Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Lose yourself



Walking up through the schoolyard today, I spotted Darbs' best mate. A gorgeous little boy who has been over to play, who was there when Darbs broke his arm and as Darbs says: "We're old friends. We've know each other ever since kindy" (which was just last year). This little guy saw me, gave a big grin and a wave, yelling out: "Hello, Darby's mum!"

From the moment you're born, life is working out who you are. As a baby, these weird things fly in front of your sight and you discover they're attached to you, they're your hands. Then you learn your name, your place in the family, what you like to eat and the list goes on and on.

The more you grow, the more you put into yourself. You're told it's about growing yourself. Getting to know yourself. Once school finishes, you spend your late teens and twenties 'finding yourself', discovering who you are.

Then you meet a partner and you show off the best of yourself and you find out yourself as a couple.

Eventually you may go on to have children. This is when it all goes awry. All those years of developing yourself and finding yourself and discovering yourself go out the window in an instant. You suddenly completely lose yourself. Or, at least, I did.

All those years trying to work out who I was, I suddenly discovered a complete stranger. I suddenly found I had completely forgotten who I was.

Ten years on and nothing much has really changed. I look back at the person I was before I had kids and the essence is still there, but that person doesn't really exist anymore.

Corinne has morphed into Lil's mum, Goosey's mum and Darbs' mum.

I was chatting to a friend the other day, she has kids similar ages. She's been at home taking care of them for the past 10 years, while her husband has progressed his career. She told me it was always on the proviso that one day, she would get her chance to chase the dreams that she put on hold. Now she is starting to take a few steps toward that dream. Excited and nervous, she has suddenly found that all that confidence or naivety you have when you're young has suddenly vanished. She has started to wonder if she can actually get out there and do the things that she would like to do again. If she's still able to use her brain. Be brave. Jump in and think later. She is really scared that she's going to fail.

Being a parent is so much of squashing yourself into a little corner and letting everything else take over. Nappies, meals, story time, playing, swings, kindy, school, homework. It's so easy to let everything wash over and flood your life. Sometimes too easy. I often think I should have tried to harder to hold on to that little part of myself that I spent so much looking time looking for.

Slowly I'm trying to pull her back, or at least create a newer, more improved person. I definitely don't want to be the person I was 10 years ago, before kids, as I'm a much better person now. She was a fairly two-dimensional person, kids and age have given me something. I'm definitely something and someone more than someone's mum though.

FreeImages.com/Griszka Niewiadomsk

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