Thursday, January 30, 2014

And who have I become?

To put it simply, Mom.  That term that so many millions of women are.  No longer ourselves, just this thing.  Mom. Caregiver.  An absence of ourselves.  Maybe it's just me who feels this way, I really don't know.  Maybe it's because I'm in the thick of struggling with this new identity.  Maybe it's depression.  Whatever it is, I need to write about it.  I was going to post about a few other topics, but I realize there are things I need to get out and I have no one to talk to.  I have separated myself from everyone I know and love and in my house, I don't really get to be anything other than Mom.  Anyway, this Lauren person has been built.  She's strong, independent, funny, positive, a know-it-all, so sure of herself, and never in any pain.  Well, I can tell you something.  I am not that person anymore.  I don't know who she is.  So I'm going to talk about it...

When I became a mother, the me as I have always known myself flew right out the window.  I have been trying to find myself ever since, and all that I have found is Maverick's mom, the family cook and my husband's therapist and assistant.  I basically take care of everyone now, but no one takes care of me.  I guess it didn't occur to anyone that I would need any taking care of.  My body did something amazing.  It still does actually; it feeds my son.  I am in awe of what I was able and still am able to do.  No one else seems to be.  I don't know what I expected to get from my husband after our son was born, and perhaps it was wrong of me to expect anything at all, but I did.  I hoped for some incredible wonder or appreciation at what I have done.  I didn't get it.  He's a wonderful dad, but I'm not his wife anymore.  I don't know how to be; I'm just Mom.  It is important to him that I listen to his thoughts, so I do.  He doesn't like my reactions though, no matter how I try to respond in a way that I think will make him happy.  I listen anyway.  I make sure he's up for school.  I make us food, but I never have the right things around to eat.

Despite what I have done with my body and the appreciation and care I think it deserves because of that, I still seem to be second to the girls on the screen.  The young, firm, naked women free of pubic hair, positioned in suggestive poses that reveal bodies that have not carried children, that have not nourished another human being.  They are ready for the taking.  I am not.  I am MOM.  I need someone to take care of me.  I need someone to make me feel like Lauren again before I can go there.  But that's just frustrating.  It's too much work.  It hurts me profoundly to see my husband choose to look at other women.  I have expressed that before, asked that it not happen, to no avail.  Yet it still seems a surprise to him every time when I react the way that I do.  Somehow, I become the unreasonable one when I act hurt.  I get a sarcastic comment as he slams the door behind him to go to school, and a stab in the heart.  No I love you.

Maybe there is nothing left to love, because I'm just Mom.  Maybe it's because all day long I am simply needed and never wanted.  I hope this will pass, but I want every other mom or soon to be mom to know that if you don't feel quite yourself after your baby is here, you aren't the only one.  You change in ways you never could have guessed, and that's okay.  Your husband may not recognize you.  You may not recognize you, but I do.

You're Mom, and I'm right there with you.  Just imagine me there, stroking your face, taking care of you and telling you everything you need to hear, that no one else will say.  I'll pretend you are here doing the same, and maybe I'll start to feel a little bit better.