Motherhood: The Real Identity Thief!
*Title is for humor; identity theft is a serious crime.
Who knew becoming a mother could change so many things? Loss of friends, loss of privacy… Oh! Losing yourself! Becoming a mother is a real identity thief! I mean, I wasn’t much of a person before I had my daughter. Honestly, I recall little of who I was. Guess giving birth stole who I used to be!
On a more serious note, I used to be a typical, immature young woman. One obsessed with video games, reading, writing, and watching television. I loved going to the local game store with my husband, to hang out, chat with people. At the time, he played Yu-Gi-Oh!, so sometimes we would go so he could play against others. I loved getting out of the house. These days? Not so much. Making sure my child wears weather-appropriate clothes without a meltdown is a task. Even putting on pants of my own is a task! That alone makes it not worth leaving the house often. Every week I get out of the house at least once, and that’s for therapy! Counts, right?
The thing is, it’s hard for me to focus on anything that’s non-interactive. I spend a good chunk of my free time playing video games, for that reason: they’re interactive. I don’t have to interact with people, but I still get that ‘talked to someone’ feeling. Gaming saves my sanity if I must be honest. Outside of the occasional drinking, and the mandatory psychiatric meds that do help me keep my sanity, I love that video games can help me escape from bad days. I can get into a world like Skyrim and become the Dragonborn. I can get into a game like Final Fantasy XIV and be the Warrior of Light! Okay, that second one is an MMO and requires talking to people, sometimes.
What do I miss that is a similar escape to gaming? Reading. Man, oh man, I used to be an avid reader back in high school. Until eight years ago, give or take, which is, of course, way before becoming a mother. All the same, the concentration it takes to focus on reading now is hard to muster. Half the time I stare at a book page trying to figure out where to even start. The other half I’m re-reading the same paragraph five times over because it’s just not clicking. I need to read more, to become a good writer as they say. It’s so hard when you cannot stay focused. But hey, Skyrim has books in-game, reading those count… right!?
Before having Aura, I felt like I could be anyone or anything. Books took me anywhere I wanted to go. They interjected me into someone else’s story, adventure, and for a time, I was that person. I escaped reality, and my mind took me places while reading. I miss reading. I have plenty of time for it, but again, the inability to focus on what I’m reading is where I fall short now. In fact, the last book I finished was A Game of Thrones back in 2014, and that took me… two years? Back in high school, I could read three books in one weekend, if not more. I started House of Thunder by Dean Koontz about a year ago. I got through all of part one in the first night and then put it down. Have I picked it back up yet? Nope.
Even my writing has suffered from a lack of focus. Other than writing school assignments, and a couple small things here and there, I have written nothing for myself in years. I mean, it also doesn’t help that I haven’t written by myself in years. I end up writing with a few close friends, and we’ve collaborated on stories together for years. No published works yet, though I have spoken with my best friend about collaborating a novel or two together.
So I’m exhausted from being a mother. From hearing a toddler screaming all day, every day, and who has screamed from the moment, she was born. Oh, it’s been a rough three years.
I became a mother. I sacrificed a lot and became a mother. Not going into too many details I’ve struggled with mental illnesses for years. Unfortunately, becoming a mother couldn’t take away that identity.
But I’ve become a mother, and I’ve learned a lot. I may have lost most of myself, some friends. But I’ve gained a few things. My daughter, a love so deep I don’t know what I’d do without her.
When people ask me who I am, I say a Wife, a Mother. I don’t know who I am outside of that, but it’s okay.
Who needs labels anyway?