Losing oneself in your family

October 10, 2012

Sometimes it's hard to be the mom.

It can be even harder when you are an uber-organized, planning four steps ahead, take charge kind of mom. It becomes so easy to be the one ensuring that everyone gets what they want and gets to do what they want to do. Everyone, that is, except for yourself.

Yesterday my husband and I had a discussion about the "me" vs. the "we".  He is great at voicing the "me" and I am great at voicing the "we". He is not so great at the "we", and, if I, being honest, I suck at the "me".  Of course, the goal is to get to a place were we both equally think about the "we" which will allow us both to think about the "me".

At least, that is the theory. While I would love to lay the blame of my lack of "me" solely on my husband's lack of "we", I can't. Of course it is a factor, but really the blame lays on me.

Somewhere along the way I lost "me".  I was already heading down this path when we were a family of three.  Putting Peter and Irene first was so easy - and rewarding.  I still managed to find some time for the things I wanted, but not as often as I did before I become a mom.

Then I had Sam.

Having a baby born so early is all-consuming.  I spent every free moment I had either at the hospital, pumping, or obsessing about the fact that I wasn't at the hospital.  Any free brain space that was left was dedicated to Irene and her well being.  Peter sometimes got some of my energy.  Hell, the cats even managed to get some of my focus.  The one person who was totally left out was me.

Now, two years later, I can't seem to find my way back to the me.

This last weekend was Hardly Strictly Bluegrass here in San Francisco.  The line-up on Saturday looked like my iTunes play list.  I really wanted to go.  Really really really.  Then I started thinking about everyone else in the family.  Peter hates huge outdoor music festivals.  Irene would get bored.  Sam would wander around and be a pain to control.  Leaving them all at home and going alone felt too selfish... so, I passed.  I spent the whole day looking at the lineup lamenting who I was missing.  At least one of my favorites, Jerry Jeff Walker, was streamed, so I was able to see his performance.  My seat was crowded, but I loved sharing it with the kids:

Sam the Anti-Preemie: Watching Jerry Jeff Walker with my kids

Still, it wasn't the same as being there. The following day, I decided that Irene and I would go to Hardly Strictly for two shows. One was a band she loved, and the other just sounded too good to miss. Of course we didn't go, because Irene was cranky, it took us too long to get started in the morning, and my wants and desires just seemed counter to family happiness.

So I did what I always do: sacrificed me for the good of the we.

Now, I know this isn't healthy.  I know this is a cycle I need to break.  What I don't know is how to do it.

Have you lost yourself in your family?  How did you find your way back?

If you’re calling in the reserves; I’m standing at attentention. A mommy getaway is in order pronto!!

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