From one Identity to Anothe: The motherhood identity crisis
Ask yourself, who am I? — and what are the first few things that come to mind.
The dictionary definition of identity is, “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual”. For most people, aside from the obvious answers like “daughter, sister, friend”, we identify ourselves with our careers. I was one of those people, who was proud of what I had done and felt as if I needed this to feel complete.
Who am I?
After moving from Chicago to San Diego, I had to reestablish myself and find that sense of “identity” again. I began working for TITLE Boxing Club and before I new it, it became my identity — It meant everything to me and more. I put all of my time and energy into making it the best Club in San Diego (I may be biased). TITLE was my second home and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world — I knew I was right where I needed to be.
Fast forward 2.5 years and My husband Spencer and I, found out we were pregnant with our first, Marlie. I had always dreamed of becoming a mother and I was so excited for this next chapter. Not much changed for me at work during this time — just the fact that I had a giant baby belly and swollen feet.
On the day that she was born, my whole world changed.
Who am I?
Going back to work was hard — don’t get me wrong, I missed my TITLE family and it felt so great to be back — but something was different now. I could no longer spend my entire day at the Club because I had a precious baby girl who needed me at home. and cue my first major identity crisis. I began to ask that question again—
Who am I?
I had never felt this lost before and I almost felt guilty for feeling this way.
After talking with friends, I was relieved to hear that this “identity crisis" feeling was completely normal. When you become a mom, your priorities change and you no longer just have yourself to worry about. It took a while for me to get back in the groove of working all while trying to balance being the best mom that I could. The mom guilt was real! I knew I was missing out on precious moments with Marlie, but I needed to make money and I truly loved my job.
Fast forward, 9 months from then — we found out we were pregnant with our second, Jax —crazy I know. It seemed to be a bit easier this time. I knew what to expect being pregnant and I was already use to functioning on little to no sleep. Work continued as “normal” and I felt as if I was ready for this transition back to work more than before.
I could not have been anymore wrong. I struggled with the same “identity crisis” all over again.
Who am I?
For the last 4 years, I had been Taylor, the GM of TITLE, and now with two kiddos under two, I was Taylor GM of TITLE and Mom to Marlie and Jax. I questioned if I could I give my 110% to both of these identities?
Who am I?
Every night, my husband and I talk about our days, and I would share with him my concern of not being able to give my best in both of my “jobs”. He would tell me “You need to do what ever will make YOU happy”.
If anyone knows me, I am a people pleaser and suck at making decisions — so I knew this was not going to be easy. That gut wrenching feeling of making the “wrong” choice and feeling as if I had upset or disappointed people.
After many sleepless nights, I made the difficult decision to step down from my position as GM at TITLE. At first it crushed me, I felt like I had failed and let my people down. The person who I identified myself as for so long was gone — but then I realized that I am now, Taylor— Mom to Marlie and Jax and that was enough.
I could not be more proud of who I am.
Whether you are a mom, a friend of a mom or someone going through any type of an identity struggle, my advice for you is to embrace the change and to not overwhelm yourself with finding this new you overnight. Change can be difficult and at times scary, but change is good and can open so many new doors for you. It has already done so for me and I am so excited to see what is to come. Just remember that your identity doesn’t define you, you define your identity!