Wednesday: Definition

Mothering has taught me: do not be defined by mothering.


1. the act of defining  or making definite distinct, or clear.
2.the formal statement of the meaning or significance of wordphrase, idiom, etc., as found in    dictionaries.
3.the condition of being definite distinct, or clearly outlined.
If I said that being a mom hasn't changed me I'd be a liar. I apologize, I know I've said to various people multiple times "I'm the same person", but it's a lie. I don't feel any different, but I think what I should've been saying all along is that being a mom doesn't define who I am.

It's like this...Imagine I were a cod fisherman, or fisherwoman(?), and I loved cod. I talked about cod, dreamt cod, lived cod. Everything was cod. And then, unfortunately, cod one day disappeared. Would I be able to function without it? 

I've learned that I mistake passion for definition. I love it when people are passionate about something, and I love when I realize where my passion lies as well.
Am I passionate about being a mother? Heck yeah! It's one of my favorite things to talk about, learn about, and live out. But, I'm on a dangerous road if I let my passion for motherhood turn into my definition. Because, like the cod, passions change, fade, and are sometimes taken away.
When my role as a mother changes or when trials threaten to drastically affect my position as a mom, will I be standing on sinking sand?

I am a mother, but I'm so much more. I'm a wife, daughter, sister, wanna-be interior design expert, creator, time waster, movie fanatic, dusk lover, fantasy story enthusiast, and more recently, an early morning lap swimmer. I'm also a child of God, and when these aforementioned things fade or change, I am reminded that I can only allow this lasting truth to define me; it is my solid ground.
I have a sort of gauge that helps me measure how I'm doing in this area. If Finn is having a bad day-crying more than usual, fussy, unhappy, won't sleep-and that changes my overall demeanor...then I know I'm allowing motherhood to define me. This always works against me. When I'm living as a woman being defined by motherhood, I second-guess everything I'm doing. I question my abilities. I panic over small issues. I exhaust myself. I forget who I am and how Allison mothers and I begin trying to control things by figuring out how the "right way" to mother is lived out.
When I'm content(granted, a tad bit annoyed, who likes a whiny baby?) in who I am as a created woman of God during those days, then I can take it. I hope for Finn's attitude to get better, but I go on, knowing that the story being worked out in me is so much greater than my parenting abilities.
Mothering has taught me to continue learning who I am. What pains me and brings me joy, my weaknesses and strengths, my calling and purpose.
Mothering has taught me that I am a daughter of the King; the only definition that will always remain.

Oh, and let me not forget to mention...all of these lessons are continual, I'm being taught and re-taught every day.

Read Stephanie Nielson's Motherhood Essay winner here.
More mothering truths here.


  1. This is a perfect reminder for me, even if I'm not a mother, I'm still a list of these other things but most importantly a child of God. This is great, Allison.
    p.s. I see that west elm mug :)


  2. Food for the soul my friend. Thanks!