A recent conversation made me remember my pre-children, even pre-marriage college days. Back when I was known as a femi-nazi (though you truly don’t have to be radical to be called that in a conservative religious town). When I got passionate about issues. When I dabbled in vegetarianism (aka, I didn’t like to cook meat). When I wrote poetry. When I didn’t wear a bra for about six years (pregnancy put a damper on that at the time and breastfeeding has put a damper on it forever). I was, in small ways, my generation’s version of a hippie.
For a moment, I wondered what had happened to my past self. Where did she go? Did she, as I had feared, get swallowed up in the role of wife and mother? My sister reassured me that I won’t feel it as much once my children are older and no longer need so much of my time. But I also realized that the hippie college student has simply morphed into the hippie momma.
I had a natural waterbirth at home. I’m breastfeeding my toddler. My baby wears an amber teething necklace that absorbs into the skin and aids in pain relief (it always sounds weird when I explain it out loud, but I swear it’s helped her). I use cloth diapers. I co-sleep and wear my baby in a sling. I made homemade baby food. Neither of my children ever took a bottle or a pacifier (I am lucky in that I have not had to leave them to work much since I had them). A fun family weekend activity involves going to the Farmer’s Market. I blog.
I did not lose myself. I transformed into myself as a mom (with a little bit of my mom thrown in—this morning I watched The Price is Right with my daughter and sealed the deal on that one). I wish I had more time and energy for me. I wish I could do Yoga without a child climbing on my head. I wish I still wrote creative works that could be rejected by every journal I sent it in to. Right now I feel lucky if I get to shower every day. But my life will not always be like this and when the time comes, maybe I can rediscover some of my old self. Just with less anger, less bad poetry, and a lot more cleavage support.