I’ve heard mothers call who say they “had no identity” after their children grew up. I’m married almost 41 years, and I’m here to tell you that I have enough “identity” to fill a dozen lifetimes. Here’s just a partial list: Girlfriend, sweetheart, siren, executive chef, friend, cheerleader, spiritual guide, crying shoulder and caregiver. Also, martial artist, runner, yogi, dancer, volunteer, singer, seamstress, jewelry maker, actress, journalist, small business owner, musician and potter.
It makes me sad that women don’t value everything they bring to a relationship, everything they provide to their family and society, as well as themselves, unless it has a monetary value. There’s infinite value in modeling for children that a person can learn new things at any age—that you can do something because you enjoy it and not give up if you’re not perfect at it. There’s tremendous value in modeling for a husband that his wife has sound judgment, has faith in him and will be his soft place to fail, so he can try and not give up because he’s not perfect. If a woman believes she has no identity after her children are up and out, it’s her own fault. If she’s not willing to be accountable, she just becomes (and maybe wants to be) a victim.
My husband and I are about to retire, and I look forward to adding another identity to my list – full-time partner in adventure and troublemaking! That’s our plan for “between now and dead.”
Don’t Lose Your Identity After Your Kids Are Grown