Women (like yourself, I presume) have always had to juggle many titles and positions. The various roles we must fill, if not guarded and balanced, can cause us to lose a sense of who we are at our core: uniquely female. Moms who choose to homeschool, a unique role indeed, often run a greater risk of allowing themselves to be defined by what they do and at times are subjected to scrutiny by peers, friends, and even family.
During the different seasons of my life, there have been five things that have helped ensure I remain the woman I was created to be:
- Be Intentional
Get to know and understand yourself. Whether you are a wife, mother, homeschooler, volunteer, or business owner, there are certain expectations (job descriptions, if you will) required of you. Although the expectations may be well-founded, problems arise when you realize those expectations might not be what you’re all about. For example: my children, now adults, were recently surprised to learn I do not enjoy cooking. They had no idea! Creating food that could win awards is not something I aspired to. But feeding my family nutritious meals and creating memories required cooking, so I was happy to do it. I was working toward the goal of building a family. Meals times are a big part of that.
Knowing who you really are is the beginning of staying true to yourself. You must discover what you do well and build on that base. Every woman has been given strengths and talents unlike anyone else. Your strengths and talents fit perfectly with the life you get to live and the people you are doing life with.
- Power, Prestige, Position
All too often women are defined by what they do or have. What you do is very different from who you are. At various times during my years in the corporate world I have been a company owner, a boss, and an employee. None of those positions defined me; my worth goes much deeper. These can be a cheap substitute for obtaining your identity. For once you are no longer powerful you will fill empty.
Be a woman who pursues balance in each season of life. Being married, having children, or working can all cause you to forget what you enjoy. The demands of each role are real and time-consuming, but part of the balance is taking time for the things you gain satisfaction from. Some women love to cook, exercise, clean, volunteer, or read. Carving out some time for those passions helps fill that longing inside. When that need is met you become more effective in all of you roles.
- Negative self-talk
Guard against negative self-talk. We can talk ourselves in and out of feelings. All too often we linger on the negative words we tell ourselves. That is why we must take every thought captive. It’s not an easy task; I even liken it to war. A war consists of many smaller battles. Sometimes these mini-wars are easily won, while others require tremendous effort. But if you don’t fight to win they will inevitably overtake you. These battles are taking place between your ears every day, ladies. The battle isn’t so much between you and what others say, but what you allow yourself to hear and believe.
- Real Friendships
Lastly, develop close friendships! We benefit from having other women to connect with. Some friends will only “do life” with you for a few months or years, while others will journey for a lifetime. Women understand what you are going through because they experience many of the same feelings. They can also speak truth to you so you will hear what you need to hear.
You may wear several different hats and juggled many titles. Some will be more enjoyable than others, but each one will help you become a better you!
The real question may not be how to stay true to who you are but to acknowledging that God has formed you and equipped you to manage and perform multiple tasks as a woman. You are never just a wife, mother, sister, homeschooler, or employee. Those are things you do in this wonderful journey called life.
You only have one life. Don’t waste time trying to be someone other than you. It is important to keep this in perspective.