It is very difficult as a mother to find your own identity, to separate yourself from your child. I think of that often as I begin yet another blog about my son, or post yet another photo of me and my son on my Facebook profile. And then I realize how ridiculous it is to even try for that separation.
Reality check on motherhood: I am not a separate identity anymore. It's a tough transition to make, from independent persona to mother of child. It took a long time for Atticus's existence in our house to feel normal. But now it is normal. Once you give in, surrender to the intrusion of a life that you asked for in the first place, that identity shift happens. The struggle is over and life gets easy-ish again.
It's not at all easy before accepting that shift. And sure, I could have just accepted it on day one when we brought Atticus home from the hospital, but I didn't know how. I didn't even know I was supposed to because everyone says, "You have to make time for yourself." And you do, sort of, but not really, because "yourself" is a completely new concept and that individual existence is really gone. At least for me it was and is. Thank goodness I am communal and like being around people. Loneliness, how little I knew you.
And so I have this shadow always, but it's more like a light than a shadow. Atticus is almost eight months now. And he is everywhere - on my blog, in my conversations, on my Facebook profile, crawling across the floor, sitting in the chair next to me crying for my attention as I write this. And so I'll go and give him the attention he wants because I like him very much. He's good people, my kind of people. And he and I will never be entirely separate no matter how hard either of us might try. What a comfort that is.