Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Loss of Sense of Self

I used to be a New Yorker. I used to be an OB/GYN who worked 80 hours per week. I used to be able to go away for the weekend. Now, I am a suburban mother of two children, a dog, and a mouse. And a wife. I used to work in SOHO, wear high heels, make money, and meet friends for drinks in hipster bars. I used to live in a one bedroom apartment where I could see the Empire State building if I leaned out the window and really craned my neck. Now, I have a house, a laundry machine, a dishwasher, a car, a stroller, two car seats. I used to be able to carry on adult conversations. People would ask me what I did and what I thought. Now, I am invisible.

Having a family is wonderful, I don't need to tell you that. Even so, I still mourn the loss of my former self. My designed, planned, manicured self. I have given that up for a life of drop offs and pick ups and part-time underpaid work. There are days when I don't shower or get dressed - I just throw on my clogs and a ponytail and head out of the door, rushing to get to school on time. There are days when I want to scream because I haven't read a book without pictures or left the house or gone to the gym.

There are also days that I sit around the dinner table and look at the amazing people that I live with. The girl who thanks me for combing her hair and wants to give me a kiss. The boy who only wants me to put him to bed. The man who says thank you for keeping the family organized and the house together. The woman who has become the accountant, cleaning service, chauffeur, personal shopper, chef, teacher, and artist. For as much as I have lost my old sense of self I have gained many new ones.

I will never be who I once was was prior to this great adventure but I will try to love who I have become. I will not get paid in money or prestige but in kisses, hugs, and the satisfaction of watching everyone grow and learn and become. I know I have sacrificed a lot, but I also know that I have traded that for a home and a place of belonging. And I will hang on to a piece of my prior sense of self when I am able to carve out time for me. I will do this for me.


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