I love to read a blog called “From Mrs. to Mama”. She posted the idea to write about a certain topic every Monday and I thought it would be fun. Then I read the topic for this week’s post, Who I Am. I initially thought it didn’t make much sense for me to write on that topic since pretty much everyone who reads my blog already knows me. But then I got to thinking about how the way I define myself has changed over the years.
If you had asked me to describe myself using a list of words in high school, at the top of the list I would have used the word “runner”. Obviously I would have included other words such as daughter, sister, friend, and student, but most of what I did revolved around running cross country and track. I loved to run and looked forward to every Thursday cross country meet during the fall and Friday track meet during the spring.
When I went off to college my life was still very much centered around running since I was on the cross country team. Even more time was spent running as practice time expanded to twice daily and included weekends. But I also began to see myself in other terms. I began to define myself more as “teacher”. My days were spent working toward becoming a teacher and spending time in classrooms. Joy came to me through the eyes of students I interacted with and the things they would say. I had found something I loved more running.
After graduation I was thrilled to begin my career in a first grade classroom. I was finally officially a teacher! I still ran and even trained for a marathon, but the majority of my time was spent in the classroom teaching and at home preparing materials and lessons. The main joy in my life was being around my students and making an impact on their lives.
As I entered my second year as a teacher I met Ty. The majority of my time was still spent in the classroom and I continued to love my job with my whole heart, but it was no longer the major source of happiness for me. Ty was. I continued to spend the same amount of time preparing materials and lessons for my classroom. In addition I was spending time every night on the phone with Ty and every weekend traveling to see him. Something had to give, so running was kicked to the back burner. I still ran, but not as often and not as far.
Next was a big move to live in the same town as Ty, a new job, and wedding planning. Running continued to take a back seat as bigger and more important things came into my life. On my list of defining words wife and teacher had both surpassed runner.
Now I am lucky enough to have added another word to my list, mom. Mom is at the core of everything I do and has changed all other aspects of my life. I am a different teacher now that I am a mom. I look at each of my students as if they are Carter and am able to find even more things to love about each of them. My running is less important and has slowed and shortened down.
I still think of myself as wife, teacher, runner, daughter, sister, friend, and pet owner. But now each of those words is intertwined with mom. No matter what I do or where I am, mom will always be at the heart of who I am. Being a mom has changed me. It is the most important thing I will ever do in my life. I have never cared more about anything else. If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say happy. Now that I am a mom I am everything I have ever wanted to be.