Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Loss of self

When becoming a mother you really do lose a piece of yourself, I think a better way to word that is that your sense of self, your definition of self, changes, it has too. I don't mean this in a negative, sad, why-did-I-become-a-mom way. It's something that for me was just part of the transition. In today's world we are taught that kids just have to fit into our lives and if they don't, to bad. To me this creates a lot of conflict in parents, especially mothers.

Having a new baby I notice going through it again. I don't remember this time with Paul, I do know that I struggled with this until Dolores was born. Something clicked in my head when labor began with her. I still feel that the first day of labor was about surrender for me. Realizing that I couldn't control everything at all times. I had to give that up. The house won't be perfect ever again. I'm still trying to really accept that! But the kids are more important than ultra organization. Sometimes a dirty litter box happens or a floor isn't swept, vacuumed or mopped as much as I'd like, but I am NOT a super hero I really can not do everything and keep happy kids (and a happy mom!).

It's not only household things, but also selfishness. The kids come first in so many things. My wants are often put aside, I can't do what I want when I want or even how I want. This is another thing people expect. You live a single life before kids where you can do whatever you want when you want, and how you want, it is something that can't really remain after the kids (and even after marriage really, you have someone else to consider).

Oddly for me, I don't have grief about this loss, it's just a fact, and surrendering to it really seems to help with the conflict I felt in so much with Paul. I do still sometimes long to listen to good music loudly in the car or on the computer, but it's just something that can't really happen right now.

I find it amazing that it has come so easily this time. The first day of labor really taught me something, it was literally when I walked into the kitchen and told Chip that I thought I was in labor. My first desire of the day was to pick up toys or something silly like that and something happened that made me realize there are more important things than that, and giving up that control was necessary for me (in more ways than I can say).

Some of the reason I think this was such an easy concept for me was our marriage prep classes. There is a lot of info in them that is helpful in seeing why it is necessary to give up that mindset. Surrendering to your new vocation in life that comes with not only beginning a new shared life with a spouse, but also and I think, moreso, upon becoming parents. Your needs, desires and wants are no longer first, there is someone else to consider, they matter, but aren't the only ones to think of.

This is not to say I don't have moments that I need to step away for a minute or two to regain sanity, I do, on a daily basis. Also I do have times of being pissy because of the lack of 'me time'. But normally once I let myself think I realize my reason for being right now is to raise the kids. I was usually just throwing a tantrum and I need to grow up. I think there is a lot of built in selfishness in our society, and it's something I am working hard to get past. Surrendering, for me, is a large part of that. I also realize that this is probably a really, really old fashion way to see things, but I'm old fashion, so I guess it fits!

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