My old identity died with Theo. In seconds, the things I used to care about mattered no more. I couldn’t watch some of the same shows or movies, listen to a lot of the music I liked, and for a long time I pretty much exclusively read books on child loss and grief and trauma. I had no energy for the hobbies I once loved, or it hurt to do them (like cooking- even though Theo wouldn’t have been eating the same as us for awhile, it just sucked to be cooking for two). I had to put what little energy I had into just surviving, especially when I was pregnant with Artie, so I had no time for hobbies and interests.
When you have a physical illness or injury, you spend a lot of time on getting better. My grief was the same. It became my whole identity. That’s what I needed for a long time, but not anymore. Grief and child loss will always be a part of me, but at least for now, it doesn’t feel like the majority of me.
Becoming a stay at home mom compounded this loss of identity. My last day of work was March 24, 2017. I officially quit my job in August, 2017. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve worked outside the home. Not interacting with the outside world the way I used to was hard. Still is. I’m no longer up to date on all the changes in financial laws at the state and federal levels, and I feel pretty rusty at the analysis I used to do. Honestly, sometimes I feel stupider (SAHMs aren’t stupid, *I* feel stupid) because I’m not constantly in numbers and spreadsheets. Though I’m SO glad I left my job (not only because I got to spend more with artie but also because it ended up being great for my mental health), I didn’t realize how much working was a part of my identity.
And here I am now…trying to figure out what I like, who I am. I’ve been reading more non-loss books, trying new hobbies. I found a mystery series I like, it’s written from the perspective of a dog and is entertaining and lighthearted. I’m reading parenting books which still feels weird. I’m liking crafts a lot more than I used to. I’m still not very good at them, but I’m enjoying the process of creating. I’m planning a special cross stitch project of my pregnancy with Theo. I’m terrible at needle crafts so it probably won’t be pretty. Lol.
I’m also trying to figure out what to do about work. Again. Do I want to stay home with Artie a little longer? Do I want to put him in early preschool/daycare* this year and work part time? And I have ZERO idea what I want to do for work. Do I want to look for a job similar to the one I left? Do I want to something else? I have no idea! Lol.
*i also have no idea what the difference between early preschool (for 2-3 year olds) and daycare is. But I hear other moms talking about starting their 2 year olds in early preschool and I figure I should look into it. Is it bad that right now I think it’s just regular daycare with a fancy name so they can charge more?