I have, of late, these two worlds. The first, the one I've inhabited solely for the last five years is singularly focussed. In this world I am mama. I am defined by this role, by my ability to fulfill their needs, by how they walk in the world and how I foster and respond to these ways of walking. This place feels limiting, because my ideas, needs, longings must always take the back seat. But it also seems less risky than the public sphere.
Lately, however, I've also embarked into new territory. A world in which I am not defined (solely, if at all) by my relationship to children. A world where the other aspects of myself come to the fore. This world is freer, of course and reconnecting with that social, intelligent, person-in-the-world is heady and exciting. And also riskier. Here I have to be something, think something, do something on my own behalf, which is surprisingly difficult.
In this world few people know me as I inhabit the role of mother, this more mundane, other-focussed way of being.
But eventually, of course, these worlds have to meet. Because, of course, whether my kids are physically beside me or not, I am always mother, and I always carry them (and my role as their mama) with me.
Yet as these worlds start to seep into each other, I am struck by this overwhelming sense of, well, vulnerability. Can I manage to straddle both of these spaces? What will people who one know me as just T make of me when they see me as Mama T? Is it even possible to reconcile these worlds, which at the moment seem so disparate?
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