Identity Crisis

“During our next Great Body Shop class, we’re going to learn how babies are made,” Wren announced nonchalantly one evening last week. I tried to act cool, not show my discomfort. I want her to feel like she can and should talk to me about these things…but in this moment, I think back to words that Dawn always says to me in the midst of a parenting dilemma…”And all you ever wanted was a baby.”

These days, it feels like I’m being ambushed with reminders that I’m no longer a mom to babies. When they aren’t showing me with their actions, they’re telling me. Over the weekend, as I reached for Adi’s hand in the parking lot of Target, she retracted and said, “I’m about to be nine, mom. I don’t need you to hold my hand.” Slightly wounded, I let her bounce ahead on her own, thinking back to a post I wrote in 2017 all about the different ways I held by babies’ hands. Life was busy but simpler then.

I’m trying to embrace this new stage of being a mom to big kids. I have to admit, it feels a bit like going through an identity crisis.


11 thoughts on “Identity Crisis

  1. Jessica, interestingly I just read another slice about how our children are growing quickly.. Writing helps us share our feelings, you show that in this sentence, “I’m trying to embrace this new stage of being a mom to big kids.”


  2. You capture such a powerful moment when Adi pulls her hand away from yours. While of course you want your girls to grow up and be independent, you just want to hold on to that being needed part for as long as possible. There are so many of these moments in parenting – holding on and letting go in a myriad of different ways.


  3. The baby/young child time does seem to go by too quickly. Your description of Adi’s wish to not hold hands is a good one. It’s so wonderful to have a daughter and you will enjoy all those years even as they get older.


  4. Oooh. That moment in the parking lot had power. I guess the way you wrote it is what’s true about this: for all the visible changes your kids go through, your identity also morphs slightly. It’s not as though you aren’t growing too. We just don’t always think that way as parents.


  5. Parenting has it’s own phases and with each one we have to learn how to put our best forward — like listening to Wren, letting go of Adi’s hands. There are so many unknowns as we live parenting day by day but if we hold on to the belief in each of our children, we’ll be okay, and so will they!


  6. Oh, both of those moments resonate, and I like how you make them parallel here. Also, after a few years of not showing physical affection very often, my almost-15-year-old has started giving me long hugs again. It’s very nice.


  7. You’re the kind of mom who will find the joy in each stage! I’m seeing now as they get older, they almost go back to being more affectionate.


  8. Just you wait, my friend! There are all sorts of identities coming your way, but I bet you’re going to be the mom who appreciates all the stages and then gets to bask in being their friend as an adult– the stages are different, but might be better and better.


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