It’s the phrase that I use to describe the woman I was before children turned me into a mother. Did I lose my identity when I had kids?
Hell yes I lost it! Gone, puff-poof-pffffttt. My selfish, immature, over-entitled, over-indulged life was replaced by another person’s selfish, immature, over-entitled, over-indulged life. Small Person Number One.
It’s not that I don’t have an identity separate from my kids, for sure I do. But they can’t be removed from each other– after all, I don’t see JB willing to be the sole financial provider if the kids weren’t here. And I know I didn’t have the opportunity to explore my creative interests when I worked for pay.
As it turns out, my creative pursuits tame a lot of my internal beast.
In retrospect, I often find her to be annoyingly judgmental, and just generally clueless about a large chunk of most adult life. But she wasn’t JUST that– she was also driven and dedicated.
And FUN, until the 6th tequila shot and then she was often just embarrassing. Trying to steal a lighted Pabst Blue Ribbon sign from a bar named Hell isn’t cute at 24.
She fueled most of her productivity with moral indignation and anger. And got the Veteran’s Administration to write her mother a check for back benefits. Fighting government bureaucracy and winning? Yeah, that kicks ass.
She had a “saying no” problem, which both opened and closed professional doors.
She worked, drank and smoked too much, and ate too little. Her temper was short most of the time. She managed to balance a true social life sans Small People and dirty diapers.
Sometimes I miss her. Mostly I don’t.
If I could go back and visit with her for a moment, I might clue her in to a bunch of things that would make it easier to avoid wincing at her hypocrisy. She wouldn’t listen, but it would be nice to sit in judgment over her for once.
Co-sleeping? Other Self said NEVER. I just wanted sleep and it was just so easy to nurse a baby without having to actually get up.
Cloth diapering? Other Self said GROSS. I realized pretty quickly that she would spend the next few years elbow deep in Small People’s biological waste anyway, and disposable diapers were expensive. I mean, you can resell cloth diapers. Try doing that with a used disposable.
Housewifery? When Other Self was pregnant she promised to be the best housewife ever– how hard could it be to keep a clean house with one Small Person? I managed for about two weeks before deciding her own happiness was far more important than dusting.
Living on a budget? Other Self did– it was called paycheck to paycheck, wasting everything else in between. The Scattermom…well, this still needs work, but coupons get cut now, for groceries that actually get bought.