Where did “I” go?…I started my life like most girls, with big dreams filled with what I wanted to accomplish. Of course, my dreams included children – 2 or 3 – a career, a nice house, a husband… but it also included having fun.
I wanted a balanced life, where everything would fall into place and all the different areas of my life would complete each other. But, as I went along, I realized that “I” disappeared; me as an individual person just disappeared. “I” have been replaced by either the career woman or the mother. When I get introduced to new people, the main part of me that comes out is either being someone’s mother, where we talk about kids and everything about raising kids or my work and my career. Somewhere along the way “I” got lost.
Where did “I” disappear? Was it when I could focus on only one thing: providing for my children? Making sure they had everything they needed both on a financial and emotional level. Was it when I had to work 2 jobs to put food on the table? Or was it when I became more stable and focused on a career? Somewhere in all that, “I” completely vanished.
No longer do ”I” think of anything not involving the kids. Even if I get a sitter, I find myself wondering if the kids are sad that I left them to go do something that does not involve them. “I” now has a companion called “guilt”. Is it a woman thing to always be thinking about our kids?
Being a mother always involves making sacrifices, but being both mom and dad is insanely demanding. I am so used to spending all my time outside of work with my kids that if for some miraculous reason I find myself alone in the house, I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. How did that happen? Why does the idea of spending an afternoon alone send me into a semi panic mode? Unable to even figure out what to eat!
Today, I am over forty, my oldest daughter is getting ready to go to college and I am here thinking how did I get here and what have I done with my life? I am proud that I managed all by myself to raise my daughter and to see her go onto her journey to becoming a successful independent woman, I am also terrified that she will see me as someone who failed to have a life outside of being a mother.
As I ask myself: Where did my life go? I also wonder about what I could have done differently/if I could have done things differently that would have provided some kind of balance in my life. And as I embark in the journey of raising my second daughter (that’s for another subject: having a baby at 40) I will need to take a deeper look at things.
Does being a single mother mean putting everything on hold? Always? Is the constant fear of not being able to take care of my kids causing me to let life pass me by?
Why do all my thoughts involve being a mother? How to become a free independent fun woman? My kids are my universe, that will never change, but I would like my mind to take a break from time to time and let “I” make a short apparition until we get reacquainted.