As a parent, do you ever wonder what happened to your own sense of identity? Do you think sometimes about who you might be if you didn’t have children? I don’t mean imagining yourself childless on some yacht somewhere, perfect, unstretched skin bronzing slowly, I’m thinking about more basic stuff – likes and dislikes.
I do quite often think about the things I do and the places I go and wonder:
- Am I doing this because I actually want to?
- Am I doing it because I know that the person I’m with wants to do it and I want to make them happy (or I’m scared of Belle kicking off)?
- Am I doing this because I’ve spent my entire adult life doing things that I think the children will want to do and have actually come to love having lunch in McDonalds and watching Dance Moms?
I just don’t know.
It’s not just children either; coming out of a long term relationship throws things up in the air a bit too, and you are faced with that same question of who you actually are and how much of your life has been shaped over the years by yourself and how much by the other person.
I do worry sometimes about Belle leaving home. She’s only 12 I know but it will come round quickly and she spends more and more time with other people, not needing me for entertainment. When I’m left by myself, what will I do? Where will my structure come from? How will I actually choose to spend my days? I have never in my entire life had even so much as a whole week with nobody to think about but myself and I’m not sure how I would fill it.
Would I discover that secretly I loved eating raw foods, jogging and ‘interesting’ documentaries about history or would I just stay in bed until ten every day, order a pizza and stick on Legally Blond?
How have yours interests changed since having children? How do you maintain a sense of self?