And Now For Something Totally Depressing

Please excuse the ultra-down post today.

Sometimes, I miss my old self. By old self, I mean the person I was before adding “mom” to my title.

There are some things that haven’t changed. I still like the music I liked before, only now I get to hear it between Wiggles songs. Luckily, Cordy doesn’t mind listening to Evanescence – she always kicked and jammed along when I was pregnant. She isn’t as forgiving with showtunes.

I still have the same taste in movies. Nothing there has changed, although we don’t get the chance to go see movies nearly as often. Going out to a movie is a real treat now.

But I miss some of my old personality. I took more risks back then. I had more of a “don’t give a shit” attitude. I certainly wasn’t punk by any means, but I had attitude. I had a temper, too, and while it’s nothing to be proud of, I did use it to keep from being pushed around. I’m so mellow now I’m nearly dead. I look at the bright side – I’m now much more zen – but truthfully I think I just don’t care as much about issues that used to rile me up. I am the Queen of Blase.

I really miss my old body. I’ve battled my weight throughout my 20′s, and by my mid-20′s, I had made significant progress. By the time of my wedding, I was looking pretty hot. Still nowhere close to model status, but I was fit, I looked good, and I felt good. My hair was often dyed a dark red, I wore tiny shirts from Hot Topic, and enjoyed dressing up to go out to a goth dance club.

Pregnancy is not kind on the body. Not only does it stretch it to extremes and test the limits of joints and muscles, it also screws with body chemistry. My hair has changed from dry and prone to split ends to oily and flat. The color has darkened. While I have no qualms with my stretch marks, I’d really like to see the extra weight take a hike. I gained only 20 pounds during pregnancy, and most of that only at the end, but that 20 pounds decided to stick around afterwards and set up residence. I’m about as far from sexy as “Big Mama.”

I actually eat healthier than I used to, but thanks to metabolism changes, the damn weight won’t go away. I know I should exercise more and eat less, but it’s not as easy as it once was. I barely have any time to myself, thanks to my leg hugging toddler who won’t let me more than 5 feet from her. By the evening, I just want to collapse onto the couch in exhaustion. I’m so out of shape I don’t know how I could even start exercising again – I’d probably collapse.

I feel soft and squishy, and not in a good way. I want to find some of what I used to have. I’m not wanting to go back to who I was entirely (because I really do love being a mom), but I’d like to extract a little bit of the old me and put it to use with the new me. I don’t like being soft and squishy. I feel like I’m a step away from floral mumus, flip-flops, and t-shirts with my daughter’s picture silk screened on them. I wonder how Aaron is even attracted to me.

This isn’t the most cheery post, or the most organized, but I’m not looking for pity. I want to know how do other moms manage to find their old selves inside their new mommy bodies? What do you do to remind yourself that you’re not just a mom? What things do you do, just for yourself?

Give me some tips to help me find the old me.

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  1. Hi Christina, I understand you so well. Was another person too. And I am going to write a sad post today as well… I will come back later if I get any ideas. I write… it helps. And trying to make myself pretty… sounds tacky? Sorry,.. I’m in the same mood,


    Ann Marie

  2. no, this isn’t the most cheery post, but it’s certainly normal. It’s hard to balance who you are as a mom with who you are as a person and who you were in the past. Hang in there, it DOES get better and you WILL find a happy medium, I promise.

  3. Dude – my blog exchange post is all about this… But, I’ll give you a hint.

    Find the box in your closet labeled ‘old you’ – and sift through it – I bet you’ll find a few things of yourself that you can still put “on” and maybe that will cheer you up.

    I’m walking around in 4 inch heels right now – and wearing my old Vicki’s secret bustier right now…

  4. We must all have this on our minds today-I posted about almost the same thing.

    I think we’re all trying to figure out who we are. Because we’re not who we used to be, yet we’re not totally someone different.

    I do know I”m dieting again, Ick. Ick. Ick.

