Being a parent could make me be me again. In my very first post on this blog I mentioned how strange I’ve become growing up. I’ve lost myself somewhere and I’m not sure how to get me back.
I’m self conscious of being the me I used to be, the crazy one, the creative one, the one who has a very unique style of dress, the one who would dye one chunk of hair blonde this month and then go pixie cut the next without any warning. The one who sings karaoke in front of an audience and enjoys it. The one who dances like nobody is watching. That was me, a free-spirited, self confidant girl who followed my own rules.
I never pictured myself as a mother, I couldn’t even hold a baby without feeling uncomfortable. Despite all this, I knew that any kid would be lucky to have me for a mom, I mean come on; I was cool, I knew all the latest hits on Radio, I wouldn’t dress them in silly outfits, my imagination was vivid, which meant I’d be a great playmate and I wouldn’t be too strict, I’d let them be what ever they wanted to be just like my parents was letting me be who I wanted to be (a teenager wearing red sunglasses & an alien t-shirt that said “take me to your dealer”). But as I grew up things changed, I became a woman, I got married and I longed for a child. By this time I was already only half the crazy girl I used to be and by the time I eventually had a child, so many life events had marred my personality, I was a completely different person.
The few people in my life who I could still be my true ‘immature’ self with were also changing and that left me nowhere to turn, thus losing that inner-self perhaps for good.
As my son gets older and developed his own personality I find myself becoming the old me again, despite who’s watching. During nappy changes my husband struggles with our wriggley worm who won’t stay still for 2 seconds but guess what mommy has a trick.
“You can’t do this,” I’d tell my husband, or “you don’t know how” and I’d stick out my tongue and do a little jig, demonstrating what our boy finds funny and what will keep him still. I’d shake my head, make funny noises and say silly things in a silly voice. I’m sure many mothers do this (we deserve an Oscar, I tell ya!) but considering the ‘stiff’ I became over the years, I’d say this is really doing my personality some good. Reminding me again, about how ‘cool’ I could be with my kids and making me aware that I could be this cool in general, I could loosen up, I could cut my husband some slack, I could laugh and be silly like I used to instead of being prude all the time.
I see the subtle surprise and happiness in DH’s eyes when I break away from the mundane routine and act silly or joke with him and laugh wholeheartedly. We become so set in getting things done and following routine in our busy schedules that we forget that we’re in a relationship with an individual person, that also needs a laugh now and then. We forget that in this big family, in this big world there is one person that we love in an intimate way and we don’t often have time alone anymore but like an ex teacher whom I got in a shopping mall once told me; make time for your husband. You don’t want to wake up one day, when your kids have grown up and moved out, see this man next to you and not know who he is or what you have in common.
Can I hold onto him and what we have when I have managed to lose myself? So this simple jesting with my 9 month old son has taught me a major life lesson.
For yourself, for the loves of your life; stop what you’re doing, let your hair down and go crazy.