Friday, December 18, 2009

mothering and identity

I think I may be losing my identity, or at the very least having some identity confusion.  I seem to have ventured, albeit not all at once, from being this person, Natasha, to being this entity called Mama.  Mama and Natasha aren't always separate (as in, I'm not developing some kind of split personality here people), but they seem to be getting further and further apart. Lately, it seems that I haven't seen traces of that Natasha girl for awhile.  As I struggle with the beauty and frequently (let's not sugarcoat things, shall we?) awfulness of being a full-time stay-at-home mama, I'm really starting to miss her. 

The Natasha I used to be was hella smart.  She got a Master's degree, and worked as a research coordinator in a country wide, big budget research project.  She read books about things that mattered outside the walls of her home.  She was approached by people to do book reviews for academic journals.  People actually sought out her opinion on things other than the grocery list.  She went out for coffee and had conversations with people, that were, like, uninterrupted and often intellectually and/or emotionally stimulating.   She went for pee breaks by herself.  People expected her to know things, to learn things, to do exciting things.  She was a lover and a friend and someone who worked toward the betterment of her community. 

Now I morphed into that person called Mama.  While I know that I am still Natasha, I am finding more difficult to locate any vestiges of the things that I thought made up my identity as a person.  My children, while hugely important pieces of my world, my work and my heart, are neither extensions of me, nor are they reflections of who I am as a person.   

I miss having external obligations.  A paycheque.  Being valued by people who aren't my wife and children.  I miss peeing by myself, and being by myself long enough to feel lonely.   I miss having better things to worry about than the state of my kitchen floors or whether my tykes are feeling emotionally and intellectually stimulated.  These are all important and worthy tasks, of course.  But I am starting to feel like
I'm drowning in my little pond, even though it is a pond that I love and call home. 

I think I need to make it my task and challenge for the New Year  to reintroduce Natasha to this person called Mama.... and see what new adventures they can come up with together.

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