The Mama Identity
So often when we become mothers, or parents, the focal point in our lives shifts onto the new beings who we're responsible for 24/7. It's very easy to get caught up in the day to day activities and forget altogether about how life was before baby arrived. Some folks say it's not worth reminiscing since things are different now, what's the point? Others say it's important to remember your roots, as they are inherently your child's roots too. So how do you connect with your pre-parenthood roots? How do you maintain your identity aside from the "Mama Identity"? One mother offers this story:
This mother is a rock and roll star. I play in a band that has a regular gig at a popular venue in Portland. I'm the only "chick" in the band, and the only parent, which means there isn't much talk about mothering/parenting issues -- nor is there more than talk about music, and "boy bantering," which is nice to have.
I love that my daughter can see me playing & singing up on stage, an equal w/ the guys, completely respected as a musician. I love that she sees mama on stage and understands on some level that it's natural for a woman to be in the spotlight. But the truth of the matter is, I would do it even if she didn't get that out of it.
In my experience, musical improvisation is hard, but parental improvisation is harder. So getting together w/ the guys to play is a welcome respite. It lets me use parts of my brain that don't get much of a workout otherwise. And even though I'm a mom, I'm not staid. I'm still a punk, I'm still a rude boy (girl). I still thrill to the Sex Pistols and the first Pretenders album; I still like striking a pose and acting hard; I still delight in putting on a show, and showing off; I still dress for the occasion; I still feel vibrant and alive onstage,
and I don't feel the least bit bad that at this point in time, my daughter can only watch and not yet participate.
Do other mamas have something all to themselves that is not traditionally Mama-like, or directly beneficial to hearth/home/family?
Sometimes when I contemplate doing something that is frivolous or self-serving... mommy guilt looms over my head and I usually dismiss the idea. Then again, sometimes I indulge the temptation. Maybe it's just a w[h]ine night or perhaps a trip to the spa. But nothing quite as exotic as being in a band. How exotic is your indulgence? How do you connect with yourself aside from your parental position?