Who am I? What is my purpose? What are my goals and dreams? What aspirations do I have? What are my interests? These are some questions weighing heavily on my mind lately. There’s a tendency I’ve read about, and noticed first hand for people (women especially) to lose their identity in one way or another when they become parents. I remember vividly reading about this in a parenting magazine at the OBs office when I was pregnant with my first. Now here I am, three kids later, questioning my very existence. I don’t mean to get all deep and existential on you here, but really guys…WHO THE HELL AM I? When you first have a child I think it’s totally natural to sort of become one entity for a while. After all, we all know that babies consider themselves an extension of their mothers (or primary caregiver) until somewhere around 6-7 months. That’s half a year of another human being thinking they are part of you. I defy anyone to not lose a bit of their identity within that space.
So here I sit reflecting on the last 5 years of my life. In those 5 years I have become a mother three times over! Admittedly, it’s a bit crazy to think about. Before these five years, I was a college student, a party goer, a bar frequenter, a book reader, a movie goer. I had aspired to get my masters degree in social work, and I had (a lot) FUN. It’s not to say that being a mommy isn’t fun, it definitely is! But, there needs to be more balance in my life. I have immersed myself so completely in being a mother, that I have all but lost any sense of myself as anything BUT a mother. When I try to think about what MY interests are, what MY goals are for MY future, and generally who I am- I kind of draw a blank. YIKES. I know for sure that social work is no longer something I am interested in, and I am very glad that I didn’t waste any time or money pursuing that career. But, I want to get back to being me. I want to get out more without kids and visit with friends more. I want to pick up a hobby, or take a class and learn something new. I NEED to allow myself to be ME in order to continue successfully being “Mom”.
Now days, I have different interests. The last few weeks I’ve been really forcing myself to consider what my passions are and how they could relate to my future. After all, my children will be school aged sooner rather than later and I will most certainly want to be back out into the world and contributing to it in some way or another. I like nutrition, exercise, natural health and healing. I’m passionate about women having successful (in whatever sense that word applies to them) labor and deliveries and I feel strongly about breastfeeding support for mom’s and their babies (and toddlers). If I mash all of that together, my job title could be “Homeopathic dietician and personal trainer with a certification in lactation consultation and certified doula”. That has a nice ring to it, but perhaps I should narrow it down to just one or two of those interests and see where they take me. 🙂
I guess the point to my ramblings is to say that I am regretful that I ever let my identity fade from my mind, and I hope that by writing things out and continuing to think about who I am and who I want to be, that I can make these things come to fruition when my full time job as Stay at Home Mom slows down a bit. It will slow down a bit, right?