I saw a therapist for the first time today. Well, not the first time ever, I did some therapy years ago, but this was my first session with this particular therapist. There are a lot of reasons behind this, most of which I don’t really want to get into on the blog, because I’m really just not the “bare your soul online” type of blogger.
(NOTE: I have absolutely nothing against the “bare your soul” bloggers. I read the hell out of their sites and I fully appreciate what they do. That’s just not me. This blog is totally not anonymous at all, and there are some things I prefer to keep private.)
At some point during this session, she asked me what I do for “me time,” to unwind and recharge. And I was stumped.
So she rephrased it, “Well, what kinds of things do you enjoy, that you’d like to do more of?”
I have no idea.
It reminded me of something that Dave said once, which was basically that while I’m a great mom, I never stop being a mom.
I guess I never really thought about it that way before. Apparently at some point in the last four years, I’ve become so entrenched in Mommy Mode that I seem to have lost… me.
Basically, this is my life:
* Mornings: Get up, get dressed, get Catie dressed, get her off to daycare and myself to work.
* Daytime: work. (And I’m NOT complaining, because I do really love my job.)
* Evenings: get us all fed, do the bedtime ritual and allow Catie to stall about going to sleep for literally hours because I feel guilty for not seeing her all day. Then when she finally falls asleep, sometimes I stay up long enough to watch a TV show or talk to my mom on the phone, and other times I just crash for the night.
* Weekends: Dave and I clean the house, do the grocery shopping, and try to get us prepared for the week ahead. And squeeze in some type of fun outing for Catie if we can find the time.
That’s not to say I never have fun or that I’m depressed, because I do have fun and I don’t really feel depressed at all. (Well, I did after the therapy session, but I’m talking in general.) Four year-olds are freaking hilarious and I absolutely love that I get to hang out with this amazing little person and watch her as she develops. The vast majority of the time, I think being a mom is awesome. Of course, she has her tantrums and her moments of testing boundaries, and I get exasperated and cranky, just like all moms do.
For the most part, though, I consider myself to be relatively happy. I have a great job, a beautiful house, I love my kid, I have another (apparently healthy, knock on wood) baby on the way, I’m married to a really great guy, my whole family is awesome. What’s to complain about?
But there’s something missing here. The fact is, I don’t really ever take time for myself to just do my own thing. Sure, I might tell Dave to keep Catie downstairs for 20 minutes so I can take a shower in silence. Or I might go to the grocery store alone. But that’s it, really.
Just about everyone I know has a hobby, some sort of outlet. Dave goes hiking. My mom loves to sew. My dad plays golf. How come it took a paid professional for me to notice that I basically failed to develop any outside interests of my own? Is this whole “I don’t have any sense of self” issue something that all moms of young children experience? I’m guessing that surely my experience is not unique here.
But the bigger question is looming: how do I fix it when I don’t have a clue what types of things I would like to do, given the opportunity?
How do you find yourself, when you didn’t even know you were lost?