How to Handle an Identity Crisis

28 10 2008

Are you a new stepmom? Are you a city girl moving to the suburbs for your family? Is it getting difficult to recognize yourself with all the changes happening in your life? Then read on for a list of life preservers to help keep you afloat during times of great change.

1) Repetition. Choose one thing you love to do that makes you feel like yourself, and do it over and over again. When this city girl moved to the ‘burbs last summer so my husband could be closer to the kids, I found I didn’t recognize my life anymore. I set up regular coffee dates with my friends in all my old favorite haunts so I still felt like I had a connection to the city life I loved.

2) Re-Vision. Instead of focusing on what you’ve had to give up because you now live with kids, consider a revision of your expectations. The word “revision” means to “see again.” So how can you look at the reality you’re living in now, see it anew, and find something about it that you enjoy?

3) Revelation. Use this time of change as an excuse to open your mind to new possibilities. Read books by an author you’ve never heard of before. Visit an art museum. Read a parenting book. Attend a lecture series. Learn something new.

4) Reunion. Surround yourself with people who knew you when. That way, if you’re feeling lost, you can use your friends and family as touchstones to help remind you that you’re still you in the middle of the maelstrom.

5) Rest. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do but wait it out. You’ll get used to everything before long. Your family will learn how to relate to each other. And sometimes trying to force things to move before they’re ready is unwise. Allow your relationships in your new reality to unfold organically. Tomorrow will happen whether you’re exhausting yourself trying to fix, do, help – or are instead giving yourself the permission to wait and see.

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