I've always wanted to be a mum. Its been the strongest urge I've ever felt throughout my entire life. Never fading and never going away. Some people have definite plans for the way they want their life to turn out, including elaborate and well thought out career paths - the only one true plan I had for my life was that I needed to be a mum. It's literally what I have always thought is my purpose in life - the reason why I'm here. This is how I fit in. This is my place in the world.
I've been working towards this my entire life. Throughout all the awkward years when I thought I never fit in, when I didn't understand what the point of my life was and when I was encountering rejection from people around me, I always thought that one day it would all be ok. One day I would have a family of my own and I would belong. I would come into my own and I would know my place. I would be able to create my dream.
Obviously those of you who have been following my blog know that it wasnt quite that easy and my journey to motherhood has been filled with hardships, sadness and lots of waiting. But, finally I'm here, on the cusp of this incredible journey into the next stage of my life. I'm over half way and am learning to let go of my apprehensions and make room in my life for the excitement (infertility has a way of making you always prepare for the worst and always fear getting excited incase of disappointment).
So, now that I'm at this point I seem to have been asking myself in the last week or so - does motherhood mean I've found myself or am I losing myself? What I mean is - am I going to completely lose my identity as Toni now, or, am I just taking on a new identity as mum? Can the two co-exist? Am I going to be able to act like a 20 something (ok very close to 30 something) woman or do I have to always be this responsible grown up person? Are my friends going to be the only ones who remember the person I was pre-baby?
I'm not for one second doubting that I will love being a mum, I'm just looking at it from a different perspective. It's like when you're a child you see your parents as these old, boring, out of touch strict people who you could never possibly relate to, like ever. Because you know parents are a totally different species and they have no idea how to have fun (or even act like real people). As you get older though you start seeing things from a different perspective. I think its once you've been through all your teenage angst and get to the point where you're settling down and realise that your parents would have gone through all of that at some stage too. Then, when your friends start having kids and they're your age you realise holy cow my parents were once my age AND they were my age when they became parents. They really were cool (ok maybe thats going a bit far), I mean normal at some point.
Is my baby ever going to realise that I was cool? Am I going to be this horrible unrelatable person to her for the next twenty years until finally one day she realises that yes, I was cool. I was and still am Toni, I just took a vacation into this weird world of motherhood for a few years. Is our real identity something we need to keep hidden from our children or is it just easy for them to overlook it and not notice? Will I completely cease to be me or will she just not notice all the subtle idiosyncrasies that belong to Toni instead of mum?
And finally, I wonder if our parents worried about the same things when they were embarking on parenthood?