Classic example- Stand By Me 1986
I thought I had finished my journey, that I'd already paid my dues. I had my coming of age story played out during my late teens/early twenties and I was confident in who I was, what I believed and in which direction I was headed.
Well educated, happily married, career focused and a child to love.
Then life throws you for a loop.
After our second son was born, my self identity drastically changed. Yes I had identified as being a mom already and it was a large part of who I was, but it wasn't the only part.
The erosion started slowly.
I stopped hanging out with friends. Gideon needed me 24/7. He wouldn't eat or calm for anyone else. We had to cancel get together due to illnesses and we didn't take day trips on the weekend anymore. My leisure activities dwindled as I was left with less free time for myself. Gideon had sensory issues and was not able to tolerate going outside for more than a couple of minutes. He would gag/puke with a breeze or if the air was too cold. I was reduced to tv watching and googling medical terms. The appointments and hospital admissions were exhaustive and it soon became clear that I would have to put my career on hold to make sure Gideon would have the best start in life.
After 2 years of this, my identity has been almost completely consumed/defined as a mother, a caretaker, a homemaker, and a struggling wife. And the funny thing is, it sometimes feels like I'm failing in these, as restricted and limiting a definition as they are. The laundry is always backlogged, I feel like Alexander is getting shafted when it comes to attention, and I feel under pressure to get all of Gideon's goals meet, which seem impossible when he has so many: Feeding goals, speech goals, physio goals, sensory goals, vision goals, social goals on top of medical demands. I'm not saying I don't enjoy being a mom. I love my children immensely! I wouldn't give up my children for the world. The thing is though, EVERYTHING in my world revolves around my children, and I don't think that is balanced or healthy.
Now I find myself taking a breath.
I want to identify myself as a woman, a wife, a friend, a family member, a creative mind, a traveler, a musician, an advocate, a person who makes amazing homecooked meals. I want to be someone who dances to music and smiles more often. I want to be hygienic and hairless. I want to feel whole and spiritual.
The second coming of age journey needs to begin.
Did you feel like your self identity slipped after you had a child with special needs?