Today, I had a wonderful opportunity: a couple of hours out by myself without the baby and without work to do.
It should have been refreshing. So why was it so depressing?
When Teddy was born, I was profoundly shaken by how different I felt. Other than being his mother, I felt like I didn’t even know who I was. And since I was just learning to be a mother, that wasn’t even much to go on.
My identity started slipping away during pregnancy. As he took over more and more of my body, he also took over more of my psyche. Everything I ate, touched, the way I sat or stood, even my own emotions affected him, and slowly, everything seemed to become about what was best for him.
He even gobbled up things I loved. I used to do yoga all the time. I’d go to class a few times a week and practiced at home daily. I subscribed to Yoga Journal and had special yoga music and candles. During pregnancy, yoga became prenatal yoga. What used to be about communing with myself became about communing with my unborn child. It was a beautiful thing, but it wasn’t mine anymore.
These days, I haven’t done yoga in months. Yoga Journal still comes in the mail, but it just sits in a pile, collecting dust. My yoga mat lives under a mirror and pull up bar we have attached to the wall for Teddy. There’s just never time to go to class anymore. Either I’m taking care of Teddy or I’m working. More than ever, I need to breathe deeply and feel at peace, but I never find the time.
I don’t even know what I like anymore. Today I had time to do what I wanted, but what is it that I wanted to do? I had no idea. I went to a store and looked at clothes, but I couldn’t figure out what clothes I liked or wanted. I went to the bookstore, but who am I kidding – I don’t have time to read. I couldn’t even find a magazine that looked good. I ordered a hot chocolate, and waited for it for 20 minutes. Turns out, the lady forgot about me in the list of other orders to fill. I couldn’t even be frustrated with her because that’s what I do all day – forget about my own needs in the shuffle of things to do.
Who am I? I just feel lost. I know my kid better than I know myself.
In a little over a month, I turn thirty. I’m not afraid of it. Actually, I’ve been looking forward to it. Thirty seems like such a good age – like a time to leave the insecurities of my twenties behind and focus on what I want. Except what do I want? I have no idea.