Monday, September 24, 2012

The ABCs of Motherhood: I

I, as in me, myself, and I. Identity. I've always felt that I needed to define who I am; I think most people do. Who am I? Am I really who I say I am? Or, am I just pretending to be who I am? Or, worse yet, am I trying to be someone I'm really not?

I have always known I wanted to be a mom. I may not know what I want out of my career, but I've always known that having kids was in the cards for me. If I wasn't able to get pregnant, I would have adopted. I couldn't imagine my life without kids. But, now that I have one, the quest for defining "I" is becoming more difficult.

I have started to hate to introduce myself. When people ask what I do, I'm half-ashamed and half-delighted to say that I'm a stay-at-home mom. I feel like a walking contradiction most of the time. I absolutely adore staying home with Alex, but I also hate being home all day. It's weird. I want to be a great mom, but I don't want mom-hood to be the only thing that defines me. Most days being a mom ranks high on my list. I love the snuggles, how no one but me will do when he gets hurt, the big crocodile tears, the "ma-mas" and "da-das" that are directed at me. Other days I wish I could be a little more free to forget. I'd love to go out and just have a crazy, fun time again. Now there's a part of me walking (or crawling anyway) around in the world that cannot be ignored, even when I know Alex is safe with a capable husband, grandparent, friend, or babysitter.

Defining "I" is more difficult because I cannot imagine myself without defining my relationship with my little boy. I think we all are defined by our relationships with others, but this is a little different. Never before did I have the urge to say, "My name is Jayme, and I have a husband." I did not introduce myself by saying, "Hi. I'm Jayme. I have loving parents and one sister." But, I feel like I can't help but drag Alex into every conversation. I guess I'll have to live with a "love me, love my kid" philosophy.

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