What Mom Used To Be. And What She Wants To Become.

by Lisa Douglas

I cried during yoga today.

I cried as I stretched and breathed and visualized the person I want to be again, the person I fought so hard to become, the person I’ve let slip away.

When I picked up the kids from after their awards ceremony, they were in the dance instructional room. “It sure has a big mirror, huh?” They mentioned, looking at the wall-to-ceiling mirror behind them.

As we walked out, I responded. “Oh yes, it helps you to see every move you make. I miss it (dance).”

“You miss it?” one of my kids asked.

“Yes, baby. I used to be a dancer.”

“Mom, you used to be a lot of things.” My son said.

What he said hit me like a sledgehammer. I could barely breathe.

He’s absolutely right, I used to be a LOT of things. A lot of things that I am no longer, things I’ve lost over the years, things that have become buried, part of my past, things I’m not too happy that have gone and not resurfaced. I’ve experienced so much in my lifetime, experiences I’ve practically forgotten about since becoming a mother.

lisa cheerleader

I used to be a dancer.
A cheerleader.
A soccer player.
A restaurant manager.
A painter.
An athletic woman.
A cheerleading coach.
A poet.
A tree-huggin’ hippie.
A skinny woman.
A sketcher/drawer.
A woman who wore make-up regularly.
A woman who SHOWERED regularly.

Some of the art I used to create

I don’t want to sound ungrateful for being a mother, or a wife, or a caretaker, because my family is my life and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I just wish I hadn’t let so much of the old me fade away into oblivion, though, and let mommy guilt win. You know? There are times I look in the mirror and I seem so unrecognizable, like the person looking back at me isn’t myself.

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While planning this blog redesign, you should have SEEN the JOY that surfaced and literally poured out of me as I sketched these little kids to scan to my blog designer. I kept wondering why I didn’t sit down with a paper and pencil more often. I felt rejuvenated by doing something I loved.

I hate talking about things I used to love to do in the past tense. Just because I had children and got married, it didn’t mean that I had to lose myself in the process.

And yet, that’s exactly what happened.

I push myself aside for my kids’ needs all.the.time. In addition to crying during yoga (which was only marginally accomplished because I laid the baby right alongside me), I cried, no, BAWLED to my husband when he got home about my inability to put her down and about my need to work out and have some “me” time.

I know there’s no rush to lose weight after a baby, and I know, it took nine months to gain it all, it should not get lost over night (nor is it good for the baby). But it is SO HARD feeling so crappy, so ugly and saggy and deflated and… off. I want to feel healthy again, because right now, I don’t. Not only that, my workout time is so much more than just working out, it’s normally the only time to myself I get a day (if I get any at all).

The heat has already hit San Antonio, and the highs are already in the 90’s. I had wanted to be well on my way back to my pre-pregnancy self. But I’m not, because I can’t do it regularly or get into a routine. Because of so many things and reasons and excuses and I am so friggin’ frustrated, I can’t even see straight.

I used to be so many things. I just keep thinking about what he said to myself. I need to get back some of those things I used to be. I need to remember me and who I used to be, and incorporate the old me into my now me.

Baby steps, though. First things first: this mom could use a shower.

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