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?
Interesting reading, I haven’t really thought that far ahead when my children leave home, all that time I’ll have to myself! I hope that work will keep my busy, oh and lots of chilled holidays in the sun :)
I’m going through a similar process at the mo. Littlest has started pre school and I find myself with some free time for the first time in years and I’m all ‘who the heck am I now’.
Having had my two boys later in life (1st one at 34) I was lucky enough to do everything I pretty much could want to do before they arrived (being an only child I’m fine with me all alone time).
Now I’m happy to focus my life on them, hoping to do whatever’s left on my want list when they leave home (the eldest is only 8 so I’ve a few years of planning left!!).
I don’t think I’ve lost any of my ID, my likes are still the same they just have to fit into a world full of two wild and loud boys :)
I love that life has become about my baby boy, however I do enjoy a quiet hour at naptime to catch up
on a TV series, write my blog or business stuff. That’s enough to keep it balanced for me.
I guess once they leave you have the chance to build your interests even more (hopefully not the pizza) and those become your “baby” I between their visits?
I don’t even give myself an identity apart from my kids in my e-mail address! (firstname.lastname@example.org) I do seriously imagine more than occasionally what life would have been like had I done the whole single lady and childless by choice thing. I usually in quick order work the kids back in the picture some how, even quicker than my husband. I guess my identity is tied to mom status.