When we are children we have a much clearer idea of who we are and what we need to do. “ I am the oldest child of family X and got to school Y” “ I am the only girl out of six children and I love sports”. We go through adolescence with many insecurities but by the time we are adults we may have a career that gives us our identity “I am a teacher”. We then get married and become “the wife” and then hopefully become “the mother”. It is often at this point that our identity is all consumed by being “the mother”. This is fine when the children are small and need us for every little thing, the problem comes when they grow up and don’t need us as much anymore. Who am I? I’m still a mother but what do I do with my time? It’s also at this time that we begin to lack confidence in our abilities and ask ourselves, what am I good at?
Leah* got married young and was a full time mother for her 6 children for many years. When her youngest was 13 and the rest were away in dorms and only came home for Shabbat. She suddenly had a lot of time to herself. After being so busy for so many years she didn’t know what to do with herself. She was feeling quite low and didn’t always have something to get up for in the morning. She felt at a loss so she gave me a call. I asked her to tell me about herself, what she liked doing, who she was and she started to cry. She didn’t know anymore what she liked to do for herself. She had always done things for her children. We started to explore things that she had enjoyed in the past as a young adult and after much thought she came up with a short list of ideas. Leah picked 2 of them and with much apprehension she began to explore making them a reality in her life. Now that she had these 2 new activities her weeks seemed less empty and she had things to look forward to.
We then began to work on her sense of self. Her identity had become so tied up with being a mother that she had no idea who she was on her own. We started to look at what her skills and talents were and what were her dreams for the future. After a number of sessions Leah began to feel more positive and began to see that this new stage in her life, with her kids needing her less, was an exciting opportunity for her to work on herself and discover herself again.
If you are feeling at a loss and that you have lost your identity please give me a call to see how we can work together to rediscover the real you! Call Helen Abelesz 0544829815 for a free first consultation.
*Not her real name and all identifying details have been changed.
About the author
Helen Abelesz is a life coach who specializes in working with women who are feeling overwhelmed, lack self-confidence, dealing with stress or not achieving their potential. Helen will help you pinpoint your insecurities, set goals for you to achieve and empower you to take control of your life. She works in both Hebrew and English.