Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Here I am, wondering what I should write. Should write? Would like to write. That’s better.
This blog is not about what I should be doing, but what I’d like to be doing.
And right now, that’s kind of fuzzy.

See, I’m restless right now. It hasn’t affected my writing too much, though I find that physical distractions (cleaning, shopping for school, etc.) are helping me through it more than thinking/creative distractions (writing, blogging, reading). I'm struggling with identity. Who am I? How do I define myself? I haven’t had to ask that question since I was a young adult. But I’m asking now.

I’ve been cleaning out my attic. As I sort through toddler shoes, kindergarten drawings, old pictures of a younger family, the lump in my throat burns and I taste salty tears as I smile at their past innocence. Life was simpler then when the biggest problems were combing out the tangles in my daughter’s long hair and wiping away the tears after cleaning a boo boo. My role as a mother was to be ever present, to protect, and care for my children's needs - of which there were many back then.

For my family, there will be big changes this coming school year and the need to be patient, flexible, understanding and most of all loving is important.
I can’t even wrap my head and heart around the fact that my little boy will be leaving for college a year from now. How did those years melt away? A wave of mixed emotions grip me - anxiety, excitement, fear, pride and even sadness - and it hurts sometimes.

As they get closer to adulthood my identity is changing. Sure, I’m still their mother but that role is changing and I'm trying to figure it out. Yes, it’s still to love, support, nurture...but now I have to step back and stand offstage in the shadows. Wait for them to come to me. They don’t need to sit on my lap anymore, they don’t need me to tuck them in, or sing their tears away. Part of my role is to trust them when they walk out the door. Now it’s time to watch them strengthen their new wings, allow them flutter, to stumble, to try again, until they fly.

And so I’ve been restless as I wrestle with my identity. It was clear for so many years: wife, stay at home mother, friend.
I’ve added part-time worker and writer into the mix.
Writer. I write. And yet I still struggle with calling myself that. Is what I create worthy? How will I know? So I take tiny baby steps looking for some kind of validation and then I chastise myself for looking for it. But I want writer, children's author, to become part of who I am. Not only to myself, but to others as well.


  1. Gosh, I know this feeling too well. Identity crisis is supposed to happen to the young, right? Well, throw in empty nesters too. For a long time I was just Matthew's mom and that was enough. But as my son becomes more independent, I felt the need to re-identify myself. I started writing for him years ago. Somewhere along the way, I started writing for me and decided it's what I want to be. I'll always be Matthew's mom, who works as a med tech on the weekends, and write because it's what she wants to be. You know, in a way, I guess I sort of grew up with him.

  2. Like Shellie, I know that all too well, too. And I'm really new at this. But I love all the encouragement in the community.

    If you didn't watch this inspiring video before, watch it now. And if you did, watch it again. It's at the bottom of this post:

  3. I don't have kids, so don't know what it feels like. But you can call yourself a writer!