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.

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