One of the things that happened to me when I had my son is that my responsibility for that child re-shaped my identity, adding the role of mama to the other roles I filled. And then, slowly, that new identity as mama – the most important identity that I've ever had – became the identity that I knew best. I was still other things, but I was a mama most of all.
One of the challenges in my life in the last three years has been to keep my identity as a mama but to also re-find the other parts of my self. I'm not the same woman who became a mama nearly nine years ago; I'm not the same woman I was even three years ago. We all change, of course, but necessity forced a lot of changes on me. I wasn't happy about that and sometimes, rather than take the time to understand the new person I was becoming, I retreated to the familiar role; the one I knew I must fulfill: I was a mama.
And now here I am, a mama who is still incredibly happy to have that role. And I've gotten to the point where I want to explore who else I can be. I look in the mirror and I still see JT's mama. But I also see the faint outlines of some new things I can explore. And for the first time in a while I'm less frightened of that than I am excited about the prospect of my future.
It's a good feeling.