A few weeks ago I was talking to a sister in law, who sent her baby of 9 kids off to school this year. She was saying how she was doing things like finishing quilts she started years ago, and starting new projects. She said she didn’t even remember what she liked to do, and was trying to find herself. This bought me back to when I first quit work to stay at home. I remember one of my friends commenting to me to be careful to not lose myself. And so I have spent the last couple weeks pondering if it is really possible, to not lose yourself in motherhood, and is that really such a bad thing anyways?
Every morning I wake up with somewhere between 1 -3 children in bed with me. I start my day with requests for breakfast and Princess Sophia. I pull myself out of bed, not really sure that I slept for more than 2 hours solid, and make myself a much needed ice coffee. Than I make breakfast, feed the baby, clean up spills and wipe up tears. Finally I sit down to my watery mess, that was once an iced coffee, and down it. Because it might not taste good anymore, but at this point in life caffeine is not optional.
And so goes my day, pretty much every day.
I used to drive to work in peace and quiet with my music on the radio. I used to run to get lunch, wherever I chose and eat it all in one siting. I used to be able to tie up all the loose ends at work before I clocked out for the night. I would go home climb into bed, and not think about work again until I clocked in the next morning. I used to take baths whenever I wanted, and meet friends for happy hour whenever I wanted. If I wanted to scrapbook, I pulled out my stuff. If I wanted to travel I just packed one small suitcase. I used to only be awoken by my own bodily needs, or an alarm clock that actually had the ability to be turned off.
Now my work climbs in bed with me in the middle of the night, it follows me in to the bathroom. It drinks my diet coke, and eats all my donuts before I get any. I don’t get to ignore calls and hope someone else will deal with it, because, kids are nothing if not persistent. I don’t get to call a supervisor for backup – I am the boss. And somehow this is not near as fun as my 12 year old self imagined it would be. My time in the car is spent constantly turning the volume to the obnoxious kids music up because one can’t hear, or down cause one is trying to talk. My meals are eaten with extreme speed, or split up into multiple seatings. My showers are in 5 mins flat, with a screaming baby in the bouncer outside the curtain.
I used to look at my paychecks and feel rewarded. Now my rewards are in slobbery kisses and constant, and I mean constant touching from someone. I used to go home at the end of the hectic day and feel like I accomplished so much. Now I climb in bed, over the pile of unfolded laundry, with a baby hooked to the boob and a tension headache, and wonder what in the world I spent the day doing. It sure wasn’t housework. I used to do my hair and makeup every day, and wear high heels whenever I wanted. Now I am usually sporting a bare face, dark circles under my eyes, pony tail, faded yoga pants, and a baby in a baby carrier.
So yes, I do believe, I have lost myself in motherhood. I don’t know what music I like, or what author is my current favorite. I don’t remember what it felt like when my body was my own. My proudest moment this year, or maybe ever, was when for 2 Winco trips in a row, the cashier commented on my well behaved kids. My kids are my passion, my work, my constant anxiety, my every joy. You can call me naive, or unhealthy but I really don’t think I would want it any other way. I know someday I will find myself again, and when I do I know I will find a much better version of the girl I once knew.