who am i? who will i be?

Over the years, I’ve heard people say that when you have a child, you have trouble remembering what life was like — and who you were — pre-baby. The little tyke becomes so integrated in your life, and everything changes — including you. I don’t know what this means, and I suppose I can’t know what this means till it happens to me.

But with about 5 weeks (or maybe 7, we’ll see if  I go past my due date!) to go till the little nugget starts spiraling his or her head downward to enter the world, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

I mean, it’s obvious that our routines and rituals will change when A. and I have a little one totally dependent on us for his or her basic needs.

Here are some of the things I loved pre-pregnancy (some I can do, some I haven’t been able to, but it’s been OK). I love making morning coffee with my Italian espresso maker (this was replaced by a different warm drink yesterday) and sitting somewhere quiet with a book or the New Yorker. I love getting pedicures once a month.  I love long walks or runs with my friend S. through Rock Creek, followed by a hearty brunch. I love hiking and camping in the woods and the smell of fresh air — and stopping at holes-in-the-wall for grub and noticing the locals. I love yoga classes and volleyball and bike rides. I love the feel of buying a plane ticket to somewhere adventurous — skiing in Colorado, hiking in Peru — and the anticipation leading up to the trip. I love photography and hearing writers speak and going to National Geographic events. I love learning about different cultures and learning languages — even if it’s just “hello” and “thank you.” I love long, hot showers and sleeping in on the weekends.

I threw in the last line cause it makes me giggle — I know those things will be put on hold for the next — well, who knows how long. And I realize that many of the other things will be harder with a small one.  I imagine A. and I find new things we love to do that are focused on our child’s sense of wonder and growth. But I hope that A. and I will eventually give each other time or find creative ways to do some of the things we loved pre-baby (if they still apply). Maybe we’ll have to wait a few years to be adventurous again — but I hope not.

Every day, we’re changing as individuals — and that is a good thing. Change is inevitable. With every decision I make (including finding and partnering with A., one of the best decisions I’ve ever made), I’m constantly remaking myself, molding myself into who I want to be and who I want my family to be and what enriches me. Having a baby will change me, too, undoubtedly.

So what defines me, now? What makes me me before baby arrives?

  • I’m a dreamer. If I’m ever feeling down, all I have to do is write a list of the things I’d like to see and do and I light up (it usually involves travel — right now, Turkey and Argentina are at the top, followed by Croatia, Iceland and Ecuador).
  • I’m a reader. I feel a little lost if I’m not reading. Book stores and independent coffee shops are my happy places.
  • I’m an adventurer. While I sometimes resist change, it usually makes me happy when I embrace it. I love to explore and see new things.
  • I’m an exerciser. I’m happier if I’m working toward something, and often that means physically. Being active is how I expel stress.
  • I’m a laugher. I don’t take anything too seriously, and I laugh — a lot. And loudly. I don’t get riled up by little things.
  • I’m social — but I prefer small groups or one-on-one time with friends.  But a social circle grounds me.
  • I’m competitive — I love challenges, especially physical ones, like marathons and rock climbing.

In just more than a month, I’ll also be a mom.  I think it’s good to keep in mind who I am and some of the things I love to do so I don’t forget — and if I feel lost and exhausted and unhappy and totally consumed by motherhood, I can come back to this and remember. And give myself time to do things that make me me — even if I’m a new me.



Filed under pregnancy, Uncategorized

2 responses to “who am i? who will i be?

  1. corie

    what a wonderful post for those *moments* when motherhood seems all-consuming. and here’s the beautiful thing about motherhood: it expands you and adds another, albeit huge, dimension to your life; it’s never an ultimatum. you will be awesome and your child will benefit from the rockstar you are. yay, fun! you’re almost here, baby O.! yay!

  2. Oh goodness; being a mother is hands-down the hardest thing I have ever done in my life: those first few months (oh, let’s be honest, years) were a blur where time unhinged itself: days lasted forever, weeks sped past, years slipped out of my hands. But I am a different, better and richer person for this little boy sleeping in his bed down the hall from my office, and I have found quiet and space for myself again and I have learned that I am capable of love with a ferocity I never knew possible. Motherhood is beautiful and it’s damn hard; messy and depressing and joyful and mundane. But it has woven a life for myself that i never expected. Good luck in these last few weeks, and when your little one comes!

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