Claiming Your Identity

We are back from yet another wonderful visit with family and friends at home in Indiana.  My husband and I were childhood sweethearts, so we are lucky in that home is home for both of us.  Today I am catching up on bills, sequestering fruit flies from a piece of fruit gone bad on the counter while we were gone, and killing mildew on clothes left inadvertently in the washing machine for ten days.

I am looking at an invoice to the local YMCA.  It is addressed to Dr. and Mrs. Fites.  Normally, I’d just write the check and send it off.  But today, I crossed through Dr. and Mrs. Fites and wrote The Doctors Fites above it.  Why?  Why does it matter?  Why am I feeling so pesky about this today?  I am typically the last person to care what you call me, as long as you don’t make me cry.

I’ll tell you why.  With the addition of our fourth child to our family, I’ve gotten less and less time.  Which makes me feel less and less like me.  And less and less like a valuable contributor to society.  I KNOW this is not right!  My husband tells me every  day how my raising our daughters makes a difference in our lives, their lives, and to how they fit into society.  And I am very comfortable staying home, cooking, cleaning, learning, and teaching.  Yet, the loss of control that a toddler imparts to a home and life is challenging for some of us.  Toddlers make you forget things.  Toddlers make you lose things.  Toddlers scream.  Toddlers are unpredictable.  Toddlers leave no cabinet, drawer, shelf, or basket unturned.  Toddlers don’t let you cook when you want.  Sleep when you want.  Exercise when you want.

However, it’s not just about the toddler.  Two days ago I decided to spruce up the living area.  My daughters all came in, “Ooh.  Mom.  That looks nice.”  Then, they decided they all had ideas too on where things should go and how they should be placed.  In MY living room.  Mine.  Mine.  Mine.  My head.  My space.  My time.  Mine.

No.  Hard stop.  Wait.  It’s a family of six.  Brain–take a ticket.  You’re sixth in line.

So, today, I am Doctor Fites.  Tomorrow, I will go back to being Terri.  Mom.  Or Mrs.  Even “Hey, You.”

But not today.  (Smile.)

Do you ever feel like life spins around you, and so, sometimes, you stamp your foot and say, “Not today.  Today I get what I earned.”?  Today, I am ____________________.  Insert your word.  Insert what you worked for and don’t want to leave completely behind.  You earned it.

Back to bills.

21 thoughts on “Claiming Your Identity

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Ha! I’ll bet you can relate! Where’d all that work we put in go? 🙂 (But, please you can call me Terri…unless I’m paying you money. LOL! If you’re paying me money, however, I’m usually called “Honey.” Do you relate to that one? Was especially true practicing in The South!) Hope you’re doing on the well side! ~~Terri (now that the pity party is over and the baby has had a nap)

      1. nontoxicnurse

        I absolutely relate to being called “honey” in the South, haha! I got “darlin’ ” a lot too. I was giving you a doctor pep comment 😉 I (only) call my younger sister “doctor” when she is having a rough day, but I call her “Doctor Mouse,” because when she was little I called her “Mouse Face.” Glad the baby had her nap. Naps are heavenly 🙂

  1. EmilyMaine

    I love this post. We rarely get to see such a raw side of you and I like it. I like getting a peek at you. It is so true, all of it! Toddlers don’t let you do ANYTHING the way you want. It is hard to maintain a sense of self when kiddies appear and I can only imagine how tricky that gets with 4 kiddies. Your hubby sounds great, a real supporter. I, for one, always see you as a Dr. Have a great day Dr Terri. Xx

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      YOU have been on my mind even in my relative absence from the web! —Raw post, eh? Must have been the lightly cooked liver I ate for lunch that my little toddler wouldn’t eat today. —I have to admit, this last one threw me for a loop. I’m still reeling and look at her and wonder where she came from. We were done at three; who is this? But she is a delight, and I know it’s right. Just got to find a new balance now that includes Terri in it again! My hubby is great, and he is a true advocate for me–for us–for our family.—And, oh, you. You call me Terri. Always.—Thank so much for all. Thoughts (in prayer form) your way lately. –Terri 🙂

  2. Elisa | blissful E

    Thank you for yet another thought-provoking post. We recently got back from holiday, too. 🙂

    Friends who have PhDs rather than being MDs dislike being “doctor” on airplanes. “No, no, I can’t help with the person vomiting…” lol

    Different aspects of who we are take precedence at different times. Serving in this humble role of “mum” many people assume I have little education. It is a valuable lesson for me in humility. But it’s also my secret weapon – although my degrees are unrelated to teaching and child-rearing (not to mention mopping!) the fruits of my education become obvious as I pour into my children. Thankfully, that brings a deeper sort of contentment and joy than putting letters after my name.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Haha! So true about the appropriate doctor on the airplane. My husband is an orthopedic surgeon, and if he hears that question on the plane, he knows it’s usually a medical problem (chest pain, seizure, etc.) not surgical/bone related– and tries to bury his head as he has not dealt with these problems in years!

      I second the humility concept. I think that was a huge battle as I transitioned mentally to staying home completely. Getting over my own head case of pride and what made me proud in life. Watching my children’s joy, challenges, successes, struggles, mastery, growing knowledge and thirst for learning, friendships, relationships, etc. brings me a new sense/type of contentment and motivation.

      1. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

        I totally agree with the humility concept! When I first started homeschooling, I thought- why I am wasting my education? LOL! Now, I see that I use my degrees everyday as I rear and teach my kiddos. Although some days I do find it tough to swallow that my hubby gets to use his degree everyday, speak with intelligent people everyday and act like a grown up. Then I realize-hey, I have it good. Yes, I have to mop up animal pee, pick up constantly after my crew, and cook, and cook and cook; but I also get to hike, play and make my own schedule. I love that I get to see my kiddos grow and develop.

  3. andthreetogo

    I have felt this way so many times… it’s like a pendulum… I feel good and stable, then I feel overwhelmed and needy for me time and space. And that is with just one toddler. I can’t imagine having 3 older children as well. I am always impressed with what you do and write and accomplish. You are awesome! 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      What do you claim, Jenny? Before it was three? 🙂 THANK YOU for your encouraging words. Thank you. Thank you. Pendulum is a good idea to capture the strange feeling! Good imagery. —-Can’t wait to order from Amazon and get Chad’s book! And you’ll hear from me soon via email about your web design!

      1. andthreetogo

        I think being a mom in general (despite the amount of children you are mom to) is such a different way to live. It’s awesome and crazy all at once 😉 Got your email and responding as soon as my little one is watching a show. (I know… Parenting at its finest hahah)

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

    Thank you!

    [Eh. Showers are overrated. Dry the skin out. Wash off any vitamin D the sun made that day. My shampoo probably has bad stuff in it for me.—Not showering gives a natural, musky smell. Why not put off today what I can do next week…] 🙂 Joking. That’s my logic when the day slips by without one.

    Can’t believe it’s Sunday already. May your week bring some warm showers!


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