I Used to be a Person
I used to be a person. I used to have my own dreams, my own desires, my own time, my own identity. I used to do things for myself, working hard on those dreams of mine, wondering if they would be attainable.
I’m now a mother and no longer an actual person. My time is eaten up by minding a — now — toddler, cleaning, cooking, taking care of everyone, and forgetting about myself. Even when you have all of the support in the world, it’s easy to get lost in it. Get stuck in motherhood and forget who you are, who you used to be. Because you’re not that person anymore. You’ve changed, some of it for the better, some of it not. There are so many things I’m happy for now, and yet, I’m missing the things that make me…me.
I used to be a person, but now I’m bogged down. I guess that’s the best way to describe it, because we know that other moms have done just fine and gone on to jobs and worked and achieved their dreams and goals. I try not to think about that, not just because it makes me feel like a shitty person overall for not doing everything so ‘perfectly’ or for getting so exhausted by day to day life, but because I still label those moms as career oriented women and moms separately. I still feel like my ‘regular life’ and my ‘mom life’ are two separate things needed to be kept apart so that both can flourish, and yet one of those quietly fades away.
The ‘mom life’ is always there because it is life, it is the mundane, the daily tasks, the behind-the-scenes work. There is the never-ending list of chores, the fun activities that take up most of my energy and day. The guilt that eats away whenever I do something for myself besides sleep.
It’s hard not to yearn for the person that I used to be. For the carefree life I used to live, for the freedom I had before everything revolved around one tiny creature. I know that some things will get easier in time, like drinking my coffee while it’s still hot, but will the person I used to be be waiting for me? Will she have turned, too tired of waiting for the ‘next weekend’ or the ‘tomorrows’ that always get pushed aside because something more important came up?
I worry that she will get lost, never to be found, while this newness and wonderfulness takes over my whole life. You better not forget the wonderfulness, because you’re not allowed to yearn for different times while you’re a mother. You’re not allowed to be the person you once were, barely allowed to be your own person. So, I tell her to hold on, that’ll one day I’ll reach out and take her hand, bringing her back to the here and now, but for now, she just needs to wait. Wait for a time when life isn’t so chaotic, isn’t so new, isn’t so all consuming. Like that time will actually come.
Once upon a time I used to be a person, but now I’m just mom.