Motherhood did to my identity what it did to my vagina: shattered it into a billion pieces.
And much like my vagina, when I put the it back together again, it was never quite the same.
“Motherhood doesn’t have to change your identity if you don’t want it to”Said a pregnant lady to me the other day and I LAUGHED AND LAUGHED AND LAUGHED. No, I didn’t. But I should have. It would have been more polite. Instead, I vomited manic rage in her direction. She ran away from me.
Does anyone WANT their identity to change? I mean, fuck, I spent thirty blah blah years trying to figure out the who fuck I am in the first place. Do you think now that I have an inkling of who I am, I want to throw it out the window and start over?
Am I a completely different person? Of course not. Have priorities shifted? Absolutely. Does my life look like what I thought it would look like when I as a teenager? Not even close. I told the “hubs” (husband) the other day that I think teenager self would be disappointed in the adult that I’ve become. And he said, “your teenage self thought it was a good idea to get a belly piercing by a guy name Spike.” It was a good point. But still.
Growing up, the pressure put on me to achieve “success” and make money was overwhelming and suffocating. I don’t remember by junior year of high school because all I did was homework. And SAT prep. And drafting college essays. And participating in clubs so it would look good on my application not because I found things interesting. Between my father verbally assaulting me for getting a B on a History test and the pressure cooker of a private school I attended, I was TRAINED to be some important business lady. And now I’m a stay at home mom.
There was a motto at my high school, “be a doctor don’t marry one.” (Or even better: be a doctor and marry one) And now I am completely financially supported by my husband. All that money and effort to turn me into a lawyer or a whatever and now I take care of a toddler. Somedays, I feel like I have failed as a feminist and a person.
So much of my life had been about pursuing my dream to be a creative force in show business. It’s hard to spend several decades of your life imagining the REST of your life to be a certain way and then stop, pivot and start gunning full force in a different direction. I’ve spent years building myself up and working and pushing and hoping that “some day” I’ll get a break and my life will start for real.
I’m tired of living in a future that may or may not happen. Becoming a mother has jolted me into the reality that THIS is my life. This moment. So, what should I do with it?