2012. Flash forward nearly 10 years, and I have a seven-year-old, a nine-year-old, a pup, and a husband (all of whom I love and adore). But the thing that they all seem to forget, more often than not, is that I am more than just a wife and caretaker.

I’ve been working remotely for almost three years, and it should have been the dream. But sometimes, being home 25/8 seems to support my kids’ and hubby’s assumption that I exist merely to serve them.

Mom, I wrote a list of what I want for lunch tomorrow.

Honey, when you go to the store, can you pick up…

Mom, Z is looking at me again!

But there is more to me than errand running and playing referee. Case in point: I’ve sat down at least half-a-dozen times to write, edit, and wrap up this article. But every time I sit down, there is somehow a more pressing task that needs to be done… right that moment… by me. And I am so done with that madness.

Don’t get me wrong–I love being a mom and a wife, but I have dreams and aspirations, and to-do’s all my own. I’m making a shift to a full-time creative career, I have three half-finished novels, and I’m working through launching my own business. Just because it’s not as important to my family as Roblox doesn’t make it less meaningful to me.

When my daughters and I talk books, they’re amazed at how much I know about The Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. When I help my 4th grader outline her five-paragraph essay, she thinks it’s so cool that I can help because I’m a writer myself. I remember the day she came home from school and told me that she told her whole class I was writing a novel involving Catherine de’ Medici. As much as I appreciated her hyping me up, I got irritated, because in the same breath, she also asked why it was taking me so long to finish it. Really, kid?

I wouldn’t trade my family for the world, but sometimes they need a reminder that life goes on outside of their immediate wants and needs. Sometimes that reminder comes in the form of me barricading myself in my office until I get the chance to indulge in what brings me joy.

For all the moms out there who are struggling to find the balance, let me help you out. The answer is simple. Sometimes you’ve just got to choose yourself, and no, it’s not selfish. When you live into your whole purpose and not just part of it, you have no idea who you’ll inspire. And trust me, when it’s the people closest to you, it’s a whole other kind of magic.

I love being a mom, but I also love being me too. Sometimes, I think my family doesn’t even know the whole person that I am. So I think it’s about time I introduce her because honestly, the best is yet to come. This is only the beginning.