A common critique of mothers, especially those who forego a lucrative career to focus on their children, is that they will be defined by their children. As if nothing that happened before their kids were born, or after they’ve grown up, matters. This seems silly, when you think of the average lifetime and the relatively small chunk of time for raising kids. Children are a part of you, but they are not all of you.
I admit there are times when I feel jealous of all the exciting things, at least according to Facebook, that my child-free friends are doing. I know that it will be a long time before I can do many of those things. Then I remember, a long time isn’t forever. I can’t go back in time and be a 22-year-old backpacker, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see the world. I just have to wait a bit before I can go sans kids. And in the meantime, I happily embrace the family vacation.
Eventually, my kids will grow up, move out, and won’t be in my life 24/7. I will have other obligations, including work, taking care of my parents and maintaining a household. And I hope that I am not defined by any one of those things. Instead, I hope that I will be defined by all of those things. Because, I will still be a parent, still be a wife, still be a daughter, still be a friend, still be all of those things that make me me.