Early morning and my littlest girl asks for a snuggle. I’m already dressed, I’ve been up for hours, but she’s sleepy and a little whiny so I pull back the covers and climb into bed beside her.

I can’t stay long. The other girls are waiting for breakfast, packing their school lunches. They need me, too.

For a moment, though, I lay in the dark with Maggie, her arms wrapped tightly around my neck, her curly hair brushing my face.

In these moments, I imagine that she is still my baby.

She is still my baby but she is also a little girl. She is half my height. She writes her whole name — first, middle, and last — with only a few letters reversed. She can read three letter words, sounding them out deliberately — “MMMMMM ahhhhhh P — mop.”

She still hides behind my legs when we meet someone new. She wears her pajamas when we drop off her sisters at school, sometimes.

Through a series of defining moments, she is moving from baby to little girl.

Three years ago, I called myself a stay-at-home mom. I defined myself that way: mom, homeschooler, wife. Even when I started to do some freelance work, I resisted viewing myself in new ways.

Last week, I needed to write a bio for a webTV channel where I will be hosting a show. I emailed a friend to ask for feedback. She helped me see that my story is changing.

I am defining myself in new ways. Of course, I am still mom, always mom, but I am also becoming someone else entirely.

I finished my new bio and read it over.

Is this really me? I thought. I wasn’t sure I recognized the woman I am becoming.

I read the bio again. Is this really me?

The second time, I answer with confidence, Yes! It is me.

Tell me something! What moments have helped you define who you are? Have you had moments when you don’t recognize the person you are becoming? What has helped you to “own” your new realities?