Identity Lost When I left my career to stay home with my first born, I felt like I'd lost my identity. How could I say, "I'm a therapist," if I wasn't practicing anymore? How could I feel proud of myself, if I wasn't working outside the home achieving something at a job, career or profession?
Identity Found As time when on I began to see my identity more clearly when I found other mothers who, like me, made the choice to stay home with their kids. I admired them and saw we had similar values about raising children. If I was like them, then I could be proud of myself.
It's Always There I began to see that I never really lost my identity. In fact, every decision I make for my children comes out of who I am and what I've experienced in my past. I want certain things for my kids because I grew up in the family I did and because I had specific experiences in my life. My identity, formed out of my past, is wrapped up in achieving something in the future.
I remember one day when my first baby was 1-2 months old and I didn't know he had reflux. As usual, he started screaming after nursing for 5 minutes. At my wit's end, I did the only thing I knew how to do: I walked around with my baby on my shoulder, speaking to him in a slow, calm voice, using the language I learned in my hypnotherapy training. Hypnosis didn't help my reflux baby but it was a skill I brought to the table in one of my most trying moments as a parent.
Your Good Intentions You too bring a lifetime of skills, interests, values and wishes into your parenting. Take a step back, look at your parenting and notice that you use your strengths and experiences from the past to make good choices for your children's future. Take pride in what you intend to create - your identity forms those good intentions.