Because I can never make it to the mamas group hosted by my Midwife’s office, I decided to go ahead and write out some thoughts on this month’s topic. Our Pre-Motherhood Selves, the Woman apart from her role as mother.
This topic will bring in the theme of life-long dreams (what we dreamed of doing before we were mothers, and how we are or are not working to achieve those dreams at this moment in time), work/professional identity (what we may have “done” before kids or what we were training to do, and how that has played out in our current lives), and our holistic identities as women who have emerged from birth and early childhood parenting with…Some? All? None? of our former “identities” intact.
This is an interesting thing to think about. Here’s where I ended up – I’m not sure that my pre-motherhood self is relevant any more, just like my pre-marriage self is no longer relevant, and my pre-college self, and my pre-parents illness/deaths self, and my pre-ITP self, and my pre-miscarriage self. All of those life experiences make me who I am today. The person I was 8 years ago is not the person I am today, and the person I am today will never be the person I was 8 years ago. I carry that person along with me, as well as all of my other previous selves, and they inform and affect the person I am now, but I don’t think that isolating my personality/my self from any point in history is necessarily a useful exercise.
Maybe my perspective on this is affected by my answer to this question: What did I dream of doing before I was a mother?
I dreamed of being a stay at home mom. I mean, really. I have always known that, ultimately, I would be a stay at home/homeschooling mom. I enjoyed the years we were married before kids – a lot. We had a lot of fun. But, ultimately, I wanted to be doing exactly what I am doing today. And maybe it’s that harmony, the peace of knowing that I’m doing what I was meant to do, that makes me not have that longing for some pre-child version of myself that I see many other parents struggling with.