Hi, my name is Jenn, and I’m a wife and a mom. aka a wife mom. Aka WM. I sound like I’m the new person in an AA meeting and I’m being super basic and repeating what everyone else in the circle is saying.
“Hi, I’m Jane, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Then cue everyone in monotone unison, “Hiiii Jaaaane.”
But even when an AA’er says that, you know there is more to their story. Being in AA isn’t who they are. It is not what defines them. At some point they were something else, then they lost themselves, then they wanted to change, and that’s why they are at the meeting! That’s sort of how it is to say you’re a wife mom. Now don’t think I am comparing being an alcoholic to being a WM – even though a glass of wine or two does happen – because I’m totally not. But think of it as a metaphor of sorts. Or a simile. Whatever floats your boat.
Being a WM is my greatest accomplishment. Ok, maybe it’s my only accomplishment – besides getting a Bachelor’s degree, which I am proud of – but it still is my absolute greatest. I am totally a hopeless romantic and could not be any happier being married to my best friend. I have found my soulmate and we will be married until we are 150 years old. Period.
I also truly love being a mom and believe it always has been and always will be, my calling. For example, I am THAT mom who tries to savor every moment and says, “Even though you have a million things to do, one day he won’t sleep on you like that, so cherish it now!” Or, “Even though you have sleepless nights, cherish it, because he will grow up and will never be this little again to need you through the night.” I really do believe these things. I see so many people cherish every moment when they have their last baby because they really won’t do any of those things again, but why not do it with our first too? What I’m saying is, Jack will probably never have a girlfriend and is always going to live with me. Yup. I am that mom.
But should those things define me? According to anybody and everybody’s Instagram bios (yes I did go there because yes, Instagram apparently rules all these days), they do.
Look at anyone’s page.
If they don’t have mom or wife on their page, they probably have some small description of something that describes them. What do you have on your page? Is that truly who you are? Are those the only things that you believe in? Can we not tell from your feed that you’re a wife and a mom? Can we tell from your feed who you are as a person outside of that?
Quick note I feel like I need to add – Being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, etc, those are what I live for. My life is revolved around the relationships I build and keep. It wasn’t until after I had a baby, that (in a way) I had forgotten what I liked to do, because I was so caught up in Jack, and I still am. I don’t want to forget who I am outside of being a mom. I want to pursue my passions and dreams, so Jack will grow up learning that he, too, can follow his dreams and do anything that he wants to do. Basically, being a mom kind of kicked me in the butt into really figuring out who I wanted to be in life so my baby can be proud of me.
But back to what I was saying earlier (my mind races plus I have a child, so I need to get every thought down as fast as I can before he wakes up from his next nap), a lot of people seem to have “mom” and “wife” on their page. Including me. Does my husband have “husband and dad” on his page? I’m rolling my eyes right now in case you can’t tell. And laughing. A lot.
I know there are some of you who are saying, “But I am proud of being a mom and a wife.” Well, of course we all are. But Instagram has changed the way we prioritize what is important. We feel the need to put “Jesus. Wife. Mom. Talents and hobbies.” Because if we don’t, someone might think we hate Jesus and he isn’t first in our lives. That we do not support our husbands or love them. That we do not cherish being a mom and put it at the top of our list. What we put in our bios, shouldn’t be the tell all to who we are. It is just what we decide to share with others.
Being a wife and a mom are “job titles” if you will. They do not define who we are as people. What we do for a living is not WHO we are, but WHAT we do. Mr. Smith may be a firefighter, but he loves to take yoga classes, loves cats, and loves to craft. Would you put two and two together? I wouldn’t. See what I mean?
When I think of who I am, the first things to come to mind are that I am a wife and a mom. When I write emails to companies trying to sell myself to promote products, that is basically what I say. Snooze. I mean, that’s what my Instagram bio says, so it must be true, right?
You know when you’re in an interview and the interviewer says, “So, tell me about yourself.” We plan and plan ahead of time to get the answer perfect to what THEY want to hear. We say a whole lot of boring things like what we have accomplished, what our pretend “goals” are for their company, how we can be the biggest and best asset ever (because everyone always has to say they will be.)
We try to sell ourselves according to their standards. And I would be lying if I said that I only do that in interviews. I do it in life, too.
I started thinking about this a lot one morning and was jotting down on a piece of paper a bunch of random things under the title “Who am I?” that I had written at the top. I know there is SO much more to me than what I have in my bio section, but do I even know?
I tried to see myself as an outsider sees me. Not how I want to see myself. Have you ever done that before? We have these counterfeit ideas of our selves. These ideas that we think we are, because we see someone else being that way. Whether we want to or not, Instagram makes us compare!
Ask a friend to tell you who you are. Get them to tell you your strengths, how they perceive you, how the world perceives you. Get them to tell you your weaknesses, and then de-friend them for telling you that you have weaknesses. Kidding. If you have a friend that can do all of that, then they are worth keeping.
Ask yourself if you see yourself the same way. If you don’t, why is that? Do you think you are different than you actually are because you are feeding off of what other people are doing?
“She is so outdoorsy, that’s totally me.”
As you’re sitting on the couch watching the 16th episode of that television show.
“She travels and is adventurous, obviously that’s me.”
You’ve only been on one vacation this year.
“She works out and is super healthy, yup, I’m the same way.”
You know you only fit in one green smoothie a month.
“I love watching her makeup videos and looking at her fashion photos, because I’m so into makeup and fashion.”
You never leave the house to wear any of those clothes or even put makeup on.
“She is SO funny and has a sense of humor, we are basically twins.”
You take everything so seriously and can’t even make your mom laugh.
And you know what? You may be those things, or you may not.
You may have aspirations to be those things, or you may not.
Either way, it’s OK.
I am totally indecisive on a lot of things. I am not someone who has one passion, one “thing” if you will. On the daily, I struggle with finding something that is “me”. Something that I am into, that is different. But what I realized is different with me, is that I like to try new things. I was never someone fit for one job or one hobby. I want to experience all life has to offer, because life is amazing. I want to move a million times and then some, because the world has so much to offer. I want to learn sign language, sew clothes, master crossword puzzles, rock climb, surf, and travel the world.
I want to look back when I am 90 and think, man, I really lived.