Originally Posted by MujerMamaMismo
PiePie - I can't believe that you've never felt that 'old self' grief? Especially as you are someone so driven in your career and a slightly older mum too, which, in my experience, can intensify the new mother shock and grief.
The weird thing for me is that I lose my career drive when I started TTC'ing. I would like it back, but it only comes back in small spurts when I absolutely need it to, like on deadline. But by and large I am not that person anymore. I feel like a part of me is lost or broken but I also have tons of trouble valuing any of that stuff any more? It's a big problem for me. I don't want to be working because it pays the bills but I just don't have that push any more. I think I am too stretched to find the passion. Or too burned by past treatment by employers to risk putting in the passion?? Not sure. It's bad, though, but it does mean I don't really miss the pre-kid days because I wouldn't really want to be working late on some saving the world project, I would rather flee early on the excuse/reality that I need to make the school pickup. Saw Fair Game this past weekend (our 5th wedding anniversary!!) and saw the high-powered career woman in the first half of the movie and was a mix of envy (because that kind of drive and success would be DH's ideal DP, I secretly suspect -- although not really because then he would have to do more domestic labor) and just an honest realization that I wouldn't want to be traveling away from my kids.
Mostly I feel like I look down on the values of my pre-parents lifestyle, in that work just doesn't feel as transcendent as parenting. Which means I have lost true connections with all of my non-parent friends, becasue they still think that promotions, raises, etc., are the meaning of life -- or in most cases, enacting social change is -- but it all feels very distant to me. And I am sure they think that DD's intellectual leaps and latest moods are petty too.
I do kind of hope and trust that my love of my work will come back to me, but that my children will always come first, but maybe not in such an all-consuming way. I have never really not loved my work and Marx was right that we need to to be fully human. By which I don't mean just paid work, but since I do have to work for pay, I need to love it. I do have a friend from another parents' list whose kids' daycare/Montessori sch almost folded, she took it over and basically ran a school from her pub interest law office for 2 years (doing mostly sch stuff and little law) and now she is a super high-powered gay rights lawyer who does not think about her kids -- she thinks about peer harassment when she is supposed to be thinking about peer harassment. Must be nice. But honestly making wishlists for DD's Xmas and my soon-to-be-homeschooling (while on maternity leave) is much more fun for me right now.
But mostly I guess I was responding to your twist about wanting down time. Before kids I did not give myself much downtime. I worked 6 days a week at least, always until 8 or 8:30 at the earliest, and since I have been with DP, the other day was a whirlwind of cultural activity (because that's his style). So it was probably years (7 years?) before DD's birth when I actually had a day in my pajamas watching movies. I just always had the never-ending work that spills over into the time that normal people consider life, and before that I had sch, which of course has no built-in boundaries, and you know I took sch VERY seriously since about age 12. Which isn't to say I don't appreciate that parenting means less personal time than working -- at work I get to go the bathroom unencumbered, for example, and I can usually get some internet time in except on a truly terrible day, because I have a desk job (if I were, say, teaching, OMG it would be rough right now).
DD's sleep has gone to hell this week, with bedtime delayed so badly I don't want to tell anyone. Monday night I had a friend visiting from London, and of course she wanted to visit with the friend instead of go to bed. I should have either told the friend she couldn't come (but that seemed bad, since she is all the way from London), or I should have gone out to meet her away from DD (but that seemed bad because I was in a lot of pain from BH ctx and I needed to lie down, which can be hard to do in a restaurant (although trust me I have). I really hope that the change in the clocks buys us at least an hour.
I have read that women who have their first in their late 30s tend to miss pre-kids life more, but for me it was sort of the opposite, I had already become a little disillusioned by the lawyer life and I knew I needed something else too. DH probably has some of that, though -- he loves travel, but when he was very young he had no $, whereas since DD was born he has been making actual $, so he feels like now that he could travel kids wreck those dreams, because let's be honest DD doesn't want to spend 5 days straight in the Louvre or the Hermitage, and I am not willing to take an infant to a developing country (subject to revision, but that's where I am right now).
so in summary, it's not at all like grief, it's more like being lost. i don't want the old but the new is not quite right yet either, because my head is not in the work game as much as i wish it were.