Sunday, April 6, 2008

Who I Am

Now that I've finally realized my true purpose in life--that of a mother, I have yet to find myself. Not in the way that the world wants you to "find yourself" (by throwing home, family and rules out the window and doing whatever you want), but just that since having kids, I can't quite put a finger on who I am apart from my kids anymore.

Yesterday, the three younger kids were sleeping, DH and the oldest were out getting haircuts (technically, the oldest didn't get his hair cut, but that's another story altogether), and I was sitting on the couch thinking that I ought to be doing something constructive, but I couldn't think of anything to do.

This seems to be my problem a lot lately. All the things that used to interest me (scrapbooking, journaling, writing, reading, singing/playing guitar or piano, hobbies I used to have) I just don't have the will to do anymore. So when I do get a free moment to myself, I just sit there. It's like I've lost part of myself and I can't seem to get it back--I don't even want to try. Am I just too tired from the stress of child-rearing, or is there something wrong with me?


Devin & Ruthann said...

I've only been a mom 18 months, and I know what you mean. I hardly know what to do when I have a minute to myself becuase most of my time is consumed by a wife/motherly duty. What's a woman to do to fix this?

royalbird said...

I don't know how to fix this. Part of my problem is that the desire to simply do anything at all is gone. Probably because I'm just so tired all the time...but sleeping EVERY time you have a minute to yourself seems so pointless also. I used to have trouble deciding what to do because there were too many options. Maybe because so many options has overwhelmed me in the past, now I just don't want to do anything at all. I just wish I could get that interesting part of myself back, it seems to be lost...

Adam F said...

I know I'm nowhere near a mother, but I must admit that I feel the same as you sometimes--when I don't have a meeting to go to, work to do, or homework to do, I don't know what to do with myself...almost out of the fear that I am forgetting to do something. I try to do energetic things with Eve, but the energy I draw is fleeting and I soon find myself longing to just sit down and watch a movie with her.

Allison said...

I really loved your post from March 14th, so I was a little sad to see how discouraged you were only less than a month later over essentially the same issue. I think one of the hardest issue we as mothers (particularly, although not exclusively, those who chose to stay at home) have to deal with is this loss of identity. We sometimes get so busy giving, emotionally, physically, spiritually, that it is hard to figure out where that ends and where we start. The good news is that you are not alone in this (and there is nothing wrong with you:))! Women have been dealing with this for a long time (hence the feminist movement, regardless of what you may think of it currently). The bad news is, I don't think there is an easy solution. At the moment, you may need to just use your "extra time" to sleep, even if that seems wasteful at the moment, so that you can function, and wait until survival is taken care of and delving into your persona is possible. Once basic needs are met (like sleep on a regular basis), you might want to find activities that help you tap into who you are beyond your kids. But you are right, it does take some effort. So, although it may not be the right time in your life, here are a few possible suggestions of what you could do. You might want to join a book group (even if you never read the books), or start up a monthly ladies outing with some of your friends. Or if you don't want to read any books, you could start up a movie group-- get together once a month to watch a good movie and then talk about it afterwards-- or watch it separately and then get together to talk about it. I think that for many women, myself included, even a small activity outside of the home is a welcome respite from the daily grind and helps me to feel more like a real person.

swedemom said...

When my kids were so young, all I wanted to do was sleep in my spare time. I was completely exhausted.

It can be normal to lack zest for activities when you have such young children and are faced with a serious lack of sleep.

However, one thing you haven't considered is that there might be a health issue behind it. I was diagnosed with lupus after Josef was born. When I began getting treatment for this chronic disease, I noticed my desire to create and develop my talents increased dramatically.

(Oh and by the way, Swedemom is Tiffany. :)


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