a beautiful post from our very own:: Alyssa Nitz Mom of one year old Lucy & volunteer at The Mother's Nest
Who I was Then and Who I am Now
I was a teacher. I graded papers and planned lessons. I wrote the date, objective, and
“bellringer” on the white board before students arrived, while it was still dark outside. I sat in
my rolling chair at my desk with hot coffee and post-its everywhere that said things like,
“GRADES DUE FRIDAY!!” I wore pencil skirts from The Loft and shoes that click clacked across
the cafeteria tile. I loved my students. I loved getting to know them through their writing.
I was also a runner for a short time. I ran a couple half marathons, and discovered muscles I
didn’t know I had. I felt tough and empowered. I was a night owl, sleep in late girl. I was a
Sephora obsessed, InStyle subscribing, gel manicured girly girl. I was a Netflix binger. I was a
wife. I was a friend. I was a pet owner who took my dog to dog parks. I was an avid reader. I
liked to refinish old furniture. I was a member of my church, Real Life Group, and Bible study. I
loved food, eating it, cooking it, going out to eat. I was full-blown nerd who loved learning and
being a student.
These were all parts of me, boxes of my identity.
Then I became a mother, and I am still many of these things.
But for a season of time, after you become a mother, something happens to all of your boxes. They are immediately shut, sealed, and labeled, “Mother.”
And that is okay, because at first it takes all of who you are to figure out
just how you’re going to keep your new, tiny human alive and happy. It’s all consuming at first.
You don’t even think about your boxes. Boxes? What boxes? When’s the last time we fed the
Then as time goes on, and you gain your mama mojo, you have a moment when you’re like,
“Shit. What happened to all my boxes?”
So you start to reopen, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Some of those things you were, just
don’t work anymore. You can’t be that anymore. It gets shelved. Maybe you’ll try to reopen it
one day, and maybe you’ll never open it again. Maybe that’s okay.
Some of them you reopen, and it’s incredibly exciting. It’s like you’re rediscovering that part of
yourself all over again. It was a passion and a purpose the Lord planted in your heart, and He
still wants you to chase after it. It encourages you that there are parts of who you are that
coexist with motherhood beautifully. It can be such a relief when you open a box that’s just as
you left it—you can open it with confidence. You feel the Lord continue to nudge you in a
direction he did B.B. (Before Baby, of course).
Some moms reopen their career box, and some don’t. Some open it because they must, and
others open it because they want to open it. Hopefully they find their calling inside and
continue to pursue it with peace and purpose. I want it to stay shut, and I’m at peace with that.
That doesn’t mean, however, that it doesn’t rattle and hum impatiently from time to time…
Sometimes it’s really sad to keep a box shut.
Sometimes it hurts inside even when we have confidence that it needs to stay shut.
We ache for that part of who we were. That’s okay, too.
Around this one year mark, I’ve started thinking more seriously about all these parts of me. I’m
wading through them, and asking God for discernment on what I should reopen and what
should stay closed. All I really know is I’m fully His, and He will work out His Kingdom purposes
inside and outside of my role as mama. The unique thing about this role of mama, is that it’s
the only role that changes all your other roles.
It changes you.
Old parts of you are shelved and new parts of you emerge.
Some you long for,
and some you shrug off in your rear view mirror.
Motherhood can sanctify you, it can make you bold or scared. It can take you on an adventure.
You discover so many new parts of you. There so many new things you get to be and do.
It asks you to define who you are, and who you want to be in a more intentional way than you ever have.
It makes you think of who you were then,