Do you want to know one of the weirdest things I've noticed about myself as a mother?
It's how often I speak about myself in the third-person.
I have never, ever done that before. I have always been wonderfully liberal in my use of the first person.
I've always been really good at using my words to describe my thoughts and feelings.
However, since having children, I've begun oddly, and frequently, referring to myself as Mom. I do it to describe where I am, what I am doing and how I feel, such as:
"Hey kids, Mom will have breakfast ready in a minute so you need to wash up, please," I said cheerfully this morning.
"All right ladies, Mom's tying her sneakers, it's time to go in a minute!"
"Honey, Mom's a bit tired this afternoon so I'm not going to bake a snack...there are cheese sticks in the fridge, okay?"
Mom? This is how I speak of myself to my children? I don't speak like this to my friends. I've never said, "Hey BFF, Julie's on her way over in five minutes!"
Holy guacamole, my friends would stage an intervention! They'd wonder what happened to the real me (or is it okay there to say the real Julie?).
I've never felt a sense of loss of self since becoming a mom. Loss of control, check. Loss of tidiness, check. Loss of simplicity, check. Loss of sense of self, no.
I'm still here, still me. Just me in this phase of life. I've got plenty behind me, and I have a ton ahead of me. Based on my "things to do before I die" list I better live to 185 at least. (It used to be 210, but I cut out about 4 career changes.)
That's why I don't worry myself about empty-nest. Sure my heart will break when the kids move on and call infrequently, all busy with their lives. But seriously, we make it to that? I'll just be grateful because honestly, I'm like that commerical, "It'll be a miracle if she makes it to five. It'll be a miracle if she makes it to nine." and so forth.
I'm happy we're all rolling along; we're meant to. I know all things pass, and I'm still me.
In fact, I believe I'm remarkably consistent in my life, for good or bad, if not perhaps completely predictable. I'm what you might call headstrong. I'll go with the flow, as long as it suits me or doesn't offend some sensibility. But I'm not what you would call "laid-back" or a "people-pleaser." I want to be liked, never want to disappoint, and I have that aforeconfessed sense of responsibility. So, at times, this means I end up somewhere I really prefer not to be, and I spend a few moments kicking myself in the ass. Still, when it comes down to something crucial, I dig in my heels.
You see? Just look at all those Is. I'm a strong woman with a big commitment to the first person.
So what does it mean when I revert to third person awkward when I speak of myself to my children?
What does it reveal about how I think of myself as a mother, and how I think they think of me as a person?
I haven't got the answer, but you better believe I'm digging deep over here. And wide open for your own personal story and/or interpretation.
By the way, for what it's worth? My husband does it too. But then again, I think we've melded somewhat into a single entity. I bet we even look alike now, which I promise was not the case when we first met in 1988. Yep, I said 1988. And no, that wasn't 1st grade. We were Out of the House by then. Pretending to be grown-ups (bwahahaha).
copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Tags: motherhood and sense of self,loss of sense of self,I'm a mom and still me