When my second baby was born, I was immediately pulled into a hurricane of activity--two kids less than 16 months apart, diapers everywhere, bottles of different sizes, crying, sleep issues and an international move on top of that. My days were spent in the kitchen, moving one or both kids from point A to point B, feeding/changing someone every hour and trying to catch a break for myself to pee. Survival.
My life had been turned upside down and sideways with babies, and of course, it left little time for me to focus on "me." I couldn't help but lose some of myself in this chaos.
At church on Sunday, the these was about finding your identity. Finding the "me" you want to be. Who am I? I can say without a doubt the me I was before kids is completely different than the me now. And I'm not talking about the me that said my kids would never eat McDonalds or watch TV. The me that sees things on the street sees them differently now. The me that interacts with other parents, judges less. The me that struggles to make it through a day sometimes can't manage the last bit of tasks before bed.
Basically, the day my second baby was born my life took on new meaning. My role in the world did, too. And for the next three years (until my oldest was about four) what little "me" time I had was spent working part-time, running errands childless or sneaking off for a quicky pedicure. There certainly hasn't been time to sit and ponder my identity.
After a few days of simmering on this topic, I think I realized the answer may be simpler than I thought. Motherhood changes you forever. It forces patience and acceptance. It makes you understand that things are not always as they should be or as you expect. Organization is important, but you have to willing readjust and redirect on a dime. You have to be willing and able to laugh at your mistakes and move on quickly. You have to know when to throw your hands up and just cry "uncle!"
My own "handicraft" is a big part of being me. I am blessed that it translates from place to place and I can find different ways to practice it as I change.
I think when it comes down to it, everyone has some kind "craft"--whether is storytelling, music, mediation, persuading, organizing, constructing, etc. But I believe that it's important for all of us to find some time during the week to perfect our craft and build on it. Because that designated "me" time makes you who you are. And as your kids grow up, it's the "you" your kids want to know.