Someone has stolen my identity. And the real kicker is, I know exactly who it is.
This ragamuffin threesome has taken my name and replaced it with a handful of generalized nicknames. I’m no longer “Annie.” Now I am “MOM!” “MAMA!” “MOMMY!” and occasionally, with an eyeroll for good measure, “MOTHER.”
This isn’t who I used to be. I used to be a strong, fiercely independent woman who didn’t give a second thought to crib bumpers and carseat safety. I went to bed when I wanted to and slept all night long. I rearranged the living room furniture when I got bored. I spent my free time hanging out with my friends, reading books, and watching favorite movies multiple times. I made choices that affected me and no one else.
Now I’m a mother who frets about her kids’ screen time and gets blubbery over loose teeth. I go three rounds with three children every night at bedtime, because apparently going to bed is some kind of medieval torture. I barely have the time or energy to pick things up off the furniture, much less decide where I’d rather place it. I spend my free time . . . wait, do I even have free time? I still make choices, but each one has to be weighed in the balance of three other lives and how they will be affected.
They’ve stolen my identity, these precious little beasts.
And what’s really funny is that I don’t want it back.
Okay, that’s not 100% true. Occasionally, for fleeting moments, when I’m tired and cranky and up to my eyeballs in kid drama, I daydream about my former life. But it’s always short lived. I wouldn’t take back my pre-motherhood identity if you paid me.
However, I would like my privacy back, thankyouverymuch.
As a mother, my privacy is violated daily. From the moment that first wee little angel was conceived within my body, then delivered from my body, then fed and comforted with my body, my body hasn’t been my body. Even though all three umbilical cords were cut (I was there, I remember), it’s like there’s still an invisible tether that pulls them to wherever I am in the house.
If I wake up early to get some alone time, they wake up early, too.
If I leave the room to take a phone call, they follow me.
I used to meditate. HA!
Peeing in peace? HA HA HA!
Showering alone? I remember those days fondly. My kids have seen me naked so many times they’ll probably have some sort of Freudian crisis later in life. And it’ll be all their own fault.
People often ask if I have privacy concerns as a writer on the Internet. I do. But not nearly as many as I have as a mother in my own home.
And there’s no one I can go to with these concerns. “There’s nothing we can do about that, Ma’am. That’s just motherhood.”
Good thing these little people are so darned cute.