Our culture associates many problems with maternity. One of the biggest is the identity loss a woman supposedly experiences upon becoming a mother. I think this is one of those things I'm going to angrily denounce as worldly and selfish (which is in no way to suggest that I personally am immune to its allure).
Is "personal identity" something we see promoted/encouraged/praised in Scripture? Maybe someone out there can verify if this is something Freud or some similar secularist fabricated. It sounds suspect to me.
What is "identity"? I don't have an authoritative definition, but here's what I usually understand women to be referring to when they talk about losing their identities: pursuits I enjoy or am good at . . . attributes which attract people to me . . . others' recognition and perceptions of me . . . parts of myself that I like--->the sum of these things, which defines me. Note these are all ostensibly positive. This is because everyone seems to think her identity is something valuable and worth maintaining/cultivating. No one ever doesn't like her identity, or what she perceives to be her true identity. Identity is that imaginary self we cherish, the hot chick in the mirror with her face turned to just the right angle and her cheeks and belly sucked in. She never looks like that in real life. Our identities are all skinny girls trapped in fat girls' bodies.
Now, what do I feel like I've lost in motherhood? This I feel capable of answering: freedom, public presence, worldly acclaim. That last one we know to be rubbish even if it feels good. How did I previously use my freedom? For vain and idle pursuits (comparatively, if not absolutely, and I wouldn't rule out the absolute either). How did I previously use my public presence? Usually, for idle diversion and to pursue worldly acclaim. Ok . . . this is going really well . . . .
What virtues are lost if identity is lost? Did becoming a mother make me less patient, kind, faithful, humble, selfless, forgiving, charitable, joyful, peaceful, kind, gentle, good, chaste, pious, self-controlled? Hard to say. But it didn't necessarily make me any more of those things either. What it probably did was point out how impoverished I am in all of them. Children are a big dose of Law.
The Son of man came not to be served but to serve. He emptied himself. He must become greater and I must become less. "Whosoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." You do the math, Mom.
I can say one thing pretty confidently: whatever I thought was or is my awesome identity doesn't seem to be missed by anyone but me. Furthermore, I don't miss the tiny fraction of Old Me I perceive to have been jettisoned, and I have huge hopes for Future Me. And true hope is not about being able to play tennis again someday.
Further reading here.