I’m a Mom, But That’s Not Who I Am

Posted October 13, 2016 by Niagara Mommy in Mommy Stuff / 13 Comments

Before I became a mother, I was nice. I was friendly and giving and kind. I wasn’t selfish or mean. I hardly ever got angry. I’d go out of my way to help my friends. They trusted me. They thought I was a good person. I was well-liked and reliable. I wasn’t a bitch.

Motherhood has changed me.

im-a-mom-but-thats-not-who-i-am

Sometimes, it brings out the selfishness in me. I feel like I demand more and more me-time, after having the energy sucked out of me over and over, and seemingly faster and faster. And then of course, I feel guilty for it.

Sometimes it brings out the impatience in me. My fuse seems to get shorter and shorter, the more times I have to ask for teeth to be brushed, or toys to be put away. And again, I feel guilty for it.

And sometimes, motherhood brings out the stone-cold bitch in me, where I’m barely clinging to my parental values as I take on the wee-nager of the century , who’s dishing out attitude and back-talk that I wouldn’t even take from an adult. Insert mom-guilt here.

But the struggle I’m having goes beyond bad behaviour and poor manners. It’s more than just the frustration I feel after the third, long, drawn-out explanation on why my daughter has to go to day-care after school. Can I blame her for bringing out these nasty qualities? I could, but no. She’s five. It’s what she does.

It’s more than the disgust I feel from wiping up my son’s squished peas and mashed potatoes off the floor, only to have an entire plate of unwanted dinner dumped on my head. Can I blame him for making me feel so desperately unappreciated? No. He’s two. It’s what he does.

My struggle is with who I was before motherhood and who I am now. Motherhood has brought out a toughness in me. And sometimes, I really don’t like it.

I don’t like yelling. I actually hate it. I don’t like feeling angry or selfish. I don’t like making my kids cry because of a punishment I’ve just given. I don’t like being mean and unfair. It’s not who I want to be. It’s not who I am.

But it’s who I have to be.

 

While that’s fair enough, there’s another part of this conundrum I’m wrestling with; how do I keep being the person I was before motherhood? How do I keep that part of me present and relevant, when most days it’s shoved aside so the mom in me can take over and get shit done? It’s yet another balancing act I wasn’t expecting to perform.

Don’t get me wrong, I do see that pre-mom side of me occasionally. She hasn’t totally disappeared. I see her in the cool shit my daughter says and in my son’s mischievous little smile. I see her generosity when my daughter picks up the dropped toy of a baby in a shopping cart. I see her playfulness when my son instigates a game of peek-a-boo.

But that’s the trade off, really, isn’t it? In order to raise good, kind and strong children, I give the best parts of myself to my kids. And while seeing those beautiful quirks and personality traits shine through them is rewarding, it can leave me feeling like the shadow of my pre-mom self.

It’s times like these when I miss her the most…

…like a close friend I silently wish would visit more often.

It's times like these when I miss my pre-mom self the most.

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Hugs,

Vickie

 


13 responses to “I’m a Mom, But That’s Not Who I Am

  1. Anonymous

    This is the most real and honest thing I have read about motherhood. Thank you for writing it. And not including a “But”. Like “But, it’s all worth it when I get a hug” or some nonsense like that. Stay strong. It will get better. Try to hold onto your former self as much as possible or you will wake up one day and she will be gone and no longer retrievable. That is what is happening to me. xo

    • Thank you. While there are certainly times where it does feel worth it when they tell you they love you, I wanted to acknowledge the times when that just doesn’t cut it. Thanks so much for reading.

  2. Anonymous

    I loved how you spoke the truth. As the previous comment says, one of the most honest and frank statements I´ve read about motherhood. I completely identify with you. I always thought I was a kind and very patient person until kids came and they brought out some of the worst parts of me.

  3. Nelly

    Thank you so much for writing so honestly. Every word you wrote resonates with me. This evening I was thinking how this is not at all what I thought I was signing up for when I had my children. I am the mother of two boys, aged nine and six, and of course I adore them, but they have definitely brought out the absolute worst in me. I really miss the fun and relaxed person I was before I had children. Being a parent is so utterly relentless and if you don’t have family or babysitters then it is very diffucult to get the occasional breaks you need to reconnect with yourself and with your spouse. And what saddens me most is that I know this is a very precious time that will be over before I know it and there seems to be nothing I can do to better enjoy it while I am in the middle of it. Thank goodness for family photos as we always look so happy, me included 🙂

  4. Omgosh..you just clicked on the light for me. I’m you. Pre & Post. And I HATE being the Post mom sometimes. It’s hard for the Pre me to digest! Love your blog. #Sitsblogging So glad I did! New friend…shall we chink wine glasses…mine is still in the bottle. I just know if I try to pour a glass…we may not have one! = )

  5. like Sara...but with a d

    If it is any consolation (and it probably isn’t right now), it gets a tad easier. My kiddos are now 17 and almost 11, and although the mean ol’ mom has to peek her head out occasionally (hello dirty socks in the floor, unemptied dishwasher, failure to complete homework, attitude at bedtime/curfew), the old me, Dara, she gets to hang much more often. It happens gradually, I guess, or at least I just didn’t realize it was happening, but one day, there I was hanging out with these two cool little humans. We have amazing conversations, and we can have rational discussions on why things need to be done or not done. I won’t say the feeling unappreciated thing ever really goes away, but when your 17-year-old randomly thanks your for being the mom that you are, it is pretty dang satisfying. 🙂

    Mom guilt is the absolute worst, right?

    • Totally the worst. I can see how it would get better, but it’s difficult to see it when you’re on the moment. I hope to see my old self more often in the coming years. Thanks so much for reading.

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