Redefining Self to Build a Stronger Family

“When I grow up, I will be a teacher and travel the world.”

From age four, I made sure that the trajectory of my life went as I had planned, become a teacher, travel the world, and maybe get married. Instead, God had other plans. As a sophomore in college, I began dating the man who would become my husband a year later and had my first son before graduating. 

Looking towards my role models: my mother, aunts, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, I was surrounded by women who worked equally as hard as their husbands to bring in an income. Honestly, there were times growing up when I felt my mother’s identity was soldier first, mother second, so that is how I pursued… career before family. While my students thrived, my marriage and family did not. All my focus and energy went into my students, who I felt needed me more than my family. 

I went to every training offered, even during the summer months, and when they needed volunteers for a new program, I raised my hand. 

Three and a half years later, overwhelmed, exhausted, broken, and burned out, God lifted my head and opened my eyes. In my narrow-sightedness, I had ignored my husband and our family, which now consisted of two boys under four. I was lost and miserable and did not know how to fix it. 

“How do I fix something when I don’t know what is broken?”

“To what extent is my brokenness seeping into my family?”

I turned to family, friends, co-workers, pastors, and small group members from the church, but the answer evaded me even then. These individuals saw bits and pieces of me, but what I needed they lacked, and that was someone who saw the whole picture. 

It took my husband receiving a job offer that took us to another country for me to let go of my adolescent definition of a “real woman” and reprioritize. It took me almost two years of repair work with my little princes (I also gave birth to a third during this time) and five years of marriage work to open the gates of healing and strengthen our foundation (even though it takes constant intentional work, dedication, and commitment to keep our marriage growing, healthy, and thriving). We aren’t perfect, but we are committed to working at it.

Are you stuck and looking for a therapist who can help you with your goals and identity? Reach out to me at Lifeologie Counseling Houston at (713) 357-1589 or find a Lifeologie therapist near you!

About Amanda Robottom

Amanda Robottom earned Bachelor's degrees in Speech Communication and English and a secondary teaching certificate from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling from Wake Forest University. She is also a certified Life Coach. She works with clients dealing with the challenges that surround Repatriation Adjustment and Expatriation Planning or Issues, and also specializes in anxiety, depression, grief, family issues, chronic illness and pain, as well as teen's, women's, and family issues. She sees adolescents, adults, couples, and families with the supervision of Dr. Ly Tran, LPC-S, at Lifeologie Counseling Houston. believes people need help from outside of their social circle to provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment that encourages them to lay down their burdens, erase old habits, and create new healthier ways of living; this is the environment she aims to produce for her clients.

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