Taking On A New Identity In Motherhood

When we become moms, our identity changes. We are no longer known by our first names -- but usually we are called that precious name our child chooses for us -- "mommy" or "mama" -- and when we look in the mirror we begin to see a new person emerging.
Christine M. Ries

Me, myself and Baby?
I just came upon the realization that I have become fully immersed in this role I now play (and have played for the past 20, almost 21 months) called MOM. I think up until the other day, I was still in denial.

Why? Because in my single life, even into the first part of my marriage, when we were pre-child, it was all about me, myself and I -- what interested me, what I wanted, what my needs were, what my whims were. I was independent and by God I was going to stay that way. I didn't want to give up the ME part of my identity.

But somehow that little kid of mine, without me looking, snuck in and changed that. In fact, in many situations, I think my name has changed from Tina, to Rachel's Mom. Tina, happily taking the backseat.

"Yeah, I'm Rachel's mom," I'd say. "But, I'm not one of those typical MOMMY moms."

At first, I would dismiss anything that would make me look mommy-ish -- "No playgroups for me!" I'd proudly say. I was above that nonsense. I refused to carry any diaper bag that looked "mommy-ish". You know that kind, with a big POOH on the side of it that screams "MOMMY" on it. Instead, I opted for one which looked like a regular handbag. It was a black Nine West diaper bag with a subtle silver diaper pin hanging off a strap. After all, it accessorized my leopard print pants and could accessorize most anything else in my wardrobe.

Cool mom
In my fight to preserve my independent, cool mom, image, I almost prided myself for not being prepared with every snack, wipe, diaper, toy, etc. that my child would need if we went somewhere. I didn't want to be one of those FREAKO-MOMMY MOMS.

But, then some things recently happened to me. The other day, I was at Home Depot looking at wallpaper -- a ME project, not something for my child. I took a sample to contemplate for my dining room, the next of my interior "design" projects on tap. I went to write the sample name, price and manufacturer on the back of the sample so I'd remember it -- I reached into my purse -- my Marilyn Monroe purse with the Kate Spade designer label on it -- to get a pen and all I could find was a red crayon. So there I was reduced to writing with a crayon. I chuckled at the irony.

The next morning, I made a family favorite for breakfast, Swedish pancakes. This is a tradition in my family passed down from my grandparents. If you've never had Swedish pancakes, they are like a French crepe on which you roll whatever fillings you want inside of it (fresh fruit, syrup, etc.), and then top it with whipped cream.

When I went to prepare my pancake, I decide it would be fun to use the new BLUE squeezable butter that I'd bought for my daughter at the grocery store (they have it in pink too, if you haven't noticed). There, in my newly decorated/painted/wallpapered kitchen, I marveled at how fun it was to use and became a child again as I prepared my food.

Finally, yesterday morning, I showered and did my normal hygiene and grooming routine --using my salon products by Bed Head and skin care products by Philosophy. I went to comb out my wet hair and all I could find to comb it out with was with a Pocahontas Disney character comb.

Again I was amused by the irony.

The change
"So this is what being a mommy is about?" I thought to myself. "You find yourself being a kid again!" I now have a built in excuse to go to the zoo anytime I want, watch "Bear in the Big Blue House" as often as I wish, read my favorite childhood books and go to the library. I love coloring with my daughter at restaurants on the placemats she gets. In fact, she pushes me out of her way because I think she thinks I color too much now. I even have a new found affinity towards toy stores, probably more than Rachel cares for them, although she's starting to take more and more notice of them. I love the excuse to go to the park on a sunny day or to draw on the sidewalk with chalk or blow bubbles.

I also realize that I've begun to find myself thinking ahead before we go anywhere. In fact, the other day at the zoo, I was the only one of my playgroup moms that remembered the sunscreen, and I was proud.

So now, I am comfortable with my independent-self and the mom-self that has evolved without me looking, getting the best of both worlds and feeling like one of the luckiest people alive. What fun it is to be a mom, uh I mean, kid again!

Oh, and I'm looking forward to trying the purple ketchup next!

Rachel's MomPregnancyAndBaby.com

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