Sunday, July 12, 2009

To Be or Not To Be

There's something rattling around in my brain all day that I thought I'd post here since I can't seem to get rid of it. Maybe writing it will help resolve my issue. In the past week, for the second time, I saw an Oprah episode about mothers and something Cheryl Hines said has been sitting with me ever since. She said when you become a mother your life changes and it never really is the same again. You have to sort of reinvent yourself after becoming a mother. I'm not sure if this is making me feel sad or proud. I liked who I was. I didn't love everything about me. I wasn't working anymore and not sure who I was or what I wanted to be when I grew up. Then 3 years ago I became a mom. Early on I decided I didn't only want to be defined as a mom. I was more than that. There was more to me than raising a son. I realize it is a job in and of itself and an incredibly important one. Probably the most important thing I'll ever do is raise my 2 boys. They will be a reflection of me. That scares me as well. What if they're screw-ups? What if they're cold-hearted womanizers? That's not a reflection of me, is it? I'm not raising them that way. I want to be defined as something more than that lousy kid's mom. So here I am with 2 boys still wondering what I'm going to be when I grow up. I guess I am a mom. But am I a mom first? I've been "me" for so long before I was a mom that it saddens me to think I have to redefine myself. There are things that I still want to do. I'm not exactly sure what they are yet, but I know I desire to do more. I guess being a mom isn't the be all, end all for me as it is for other women. Which is fine. It still makes me sad to think that I'll never be the same person I was before. I feel I'm mourning the loss of "me" while trying to create a new "me" at the same time. Or maybe I just watch too much Oprah.

1 comment:

  1. I understand the feeling behind your statements very well and I am sure what I write now is more for myself than anyone but...I believe that every person will struggle with these same feelings to various degrees once they take on the role of parent (an active role or not). It sometimes can feel overwhelming and your personal sense of self can seem to be put on the back burner or even lost along the way (sometimes it seems there is only so much time, so many resources and/or so much support). Parenthood may even come as a complete shock to people who have their children later in adulthood rather than sooner (it did me!). However, it is critical to keep in mind the richness that has been added to life by becoming someones mother. We now have a vantage point we couldn't imagine before. The perspective we receive as parents we can put to good use. This job we chose to take on is 24-7, as you know. It can be frustrating (to say the least), thankless, infuriating, emotional, and sometimes even impossible. In other words, we have been given the opportunity to learn much about ourselves, things we may have been unable to see with such clarity before we became parents. We do not have to mourn for our own passing as nothing about us has died, perhaps our own desires have even been enlivened now that we are parents. We can rejoice in this fuller knowledge of ourselves. This information can only lead us to a better understaning of what else we can give to the world, what we WILL become when we grow up and how to go about doing it...though on occassion I will gladly (and thankfully) take a weekend off, leave my daughter with her grandparents and go have a drink or two with my girlfriends at a Dave Matthews Band concert...I learn about myself doing that as well! ;o)