Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where did I go?

W and I are in the process of applying for our second adoption. One of the last things we have to do is write the "Pick us!!" letter to the birth parents. We are using the old one--because it is good and in the three years since we wrote it Jooj has made my brain hurt a lot-but updating it to reflect our current situations. (Like the part that says "We will never spank." Oh, the laughter when I re-read that part!) The format we used was: I wrote a paragraph introducing W, he wrote one for me, and then I wrote the rest about our belief systems, etc. It worked.

When W wrote the paragraph about me the last time it was all "Jen is so educated!" and "Masters!" and "Smart" and "Hot!" (Not really, but I read between the lines) and "Strong and Capable!" and "REALLY smart!".

He just emailed me the update and here is what it says now: "Good mother!" "Preschool and Playgroup!" "Takes kid to soccer!" "Mom!" and "Jooj's Mom!"

Apparently I have vanished in three years.

I don't know where I went (I certainly haven't gotten any smaller physically) and I don't know when it happened. There was a point where I desperately wanted to be someone's mom--anyone's mom! And it is not like I want to go back to that place (although I am often tempted) but there has got to be a place where "Mom" and "Me" co-exist.

Have you found that place? Where is it? How did you get there?


soybeanlover said...

I get one 30 min a week where I am called 'teacher' instead of mommy. It helps a lot actually. That and the price gouging, but yeah, some activity where I feel like a productive part of society. It isn't enough, but it helps a lot.

Waldo said...

-Ahem- I would like to point out for the record that I used the words "strong," "beautiful," "smart," "smarter than me," "brave," and "spiritual" when describing Jen. I also used the other words she said, good mother and all that. Just so I can avoid the pissed-off mommy flames. And also 'cause it's true.

Brittney Andy Boston and Scarlett said...

I have tried very hard to hold on to "me". I thought by continuing to work the job I love just part time was working. Now as we are about to have a second baby I have second thoughts. I feel desperetly torn and confused. I really love my job, we really need the money. I think Daddy being the sole caregiver while I am gone has done so much for their father/son relationship as well as helping him appreciate how much work it really is. Now I feel like I should be home. Every time I leave I feel my heart being tugged. You need to stay home with your babies. I'm torn because I don't want to. I want to work and keep my other identity. I don't want to be just my babies mama. I feel selfish. I don't know how to find a balance.

Dalene said...

I think W is just working the mom angle for you. It's so obvious he still knows your hot!

But I hear you. And this is where I, as the token old lady here (yeah AzĂșcar, I know!), get to tell you it comes back. I tried to keep a piece of me too, but I lost it. Luckily I had good friends further a long who helped me find me again. As your kids get older that part definitely gets easier--the co-mingling of me and mom.

La Yen said...

Don't listen to W--he is just an apologist.

Welcome BABS--Ooh, I like that your initials are Babs! I am with you 100%. I am even working FROM HOME part time and feeling the guilt. And is work me? Is that the part of me that I need? I was asked my hobbies and I was We need a 12 step program.

Heidi said...

La Yen--thank you for this: "And is work me? Is that the part of me that I need?" I appreciate that so much, because a lot of times we (society) do equate working with a woman's personal identity. But I guess it doesn't have to be. Hey, I've just decided eating chocolate, lounging around in a filthy house, and reading books while my children run wild is ME. That's the part I've been missing.

Welcome back, me!

La Yen said...

Heidi, I like the way you think. Do you think that could be my hobby?

Sparcam said...

Thank you ladies! I am an old new mommy. had my 1st at 31 and my last at 41. I have 4. I worked part-time for awhile and quit completely when #4 was looming. Staying home has been the hardest thing for me. It isn't always easy to focus on the positive. But I'm working on it. Thanks for the insight and helping me realize I'm not alone! is this what marathon training feels like?

ClistyB said...

ummm, pharmaceuticals

Queen Scarlett said...

When I started my first job at a semiconductor PR agency after college I met a woman I swore I didn't want to be. She had just come back from giving birth and said she was so grateful to be back because she didn't know who she was without her work.

I felt stunned. How can you not know who you are without work? Aren't we supposed to know who we are outside of all the stuff we do?

So I made a promise to myself - when I was single - that I would know myself. That I wouldn't need a job to define me... or a role to define me. I would define myself.

Maybe that's why I don't feel like I've lost me. I haven't let any role define me.

I have hobbies. I do things I want to do - within reason and within the changing of times. There is a time for everything. I don't feel that because I have kids that it's the end of anything I desire to do. It's not.

So I hula. I kick box. I bake. I cook. I participate in social issues that matter to me. I read. I also explore with my girls. I enjoy my time. That doesn't mean there aren't hard times - but I find that most of the time it's pretty dang great. But... we have to know who we are first.

Recently I purchased a sewing machine. I don't even know how to sew a button. I had fun learning how to put thread on a bobbin. I could do it all day long it is so dang fun.

If we don't know how to do something we can go out and learn. I think that's how we stay us... don't lose that desire to try something new... never lose hope in the possibilities.

*dust off soap box*

Rachel said...

I have to comment even though we don't know each other: I had kids young and they are now 10, 6, and 3. I am 32 and studying for the GRE to pursue a masters degree. I found many ways to make myself happy and serve others during those years at home with my kids. But! I am also delighted to see that with a supportive spouse, a future after children is possible. Really. It really is. Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise: you may slip under for a few years, but I firmly believe you can always come out yourself, but better.