Before I became a mother, before I was a wife, and long before I had a friend I was a daughter. This was what I was thinking when I headed off to visit my Mom in Florida last week. That sometimes as we get older we get wrapped up in these titles, wife, mother. That sometimes we forget who we were before that.
I remember when a friend got married and everything became about her husband. How friendships fell away after wedding rings went on. How nights with girlfriends suddenly became couples nights. And I remember how after kids everything is about kids. Even that shiny ring on your finger that was all so vital a few years ago becomes a sparkling memory. Mother superscedes wife.
I got to thinking about how as we enter each new phase of life an old one slips away. We trade old titles and priorities for new ones. We shed one life for another. And yet, all relationships all of those titles are important. Being a daughter, a friend and a wife all helped shape me into the Mom I am. And while being a Mom is all consuming these days, it doesn’t mean that I can’t still be an attentive wife, a good friend, or a loving daughter.
And by having date nights with my husband or a girls night with my friends or even dare I say, going to Florida for a few days to see my Mom, I am a better mother. These other relationships in my life don’t take away from me being a mother they enhance it.
Sometimes I know Moms get so wrapped up in mothering. They no longer have time for themselves or their friends. Date nights seem like a superficial indulgence. I’ve had friends tell John that they can’t believe he “lets” me go visit my Mom. And I’ve seen posts on Facebook about how there will be time for date nights once the kids are grown or how going out means that you aren’t putting your children first.
But I think all relationships are important. By being a daughter who makes time for her Mom, my son will hopefully do the same thing some day. By being a wife who goes out with her husband I show my son what a good marriage looks like. By spending time with my friends he learns how to be a friend and that it’s important to have friends.
I don’t think it’s indulgent or superficial to make time for things other than your children. I don’t think it makes someone a bad mother to go out with friends or have date nights or take time for themselves. I think we all do what works for us. But I think it’s good to remember the things you were before you were a mother.