I vaguely remember a time when I had hopes and dreams and desires that belonged solely to me. Sure some of those were childish hopes and dreams that I left behind long before having children, but they were mine and mine alone. When I had kids, my whole identity became those two beautiful boys. My whole life was doctors appointments, therapy, to and fro here and there. It was my identity. It IS my identity, but I am more than that, right?
I think all moms (I ass/u/me dad’s too) feel a certain amount of this wondering who am I now? But I think for stay at home parents it is especially hard. Who am I aside from this amazing little creature I made my family (either by birth or adoption)? What do I want? The answer for so long was, “I want ___________ for my kids.” But that’s not the question. The question is what do I want FOR ME? Honest to God, I don’t have a clue anymore. I want to rediscover myself outside of being a parent, outside of being an “autism mommy blogger”, outside of being a wife. I love those aspects of my life so very much and find comfort and joy in them, but I’m more than that, right? I am more than my son’s autism diagnosis. I am more than “WeeOne’s mom.” I am more than worrying about what activiites would simultaneously fill the need to practice social skills and increase self esteem for Big while still being fun for the WeeOne.
I am more than sleepless nights worrying about IEPs and school placements and high stakes testing and the effects it is having on both of my boys. I am more than scheduling a rare play date with a friend. I am more than the woman who fixes breakfast, cleans the dishes, fixes lunch, cleans the dishes, washes and folds the laundry, cleans the toilet, sweeps and mops, fixes dinner, cleans the dishes, makes sure everyone in the household has meds and maintaining my sweet and never wavering even demeanor. (That last part is a joke, just in case you couldn’t read my sarcasm.)
Saying I am more than these things does not in anyway shape or form diminish their importance or the fact that I get some satisfaction from a job okayly done. But what about ME. What other than my family brings me joy? My friends. Okay…so I need to make some time for friends. What else? Writing. Okay…I need to write more and work on developing my craft. What else? Reading. I can totally make time for that. But what ELSE? I’m really trying to dig in and look at my desires and find a way to find myself again. Find who I am not independent of my family because that’s neither attainable nor desirable, rather who I am next to them. It won’t be long, judging how fast the ten and a half years have gone since we had Big and my boys will be living on their own. I don’t want to be left without something for myself. I want to be a person now so that when they do flee the coup, I don’t have an identity crisis. Really, I’m in crisis prevention mode and that’s pretty smart of me. I usually react rather than prevent. So yay me.
How do you make yourself feel more than?