Every single woman's identity shifts when she becomes a mother. We automatically would do anything for the little lives that we birth and who depend on us for literally everything! Nothing is about us any longer, but it is all about them, and we want it no other way. Mothers are selfless. Babies are gifts. Experiencing the love of a mother is powerful, and really impossible to experience otherwise. As children grow up and become less dependent on us in some ways, they grow more dependent in other ways, so they remain the center no matter what stage of life.
Everything written above is beautiful and just the way it’s meant to be; however, maintaining a piece of individual identity that is our own outside of motherhood, could be valuable in our overall health and wellbeing, so we mom’s don’t wake up one day feeling like we lost ourselves somewhere along the road of repetitive diaper changes and loads of laundry.
In my own personal experience, I have found that the balance of motherhood with professional bike racing makes me both a better mother and wife, and a better athlete. My roles are not all consuming because they can’t be, and I believe that has made these two life identities more fulfilling. I have found through pursuing my passion for racing, I am the happiest and feel most fulfilled in my home roles. I also believe there is a value to our children that empowers them through example of hard work and pursuing dreams and desires. They feel so special when they are included in our personal goals, knowing that is Mom’s special thing. There is a delicate balance to pursuing an identity outside of motherhood, but the dance is beautiful because it is imperfect, flexible, and always changing.
When the guilt creeps in, I ask myself, “Is my child safe, cared for, and loved?” If I can answer yes, I remind myself that being uncomfortable will make them and me stronger, and only grow our bond and love. So get out there you beautiful Mamas! Breath in that fresh air and get after it!