Can anyone relate? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-26-2010, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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First off, I want to say that I'm not sure whether I'm writing this to vent or for advice, or what. I think I'm really just trying to sort out my feelings, and this seems as good a place as any. Plus, the more opinions/perspectives I can get, the better. KWIM?

Now on to my novel, lol. I'll start with some background about myself. I'm happily married to my high school sweetheart, and we have two children, a girl (8) and a boy (5). They're both homeschooled, so right now I'm a SAHM, but my husband just opened his own accounting practice, so I'm helping him out some there. I think I'm going to actually work towards helping him out full-time, possibly even getting a certification of some sort. This would be when the kids are older.

Anyway, on to my "issue." My whole life, I've wanted to have a baby. When I was a little girl, I had several doll babies and fantasized about having one of my own. Whenever someone I knew had a baby, I'd beg my mother to go visit them so I could hold a baby. I was actually pretty obsessed, and this obsession lasted through my teen years and into my early 20's. I'd read parenting books, think up baby names etc. To give you an idea of how obsessive I've been, it might help to know that I suspect I have Asperger's, and "babies" were my obsession. I pretty much ignored anything that didn't have to do with me becoming a mom some day. I went to university, but never really settled on a career path because all I really cared about was having a baby.

So as soon as my husband said he was ready, I JUMPED at the chance to get pregnant. We got pregnant first try, and I had my first baby at 23. Then I had my second at 26. For awhile I thought we might have a third, but I'm really not sure anymore. I don't think dh wants another, and I'm not really sure I do either, I just don't want to say definitively NO, yet.

Anyway, I just recently completely weaned my ds (I was still nursing him to sleep at night.) So now it's really hitting home that my children are no longer babies. I can't believe how quickly it's all going by. After spending my entire life preparing for and dreaming of this, it's now over, and I'm left feeling like "now what?" "Who am I?" I know I'm still a mom, but most of my fantasizing, research, obsessing has been about the early years. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom, and love it just a little more each day. My children are FASCINATING. It's just that my identity for my WHOLE life has been wrapped up in having a baby, and now it seems like that part of my life is over. I'm not sad, though. It's actually nice to NOT be so obsessed about something anymore. I'm discovering all kinds of things about myself that I didn't realize before. I'm just unsure of how to identify myself.

Can anyone relate? I feel kind of like I have to form a whole new identity. Does that seem weird? Has anyone BTDT? How did you handle it? Again, I'm not sad. I really love the direction my life is going, I just feel like I have no identity at the moment. I've always been the "baby person" and now I'm not. I don't really know who I am at them moment, and it's weird. Not even bad, just weird. Is this something others have gone through? Did the feeling just pass eventually? Is there something you did to help yourself move forward? Thanks for reading my post, and any thoughts anyone has would be much appreciated.

Alyson: loving wife to Iain; unschooling mom to Abby (8) and Caleb (5). Also pro
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#2 of 5 Old 01-27-2010, 02:04 AM
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To be quiet honest with you, I don't think I really ever had a strong idenity to begin with. I guess I do now have a strong religious idenity, maybe I am starting to grow more of an idenity as a mother (had my first 2.5 years ago) and wife (been married 5 years). But I never really had this sense of having one particular image that I could point to and think "that is who I am." I am not sure if this is normal or not. But I guess the reason I am saying this to you is to remind you that you don't need to idenify yourself so strongly with something. You can just be yourself and see where that takes you. When you find a new passion that will help you discover yourself more and more.

Sorry for this strange rambling, just want to let you know some one out there is listening. I hope you find what works for you.
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#3 of 5 Old 01-27-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Chimomma! It actually really helped to just write it all out. I could have just journaled about it, but somehow writing for an audience helps me sort my thoughts out a little more. I think it's because I have to be a lot more clear in my writing so that people actually understand what I'm trying to say. This, in turn, makes things clearer for me .

Anyway, I'm starting to get at the heart of what it is I'm feeling, but it's certainly nice to know someone's listening . Any other thoughts anyone has are certainly welcome.

Alyson: loving wife to Iain; unschooling mom to Abby (8) and Caleb (5). Also pro
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#4 of 5 Old 01-27-2010, 01:59 PM
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They certainly don't stay babies for long, do they! I'm actually on the other end of the spectrum; I'm so glad I don't have babies anymore. I can't wait to watch them become less and less dependent on me.

'Who says you need an identity? I'm 41 and have a 5, 12, and 19 yr. old. I still don't know who I am, and I don't know what I want to be "when I grow up".

As I and they get older, my role as a mother changes. Being a mom is just a role. Being a wife, a sister, friend, employee, etc. is just a role, It's not who you are. There is a fundamental you underneath all of your roles/titles, and that is you. It sounds like being "mother to baby" was a role you really wanted, and now you have fulfilled that role/goal. Since they are not babies forever, that can't really be a forever role, and you see that.

My mother had a role as a wife at one time. Unfortunately, she became identified with that role, and that is who she thought she was. Thirty five years into the marriage, it dissolved and my mother had no idea who she was because "Jim's wife" was her identity. So, her identity was stripped from her when that role ended. She fell apart.

I guess why I am sharing that is because I want to point out that I think you are at a great place by recognizing this! How you get through it is by exploring and getting to know the other aspects of you that make up you. Do you have other goals, aspirations, dreams? This is worth looking into and will lead you. Maybe your goal is simply to shift from being mom to babies to being mom to pre-teens, perhaps, and so if that is the case, you may want to read up on parenting them as they approach and reach that stage in their development.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-27-2010, 03:48 PM
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If it makes you feel any better, most women go through this same thing once they're done having babies. Its kind of like that "purpose" is over, and its a definite loss to mourn.

So, to move on, you just need to find a new purpose. It sounds so simple that way, when there are millions of things you could do, little time to do them, etc., but the more you read for you, talk to others, etc., the more perspective you'll get. You may find that there was once something else that mattered to you, besides babies, that you totally forgot about... or you may discover you're suddenly into knitting, or spelunking.

Just don't feel alone. Lots of us have been there
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