It’s amazing how wrapped up you can become in something. 7 years ago my daughter was born and that’s when I first lost myself. Becoming a parent and taking care of my family became my first priority. My own dreams and aspirations got pushed aside and I went into full-time “parent mode”. I read all the parenting books, tried to buy all the right “natural and organic” things and was determined to be the best parent I could be. I even started a parenting blog. Yes, I become one of those parents. Slowly hanging out with my friends and doing things for myself became a thing of the past.
Now fast forward to present day. My kids are 7 & 5 and I am left thinking to myself where did the last 7 years go? Yes, it was wonderful spending good quality time with my children and being a dad that is involved, but now I am thinking, “Who am I?” What is my identity now? It’s almost like starting from scratch again in a sense. I am a different person for many reasons than I was 7 years ago. Now my job is to find out who that person is and find the balance between being an individual and being a parent. I’m sure it will be a hard journey, but one full of growth and adventure.
So to all my other fellow parents who are just starting off or have been in the thick of the parenting world for awhile this is my cautionary tale to you. Don’t lose yourself. Make time for yourself and continue to grow as an individual. You can be a great parent and still have your own identity too!
In search of yourself, here are some good questions to ask yourself:
- What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?
- What is your greatest strength? Have any of your recent actions demonstrated this strength?
- What are the top five things you cherish in your life?
- How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
- At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
- What do you most connect with? Why?
- Why do we do things we dislike and like the things we never seem to do?
- What are you avoiding?
- What is the one job/cause/activity that could get you out of bed happily for the rest of your life? Are you doing it now?
- What are you most grateful for?
- Do you find yourself influencing your world, or it influencing you?
- Are you doing what you believe in or settling for what you’re doing?
- What are you committed to?
- Have you been the kind of friend you’d want as one?
- We’re always making choices. Are you choosing for your story or for someone else’s?