For nearly three years, I've had to fight to remember who I was before I became a mother. I had to wonder what I did with all my time.
For the last 2.5 years, I haven't been able to escape being a mother. I couldn't dream of being anything else. The simplest things led me back to two beings: My daughters.
I breathed them. I dreamed of them. I daydreamed about them. I couldn't imagine another child, another life ever being more consuming than my love for them.
I couldn't imagine anything -- nothing at all -- ever coming between me and them. Where I began, they started; where they started, I began.
Now, as I spend eight hours away from them each day, I have to fight to bring myself back to being a mother. When I'd normally be fixing their lunch, I'm fielding calls with complete strangers who now need my attention.
As I walk on short breaks around town, I wonder who am I now? Am I still Mommy? Am I still a writer? Glimpses of my old self have started creeping back. It's me, but very different.
My first three days were spent nearly incognito in a town where many people would recognize my face, and know my name. But, I have even changed that. I'm no longer using my maiden name -- my byline, a name that illuminates that woman I used to be and who hardly exists anymore. Even my hair is different.
At 5:01, I lock the office door, and briskly walk-run toward the parking garage and swiftly make my eight block drive home to my husband and daughters who await my entrance with giddy laughter and big smiles -- something long, long overdue in my life.
This week has been easy. I know they've been happy and fulfilled. Next week, next week will be different. And hard. Perhaps putting motherhood on a shelf won't be as easy.
But, for this week, it's been an interesting experiment to just be a little bit of both of women I used to be.
Photo Courtesy of Luckychair.