  5. Sounds like you are a stay-home mom other than the part-time student. Do you have anyone near you to do “the buddy system” with? Sometimes just having someone who feels the same way you do will give each of you the boost you need.
    Try to get out without your daughter one evening a week to do something just for you–even if it’s just to hang out with friends. Once you start to feel like the old you socially, maybe it will help.

    Best of luck to you. We all have our crappy days. Hopefully all of your tomorrows will be better.

  6. Going out with friends, and leaving the baby at home is a big one. It takes time though–or at least, it did for me. Time to figure out how to fit all the new pieces of you with the old pieces.

  7. Up until Zoe was about 2 I used to do my old website, made a couple of pages about her, but not the whole thing. It challenged me to find new things to put up there, my poems, some stuff about interests etc etc. Why not start another blog that has NOTHING about being a mum on it? Write about other things. I can almost guarantee it will spur you to find all those things you used to enjoy because you’ll want to put something on there!I used to make a point of going out for coffee with friends while Zoe was with mum and limited ‘mummy’ talk to 5 mins then it was banned! As far as my body image went, I’m now proud of the extra skin, stretchmarks and saggy boobs. They reflect a part of who I am, but, not all. I did walk a lot with Zoe, so between that and b/f I shed any weight i’d put on. Maybe you could try and find a gym that has childcare facilities?
    I really hope your feeling better soon, at the very least make the LAST 1/2 hour of your day about YOU – take a bath with candles and a good book, do your nails, color your hair, do a facial mask, anything that makes you feel a little better and has NOTHING to do with being a mummy!! Big hugs to you…

  8. Totally hear you. I’m totally different in ways that I never even imagined. But, yeah, the biggest thing is all of a sudden being completely defined by mommy-hood. (That, and the much bigger ass.)

    Tomorrow I have to summon up my pre-baby academic self and I’m FREAKED. OUT. Haven’t yet developed any coping strategies (being much newer to this) – so I’ll just be eagerly scrolling through these comments…

    BTW, cats are up on site! Had a look at your pics – TOO CUTE. We have a lilac and a blue, used to have a chocolate (dearly loved and departed). OK, done with the irrelevant-to-this-post-cat-geekness. (Tho’ the cats always hold me to pre-baby standards. It’s just that the cat-food-dispensing former me isn’t all that interesting…)

  9. The best thing I did was to join a gym.

    The one I picked was Lifetime Fitness, there is one in Columbus but I’m not sure if it is near you or not. It’s not really cheap – $50/month – but say you go 4 times/week and use the 2 hours of childcare each time. Then you are getting babysitting for less than $2/hour. And in some ways, working out is way easier than chasing a toddler. My 2 year old loves the childcare there, and then after I work out we hit the beach-style indoor swimming pool, which is also a big hit. And the swimming really wears her out, so she has a good nap.

    For me, having childcare at the gym is enough incentive to go, just to get a break.

  10. OK, I want all of you to move to Columbus to keep me company! Thank you for all of your suggestions!

    Ann Marie – I agree that writing helps. Just putting it out there helped a little.

    Kim – Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words!

    Kristen – I’ll have to check out your entry today. At the moment very little of what I used to wear still fits, but I think I have some cool socks that’ll still fit. It’s a start, right?

    Queen – I hate diets, too, but I’m right there with you on the Hippo Diet.

    Erin – Actually, I work three days a week on top of school and taking care of my daughter! I’m crazy, right? ;)

    POW – You’re right, I need to get some more nights out with my friends, sans kids.

    debambam – I thought of starting another blog, but I wouldn’t know what to write about, truthfully. I’ll have to think on that idea, though. Thanks!

    2badladies – You teach? What do you teach? A long time ago I was a TA, but I never finished my Master’s, so no teaching here. Good luck!

    lauxa – Wow, that gym sounds awesome! At the moment we can’t afford a gym membership (thanks to me working only part-time now), but if my husband finds a better paying job than the one he has now, that might be a great option!

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